T Nation

Overseas Opinions of the U.S.A.

Last night, again while watching CNN International, I saw South African President Nelson Mandela comment that no nation is as oppressive as the U.S. is. I was quite surprised at this statement, seeing that Mandela himself was a political prisoner for over twenty years when South Africa was oppressive under apartheid. It also surprised me since South Africa itself has many problems, including being one of the most crime filled countries in the world, with a crime rate per capita second to only Colombia. Yet Mr. Mandela, with all of his country’s problems, saw to it to mention how oppressive the U.S. is.

That led me to think further. Some of these same countries criticizing President Bush have themselves quite a sordid past.

Most recently, where was this so called European Union when Yugoslavia was being torn apart by Slobodan Milosevic just a short decade ago? Many were slaughtered by the “Butcher of the Blakans” in this barbarism while the rest of Europe stood by idly until it was too late.

While we’re on the subject of Europe, how about jolly 'ol England’s treatment of Northern Ireland? Talk about murder and tyrrany. One need only look at the British government’s treatment of Northern Ireland over the last several decades to see real oppression.

And how about Russia? (yes she’s part of Europe). The Russian military has murdered tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Chechnya over the last decade, all in the name of oppression.

And finally, if one would go back several decades, one would see oppressive regimes in charge of Germany and Italy.

So please, my foreign friends, if you’re going to attack U.S. policy, or call us oppressive, please, before doing so, take a look at your own barbaric past before speaking about us.

He could be referring to American corporations, which still support slave labour in the third world. Buy Nike! Kill a kid!

Wal-Mart getting its clothes from chinese sweatshop workers getting 13 cents an hour (when the minimum wage is 30 cents an hour). Made in the USA, indeed.

Yeah, I’m not fond of America, or even a couple things from my own country’s past, but South Africa really shouldn’t point fingers when it comes to oppressive nations…

“Yeah, I’m not fond of America, or even a couple things from my own country’s past”

And your own country would be…oh, that’s right, you’d like to keep that secret to avoid any criticism directed your way…All I can guess is that with your reluctance to divulge that info, it must be a pretty easy target.

Just my 2 cents, I don’t want this thread to become a flame war but oh well,…

When Nelson Mandela said “oppressive” I think(and it’s very personnal) he means “internationally oppressive”. Since USA is so big and powerful both military power and economic power as well as cultural influence, USA have a broad range of interests so they tend to influence many political decisions. I’m canadian and I know what it means.

?h, and don’t be upset when someone write “oppressive”, it’s all a matter of perspective. DO I think USA are oppressive as far as international business and culture? Yes, I think so but you know what any country having near 300 millions people and a vast economic bases would act the exact same way because humans are humans after all!

So to sum it up, take oppressive in the international politics/economics way. It has nothing to do with internal barbarism for this is another debate…

What your opinion now jcbart? I would like to hear it, :0)


-LPdSB

Yes, Louis-Philippe I agree that Mr. Mandela was talking about the U.S. internationally, and that South Africa’s problems are all internal. But South Africa still has many problems, and it boggles my mind how leaders of other countries sometimes go out of their way to criticize the U.S. Guess it goes with the territory of being the supposed only “superpower”.

Thanks for the response Louis-Philippe.

Well, my country isn’t the one on trial here, is it? Last time I checked, America’s the only one tracing across the globe, lookin’ to blow up dem folks who did this thang!

Gee, Non-American, that’s a very ballsy response. I’ll ask you again, in order to give you one more chance to have more of a real man/woman-on-man/woman debate here, as opposed to letting everyone else here (most of whom are obviously and/or admittedly American) completely brush you from the side like some loser taking pot-shots from the bushes rather than really throwing his hat into the ring: WHAT COUNTRY ARE YOU FROM? Thank you.

Three things,

Russia is not part of Europe.

A country should be refered to as “it’s a part…” and not as “she is a part…”. It’s amazing we foreigners have to teach you how to speak you own language.Third, when I as in elementary school it was ok to use other people’s past mistakes as a mean of somehow justify my behaviours but as I grew I learned to take responsibility for my actions instead of just fighting back by pointing fingers to others.

Now, my country is Portugal. The Portuguese have done a lot of shit in the past. We are responsible for part of the troubles that plague some African nations to this day, and although we weren’t the worst, our colonization procedures weren’t as human as they should have been, and up untill recently we did plenty of shit.

Now, if you kiddies want to use this information to shut me up, be informed that I feel no need to defend the Portuguese government as they’re a bunch of thieves as most politicians are.

My problem is that the USA propaganda machine is selling a war for oil as a war for wordl peace or whatever you want to call it, and all you can do is shout “liberals” and some other stupid shit like that. Wake up.

I swear I don’t remember having put a bold tag in there. Weird.

I must have used a “b” instead of a “p” in a paragraph break.

Somehow a few words wen’t missing there.

The last paragraph should read:

My problem is that the USA propaganda machine is selling a war for oil as a war for wordl peace or whatever you want to call it, and all you can do when confronted with it is shout “liberals” and some other stupid shit like that. Wake up.

