T Nation

What are your thoughts?


#1

This was forwarded to me Via - E-mail. Worth tha read :

Widespread, but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it. When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans. I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States Dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar, or the Douglas 10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - - not once, but several times - and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the American who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those.


#2

I think you need to check your email more than just once every two years.


#3

Tyler,
Very nice post. I totally agree. I am sickened by the lack of reciprocity shown by some of these countries. I've said it before, we are easily the most generous people on earth. We are a wonderful friend and an absolutely lethal enemy. I almost pity france now. They are going to be punished. I am going to laugh. They deserve it for their perfidy. By the way, did you catch the bit about finding info. in the former iraqi foreign minister's office showing that chirac's government was feeding saddams government diplomatic/military info. concerning the United States? france needs to feel some intense pain.


#4

Checked Snopes - it's a true quote from 1974. Sinclair died about 10 years later.

There are several, similar attributions around that are hoaxes


#5

Thanks for the thoughtful post Tyke. However, I suppose some of the usual noisy anti american porkchops will hijack the thread into some nonsensical cacaphony of semi literate mental masturbations. Oh well....


#6

It's from the Viet Nam era.

So much to be proud of there...


#7

I'll tell you guys something. Whether the post was from the Vietnam era or not, the facts contained therein are just that: facts. No disputing them. Anyone who wants to get just a taste of what America has done through the past century or so can read "The House of Morgan" to see what just ONE American bank has done to shore up various economies. Remember, it's just a taste.

To give a little more of a contemporary flavor to all this though, I'll just give you guys a little anecdotal experience. As most of you know, I live in Japan. In Japan, there are foreigners of every racial and national stripe. They are often gathered (about 50 or 60 of them) onto TV shows to discuss various issues and give the "gaijin perspective". For every ONE person who is down on America (and for some reason this is usually some recent college grad from either the US or Canada scratches head), there are TWENTY who will tell that person that s/he has no clue what s/he's talking about, and will go on at great length about how America/Americans helped out in one (very significant) way or another. This hasn't just happened once - it happens virtually every time this type of show airs.

These are real people, leading real lives. Not sophomoric mental masturbators who've never set foot off of the North American continent. My personal opinion is: if you think America is bad, you haven't seen much else of the world.


#8

The article makes some nice points about real accomplishments like the lunar landing, the airplane etc. That is all well and good.

Maybe I am just reacting to the people like "United States = Good Guys" who act like anyone who won't wrap themselves in the American flag and paint their face red white and blue is "unpatriotic" or even a goddamn traitor. It's fucking retarded and it's insulting, as well as being insulting to retarded people everywhere.

This kind of God Bless America crap almost always comes out when we are bombing the shit out of some country. Sorry if can see through the phony flag-waving and call "bullshit". What makes America great is know-how and creativity and freedom of expression, not the fact that we have the biggest military in the history of the world and that we just stomped the piss out of a second-world country like Iraq for no good reason, even though we can ill-afford it and it caused a lot of needless death and destruction, and will make our country LESS safe in the long run, and it was a war started under false pretenses by a President who was appointed and not elected.

Sorry, that is not something I feel patriotic about.

The headline here is "What are your thoughts". Those are some of my thoughts.


#9

lumpy,
Say hello to restless, adal, and iscariot. YOU ARE IN!!! By being unpatriotic and not thinking through the issues, you are offically a member of the BAD GUYS!!! Do you know what, in one way you are the very worst of the worst, you are an American. That makes your vitriolic comments much harder to tolerate. If you won't wrap yourself in our flag and our ideals GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!! I mean it sincerely, men and women have died under that flag. Died for you, fool. restless, adal, and iscariot at least have the excuse that they are not citizens and hence have very little idea what they are talking about. You, you enjoy the freedoms that are your birthright. If you don't think that promoting democracy in Iraq was a worthy cause, if you don't think that stopping people from being murdered in a wood-chipping machine is not a worthy cause, then you are a sorry excuse for an American. If you honestly think that saddam wouldn't have used some form of very destructive force on us our our interests, you are just plain wrong. I'll say it again, Americans are ashamed of your viewpoints. However, we are real Americans and defend your right to spout your foolish rhetoric. How does it feel to wake up everyday and know that others have given you the freedoms that you take for granted? Further, how can you walk around every day after urinating on their sacrifices? Here is your disgusting quote, "God Bless America crap almost always comes out when we are bombing the shit out of some country. Sorry if can see through the phony flag-waving and call "bullshit"."
Your comments are reprehensible. I hope you run into someone like me very soon.


#10

I've been to Okinawa!!! It was beautiful, and people there loved the Americans. I went to the everlasting flame and saw the names of all the Japanese and Americans and Germans and French and everyone else from around the world on Suicide Cliff. Although I was only 16 when I was there, I couldn't pull myself away. The Gulf War started when I was 10, and I had no idea what war was about. When 9/11 happened, I was truly upset. I am very proud to be an American. If you don't like the way the country runs, then do something about it. Don't go on a forum where you can just bicker back and forth all day with no meaning behind any of it. If you don't like it, get off your ass, away from your computer and make something of yourself for you country. No, you don't have to be "patriotic" to live in America, but dammit, you better respect the fact that you live in a country that will defend itself and the morals behind it. Whether we fucked up at Vietnam or not, all that shit was true, so deal with it.


#11

Well, this is a subject I'm sure we could all argue about for days on end, but that serves not point other than the fact that as Americans we have the right to say whatever. I am certainly proud to be an American and proud as ever of my husband who is currently serving in Iraq as we speak. I think about the few phone calls I have received from him and the sound of his voice sounding so sad. He is proud to be serving his country, but what he would not give to be back with his family, eating all the food he could want, going to the gym, going out to the club, just enjoying his American freedom. Instead he is living in the desert, fight through sand storms in 100+ degree weather, living on MREs, unshowered and dirty. So, what is this American doing over there? He is serving all Americans, he is doing a job many wouldn't ever want to do, he is doing the dirty work so we can all stay here and be free in happy. He is also over there helping to liberate a country. He is helping to give the Iraqi people the same freedoms we Americans have and finally he is making history. Not once has he ever complained about being over there, nor does he bitch and moan about being dirty and hot. No matter what his opinion of the war is he never voiced it, he simply served his country and is damn proud to be an American. So, I don't care what your opinion is of this war nor do I care to hear your opinion on how you think we should have handled the situation is. It's over, it's done. At this point as an American you should be showing support for your country and for the troops serving you and thanking them every way possible because they truly made the sacrafices for your freedom, as did I along with all the other families who had to give up love ones, so they could go fight for Our freedom. And if all of this is just too much for you to handle and something you don't support or believe in then like someone said in an earlier post, GET OUT. No one is forcing you to live. GOD BLESS AMERICA!


#12

Lumpy,
Much like US=GG I was disgusted with your post. You should be ashamed as some of the things said. I would rather not get potitical but I will comment, and I may be wrong for this, and I may be alone on this, But I shudder everytime someone takes their right for freedom of speech to shit on the same country that has given them this right, to shit on the very people who died for those rights - they died for a reason, they died because they loved their country and supported it's decisions.
The word "patriot" gets thrown around recklessly with no regaurd for the actual meaning. I belive that I, myself, am a real patriot. I will love, defend, and support my country and it's views and decisions. The love for your county should be similar to the love of your first born - unwaivering and unconditional. My 0.02

"We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in." - Colin Powell


#13

You know, US=GG - i'd rather be BAD than an idiot.

I don't have any issue with your patriotism, I can respect that. But your
continual false-causality arguments, luddite ignorance and just plain arrogance are tiresome.

Let me put this simply for you.

In the particular instance of the attack on Iraq [pt 2] I disagree with the actions taken by the US Government and administration whom I feel have been less than truthful in their full accounting of personal/ professed agendas.

I fail to see where the "I hate the US"
comes into it.

Sure, there have been others things the US has done I don't agree with. But if we look historically, there are plenty of things I disagree with in other nations. Does the fact that I disagree with the Nazi regime, despite the fact that it was the legally elected government per the 1933 elections, make me anti-German?

According to your somewhat pathetic logical analysis it does. I will note in passing that I have yet to see anything even vaguely resembling
analysis on your part.

Also, if we follow your logic [sic], then by definition any person or group of US origin who is strongly patriotic is OK. I imagine that would include groups like the KKK, so by extension, you're a racist. I hate racists. So, if I follow your line of argumentation I should hate you.

Fortunately, that's your logic, I follow the tao.

No doubt in response I'll get the usual screed of denunciation - yay for you.


#14

US=GG said "If you won't wrap yourself in our flag and our ideals GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!"

You would have loved Nazi Germany and would have done well there. It looks like we are heading towards a police state and Fascism over here, so I'm sure you will have a bright future.

Iscariot, you should avoid using any "big words" like "Luddite" when addressing US=GG. Anyone so simple-minded couldn't possibly know what that is.

Teela, I support the poor SOB grunts in the military. What I don't support is the abuse of massive military power, in the service of protecting certain corporate interests. I hope your husband comes home soon.

It is not the role of the US to dominate the world with violence, build global empires, and invade sovereign nations without provocation.


#15

Global empire? Ha. We would've had most of the world already if we weren't just global police. Yes, the world IS better with global police, as it keeps people sane. Rules are in place so anarchy doesn't happen. Yeah, the US didn't follow the UN, but guess what the UN wants to do now? Get a piece of the pie that the US baked, specifically France. No, you don't have to agree with the policy of the US, but if it wasn't for us, Europe would be run by Hitler, Stalin would be the Asian dictator and so on.


#16

JW wrote No, you don't have to agree with the policy of the US, but if it wasn't for us, Europe would be run by Hitler, Stalin would be the Asian dictator and so on.

Here we go again.

The US did not win WW2. They hastened its end. Please note, the wheels were falling off the German campaign by late 1943 anyway - which is why the Wannessee Conference sped up the 'Final Solution.

Essentially, the Nazis' signed the death warrent on their regime when the opened a second front with Russia in 1941.

Also, after the failure of Op Sealion and the B.o.B. Germany essentially [not totally] had to leave Britain alone - no Luftwaffe, no bombing campaign.

This is not to say that the US did not do good things - for they did. Lend-Lease - which I went back and read up on - amongst other things.

But to say, that if it wasn't for you the Poms would be speaking German is just jingoistic crap.


#17

A few points on WWII-
First- A lot of scholarship-- based on accounts and archives from within the German leadership-- has suggested that operation Sea Lion was a bluff of a sort similar to Napoleons Channel build-up in 1804 (whether his was a bluff is an entirely different question) intended to scare the English people into dumping Churchill (who wouldn't agree to peace under any circumstances) and suing for peace. Hitler decided (in agreement with most of his general staff) fairly early on that, based on the logistics involved and the military intel he was provided, an invasion of England would fail. The failure of the build-up and the battle of Britain to force peace was a major factor in pushing germany towards war with Russia in '41. Only victory against Russia would allow peace with Britain, and thus consolidation of power over their new continental possessions.

Second- The Russian invasion was a very conscious gamble on the part of the Germans, rather than the over-confident blunder it is frequently portrayed. The Germans, much like the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, knew that if they didn't achieve a swift victory, then all would be lost. Dynamic realist theory provides an excellent model for understanding the decision. Basically, Russia was a rising power with greater potential over the long term than germany-- for the sake of this argument, this is limited to the relative short term (say the 40's for convenience) in military related measures. The longer germany waited, the tougher the opponent Russia would become, as its productive capacity grew and it recovered from the great purge of its officer corps a few years prior (which was incidentally a feat of the german intelligence organizations, fascinating story). Thus Germany's best chance to win was in the extreme short-term even though German leaders seemed to understand (privately, not in propaganda obviously) that the odds were severly against them. The war in Europe was over when the Germans failed in achieving their objectives in the first offensive in 41. Russia had the winter to recover, and with a large enough base of industry, exploitable resources and demographics under its control, it was able to stabilize the situation, letting it wage a war of rational attrition, making vicory inevitable.

The Normandy invasion would never have happened had Barbarossa not preceded it. The diversion of resources to the (from the German perspective) far more important eastern front left the French theater in a state of weakness. The unwillingness of the allies to invade France even in 1943, when originally planned (instead they went to africa, then italy), bears testament to the fact that they knew that even at that late of a date, the German defenses were too strong.

On a mildly related point, the historiography of WWII is almost as fascinating in certain areas as the actual history which spawned it, although this is entirely different discussion.

I realize this has no relation to anything, I guess I just got going...
I do love history though.


#18

Though this doesn't really pertain to the point of the post, it does show its age.

"I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States Dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar, or the Douglas 10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American planes?"

Airbus is rapidly gaining market share on boeing, and in 2006 will have the worlds largest passenger aircraft, the A-380, seating ~555 passengers on two decks. As I recall, boeing is not pursuing a similar superjumbo jet program, instead opting for smaller models.

"Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon?"

The chinese actually have the most aggressive space exploration program in the world now (because NASA turned pussy 30 years ago) and plans to have a man in space within two years and one on the moon in 8. What the hell happened to NASA?

"Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded."

No, they're made president :wink:

None of this has anything to do with anything...


#19

Ok, one little point of interest- WW2 was really a completely different war for the Americans. There is quite a bit of hidden history in the South Pacific. Did everyone forget about that part of the war? Does anyone remember Pearl Harbor? And as far as that is concerned, yes we did win the war. The Europeans had a completely different war to deal with on their home front. We did not win the war there, but you can not deny that we were the war machine. This is what has always made us a powerful force. Either we've had un-ending resources of war or we've had amazing technological advancements. Now we have both. I'm glad to be on this side of those guns. Yeah I sound like a typical American brute don't I? Well, I think that a nation that can free another nations people so easily, being fully aware of what was at stake, should have such power. Most other nations would abuse it. Yes its a given, human beings will make mistakes, but who the fuck else do you want to go into Iraq? Most other countries either don't have the resources or would abuse them if they did. And those Brits fought along side us as if they were our own from what I hear, I leave room for them. They've got even more guts, not having the economical might and power that we do, they still jumped in and kicked some ass. Most other countries who supported us know whats at stake. The rest can go fuck themselves, especially France.


#20

One of the most annoying things about these posts is people whose political beliefs are getting in the way of intelligent thought. Nobody likes war, but after listening to these people admit that Saddam was an evil man who tortured and killed millions, and who had Hitler as a man he admired (really), and then be upset that we got rid of him with some of the least civilian casualties ever.

Political agenda must never be put before people. The way people were, and are trying to spin this in the attempt to gain politically is appalling.

Lumpy said, "What makes America great is know-how and creativity and freedom of expression?" I agree fully. This makes America great. But then to say, "not the fact that we have the biggest military in the history of the world?" This military is necessary, regardless of what you think. Do you actually think if we got rid of our military that we would not be attacked the next day? This is not only what would happen, but what would have happened over the past 100 years. The military is not for decoration, or for domination. It is necessary for our existence.

"and that we just stomped the piss out of a second-world country like Iraq for no good reason?" Uh have you heard of 911? I know, you'll just say, "Just because you posted links to credible organizations, and various people in our government, and other governments, and Iraqi defectors, and news reporters have stated that Iraq was linked with 911, and that Al Queada members were found in Iraq, and a major terrorist was arrested in Iraq does not mean there is a link. They were made up, and paid off, and uh, aliens are sending thoughts into brains fooling us into believing this."

Proof of bias is found in Lumpy's statement: "a war started under false pretenses by a President who was appointed and not elected." I now know this anger about the election not going his way has clouded his judgment. Anyone who followed the election intelligently knows that Bush won. With a count that not only went his way with two recounts, but was checked afterwards and found that if Al Gore got everything he asked for Bush still won. I believe it was ten different ways of counting before they found one in which Gore won. (I think they may have found another.) But the old argument still stands that you can't just have recounts until you get the result you want.

Also the people that complaint that "Gore got the popular vote." Is crap. Those are not the rules, and changing to a popular vote will change the whole dynamic of the election. Many who don't vote will start. Many who decided that their state was going to a certain candidate might have decided to vote for a nut like Nader just to use their vote to send a message, but with a popular vote would have voted for one or another candidate. To say the popular vote counts after the fact is only an excuse if not stated before the election. If you disagree with the system then try to change it.

Then Iscariot stating, "...whom I feel have been less than truthful in their full accounting of personal/ professed agendas." You feel? You don't know? Just feel? Lets deal with facts, not just what a person feels.

"Also, if we follow your logic [sic], then by definition any person or group of US origin who is strongly patriotic is OK. I imagine that would include groups like the KKK, so by extension, you're a racist. I hate racists. So, if I follow your line of argumentation I should hate you." Interesting. I went back and tried to find the illogical argument you were talking about, and couldn't find anything related to what you said. Nothing matched this supposed logic argument. Also the KKK are not very patriotic. Many want the government overthrown, and want the confederacy back. Also you bring hate into the discussion. I dislike bigotry, but bigotry is a form is hate. We should not hate these people, just recognize them as being ignorant.

Oops. Would continue, but have to go.