Russia IS part of Europe. Stops at the Eural(sp?) Mountains.

Who said the U.S. is on trail? I am guessing your french, you type with a french accent, that or Quabec. That is my guess…Please be German, that’s all I got to say…I don’t have an American Flag shoved up my ass by a long shot, but your sitting there taking shots at america and it’s politics, it’s something you really can’t know unless you live here. You really ought to tell us where you live so we can fuck that mule 'till it’s ears come off.

I don't know a country that doesn't have fuck up past. So have some balls and state your nationality.

Geeze this “War for oil” crap gets old. The US isn’t the only country in the world that uses oil. There are two countries that have been getting cheap oil even illegally for a while, and those are Russia and France. Iraq was selling them oil below the OPEC or world commodity rates even before the Oil for Food program came about.

Cheap oil is not the be all and end all of the world. As a matter of fact a cheaper world price for oil cuts income to the US government by a large amount. Our second largest source of revenue is offshore oil leases, which only produce oil when the price is high enough to make it economical. Right up until this little tempest in a teapot came about the inflation adjusted price for a barrel of oil cost about what it did at the end of WWII. The war for oil thing is lame. It’s not based on the way the world works but it sure is easy to spew forth if the bad old US starts ruffling some feathers. I guess the 8 European countries that posted the open letter of support of the US toppling Saddam in most of our large newspapers the other day must need oil too. Their excuse was they wanted the crackpot that’s trying to secretly amass a stockpile of WMD to be taken care of. It’s good to see citizens get involved in politics and all, it would be so much better if they knew what the hell they were talking about first. The reason we hire people to run our country is because the knuckledragger at the local tire store isn’t quite bright enough, or well read enough, to do it himself. If the bulk of the European citzens are pissed at us so be it. The people they pay to run their country agree with us. Here’s another little tip: the common citizen doesn’t have access to the best intelligence information as to the actual threat. The governments do share some of this among each other though and that may very well be why the guys in charge have a broadly differing view than the man on the street.

In reference to oil Saddam has made it clear (including actual invasions) he wants to become the ruler of the Arab world, as well as subjegate the oil that comes with it. Many nations other than the United States utilizes oil.

For example China and India are gradually becoming more dependent on oil due to their increasing industries. In fact 76% of Japan’s oil supply is Middle Eastern oil.

Now imagine if Saddam were simply allowed to conquer his arab neighbors. He could quite simply hold the world for ransom considering he would possess such a substantial piece of the world’s oil supply.

A ruthless dictator such as Saddam would become the wealthiest and most powerful man on Earth. That’s a position I doubt anyone (regardless of country of origin) would be delighted of.

Russia is partly in Europe and partly in Asia, the dividing line being the Ural Mountains. And yes, I guess “she” is inappropriate for a country, “it” is better. My mistake :slight_smile:

That concludes me writing about politics. It’s obvious everyone has very strong feelings (me included) about U.S. and world politics. Yes, I’ll admit, I’m biased toward my country. I love the U.S. and I support President Bush. I don’t hate other countries, though. I’ve been to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe and have always enjoyed myself. Most everyone I had contact with was helpful, polite and quite hospitable.

About your comment on language you aloof prick: have you heard of slang or dialect? Because English is not your first language, you speak only the proper version. Just like when I speak Spanish and other Americans speak foreign languages, we speak properly. Wow, I can’t wait for Portugal to be in trouble and ask for our help. Oh, I find it amazing that the world bitches about our “oppressiveness” but sure as hell have their hands out to take our billions of dollars in aid. Just be thankful that you and the rest of Europe doesn’t speak German because we entered WWII.

Yes, I’ve been to the states as well and the people were mostly polite and willing to help you out if you were in a fix.

However, start talking about anything more political than the weather and this really ugly side comes out. Suddenly, my country should be more like the states. No reasons, just the same biased blabbering about "rights" and "freedoms" with no real justifications as to why certain rights are worth having when small restrictions are to the benefit of society as a whole. I could get on another rant here, but I'll spare everyone the read.

Geez, you Americans are fun to piss off. It's so easy, too. I just suggest that something contrary to public opinion is true and all the flames go spurting off! Ha! You're great! I love it!

Well there is that big statue at (Volgagrad?) that represents “Mother Russia”.

And about the big argument, I’ll put it in an essay sometime. Who knows? It might get published. Time to go change the world…

-SlapMonkey

jcbart,

You are right about Russia being a part of Europe. It isn’t a part of the EEC, but then again you never said it was.

In the future I’ll avoid these politic threads and will choose places were people can discuss these matters without resorting to insults , like Harmon did. I would like to make a few comments about some stuff he said, but won’t reply to someone who types to me in these terms. All in all, it doesn’t improve the image I get about the average American hability to use his own brain and most of all, to see that are different views to the same situation which might all be valid.

Call me a liberal, I personally couldn’t care less about it. I have to start avoiding these off topic sections of the forums. I always end up involved in flame wars no matter what. :slight_smile: