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View Poll Results: What should America's Role be policing the World?
Smite (even if it means go it alone) every evil not matter how large or small. 5 7.58%
Smite (even if it means go it alone) only Supersize Evil (e.g., Hitler) 8 12.12%
Only if we can use NATO allies to vanquish every evil not matter how large or small. 1 1.52%
Only if we can use NATO allies to vanquish only Supersize Evil (e.g., Hitler) 10 15.15%
Foster and promote the UN to vanquish every evil not matter how large or small. 4 6.06%
Primarily Use Diplomacy 11 16.67%
Do nothing unless it threatens our borders... a real threat 23 34.85%
Other - Described in Comments 4 6.06%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Is it America's Responsibility to Fix the World??
Old 03-12-2008, 04:06 AM   #1
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Is it America's Responsibility to Fix the World??

I heard some political commentary from the far right. The commentator make a comment (full of rhetoric) about it being America's duty to police the world and fix world tyranny... etc, etc.


How do you feel about this? I was a volunteer in our Military. I am all for stopping monumental evil (e.g., Hitler). I am also concerned about the up an coming Hitlers of the world (Idi Amin, Pol Pot, etc). But does America need to pay for all of this ourselves? Why are we bearing the cost and burden alone so often. We usually on have token help from others for show.

It seems to me that this is a tremendous expense that we are bearing... where is the rest of the world governments?

What should America's role be in policing the world. Please comment.


I voted other. I would use Nato for supersize evil and the UN for Small to Large. Sanction the UN and troops to go in and k!ck @ss. If the UN won't do it... then the US should use diplomacy unless it threatens the US directly. Of course, we would support our primary allies if threatened.
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:57 AM   #2
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IMHO quarterbacking the past and the future is futile. We elect people to do this in the present and then when things don't go quite right we start trying to renege on the vote which starts the quarterbacking. All of what the USA should do starts at the ballot box. IMO it is a shame that we elect people with 10 to 15 percent of the eligible voters and even sometimes less that that. I have never been able to understand how 10% of the voters elect someone or some administration and then 50% are against this or that. In so far as other countries go they have the same problem in that they cannot get more than half of the people to support their elected (or, in most cases, appointed individuals). Seems like everyone only supports that which will line their own pockets or build their own ego. I know this sound cynical and I admit that it is. The problem of waiting until the problem gets large enough to get anything like full support for a solution is that by that point in time it is probably too late. The building of political support groups works both ways. The UN was a noble and very smart thing to do in 1948 but today it suffers from the "to big to do anything meaningful" syndrome that usually impacts large overly diverse (in interests) organizationx. Sorry to ramble a bit. BTW I voted other (which is probably skirting the issue (which is?)).
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:46 AM   #3
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....... it is a shame that we elect people with 10 to 15 percent of the eligible voters and even sometimes less that that. I have never been able to understand how 10% of the voters elect someone or some administration and then 50% are against this or that. ....
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.... Seems like everyone only supports that which will line their own pockets ....
With somebody else's money.
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Wow! Chinaco hit's the big Question
Old 03-12-2008, 07:14 AM   #4
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Wow! Chinaco hit's the big Question

The issue of America's role and influence in the world has been THE BIG Question since 1945. Volumes of opinion and analysis have been written about the post-WW II world. Let me give a personal observation:

My Dad and Uncles fought in WW II. Dad was in the Navy in WW II & Korea. He never really talked to us kids about his experiences. One thing that he did say was that, as a teenager, in 1940-41, he nearly witnessed the death of democracy and freedom. I always remembered that.

MY DW and I have been lucky to travel internationally the last ten years. Through this travel we have seen the effects of the US standing strong and pushing freedom.

All democracies now, what were they: Spain (Fascist), Portugal (Fascist), Italy (Fascist), Poland (Communist), Austria (Nazi), Greece (Military Dictatorship), Argentina (Military dictatorship). In fact, our commitment to Europe allowed that area to become a growing set of democracies.

Our stance over the last 60 years has changed the world dramatically for the better(as measured by the spread of personal freedom, growth in standard of living, and the reduction in the threat of major wars.) By any historical measure, this is Mankind's Golden Age.

As to NATO and the UN: It's a question of will to act to protect and extend democracy. Half the members of the UN are not democracies, and the UN is dominated by anti-freedom groups. our NATO allies have disarmed to the point of incompetence as militaries, with a few exceptions. I believe that we are stuck being actively involved militarily and every other way in the world for the foreseeable future.

With freedom comes responsiblity and endless vigilence.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:21 AM   #5
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Diplomacy first. But when the circumstances warrant it, the use of force needs to be on the table as an available last resort. I'm not really keen on the "going it alone," but sometimes just because the rest of the world fails to enforce UN resolutions, for example, doesn't mean you have to as well.

Just the same, I'm tired of playing Globocop.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:32 PM   #6
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does it depend at all on whether we are freeing the downtrodden or just freeing up markets?

as people work to reduce suffering, the world becomes a better place.
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:07 PM   #7
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
I heard some political commentary from the far right. The commentator make a comment (full of rhetoric) about it being America's duty to police the world and fix world tyranny... etc, etc
There was an interesting article written by a Canadien in the 1970's that suggested the US has NEVER been supported in all our efforts to help the world, and that most other countries are selfish and "expect" the US to fix all the world's problems............

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I voted other. I would use Nato for supersize evil and the UN for Small to Large. Sanction the UN and troops to go in and k!ck @ss. If the UN won't do it... then the US should use diplomacy unless it threatens the US directly. Of course, we would support our primary allies if threatened.
Problem is NATO and the UN have no power to do anything. Also, the USA funds about 80% of the UN and a lot of NATO. What has either done? Not much I can see. Wonder what would happen if the USA "gave up" on the UN??
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:33 PM   #9
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Ideally I would say work with our allies either in NATO or Pacific rim countries. Diplomacy first backed up by military if needed. I think it was Frederick the Great who said diplomacy without might is like music without instruments.

But, as others have pointed out, NATO and the UN are often unwilling or unable to act against rogue nations or terrorist groups.

So, I ended up voting for do nothing unless we are threatened.

On one hand, it might keep us from getting involved in areas that maybe we should stay out of.

Unfortunately this would also mean letting bad things happen.

But, until others are willing to do their part, or at least stop attacking us for doing the dirty work, I will feel this way. Not good or even smart in many cases, but there it is.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:03 PM   #10
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I voted for "go it alone only against big evil (Hitler)." But I can think of only two or three times throughout history that I would consider *big* evil big enough for a country to wage a war alone against that evil.

Should we try to help other countries? Of course. But that help should be given through funds, through programs like the Peace Corps, or through diplomacy, not through the military. Trying to police the world and helping to set up puppet democracies doesn't seem to help even the countries that we're supposedly trying to help.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:16 PM   #11
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I tend to think any further policing of the world should be restricted primarily to targeted missile strikes and/or massive aerial bombardment, repeatedly if necessary - ground troops only in rare and exceptional circumstances - reconstruction only when it directly and immediately suits our economic purposes
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:28 PM   #12
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Also, the USA funds about 80% of the UN and a lot of NATO.
Actually only 22% according to Wikipedia. That is the max. Several other nations contribute a larger percentage of GDP.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:44 PM   #13
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suggesting we should police would imply we knew what we were doing... i ditto lazy's comments...

aside from policing, we should not contribute to ruining other places either.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:43 PM   #14
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That's tough.

We became isolationists after WWI and then swung to interventionists after WWII. We've had plenty of conflicts throughout American history but I think our collective memories tend to gloss over little things like the Spanish-American war.

At some level, the country seems like it's fed up and wants to swing back to isolationism.

I think a fair assessment of American involvement in WWII would show that being in the European theater helped (possibly immensely) but wasn't crucial to securing victory. On the other hand, our action in the Pacific theater was crucial in defeating Japan.

After that, we got caught up in a cold war with the USSR, hotspots all over the world, and unintended consequences that we're just now feeling the effects of. We became the protectors of democracy and the leader of the free world. But, was it right back then and are we still paying for it now? It's not like we're truly the protectors of freedom... we were helping the Taliban when it was in our best interests to do so.

Personally, I'm for either pulling back or admitting to ourselves that we're more about protecting American interests than promoting democracy. I think the world realizes, now, that we're about us... we just need to admit it.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:36 AM   #15
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Nothing wrong with being about us!

It seems to me that all this war and global policing stuff costs huge amounts of money.

If we pull our troops out of Korea, Japan, Germany, Eastern Europe, Iraq... all places that are not directly threatening us, we would save a huge amount of money. Take half that money we save and build up more Scorch and Burn weapons just in case anyone steps out of line and threatens us. Take the other half of he savings an fix domestic concerns.

Why the heck should our country do without health care while we go get ourselves killed to protect (spend spend spend) countries that hate us.

If those countries want military help from us they can pay for it. We can step in for a price. For example Kuwait, we should have rights to half the oil in the country. Why aren't they pumping massive amounts of oil for us now? You can bet they aren't increasing production and cutting the price for us.


IMHO - I think we should begin pulling back. We build on our alliance with the UK and the other British Colonies... (scr3w the French... ungrateful @$$h013s).
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:53 AM   #16
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Nothing wrong with being about us!

If those countries want military help from us they can pay for it. We can step in for a price. For example Kuwait, we should have rights to half the oil in the country. Why aren't they pumping massive amounts of oil for us now? You can bet they aren't increasing production and cutting the price for us.


IMHO - I think we should begin pulling back. We build on our alliance with the UK and the other British Colonies... (scr3w the French... ungrateful @$$h013s).
You know why Kuwait and others in the region will keep the price sky high? Look at wht Dubai is building..

Developments in Dubai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/ar...gn/03kool.html

And to think these people like us.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
Nothing wrong with being about us!

It seems to me that all this war and global policing stuff costs huge amounts of money.

If we pull our troops out of Korea, Japan, Germany, Eastern Europe, Iraq... all places that are not directly threatening us, we would save a huge amount of money. Take half that money we save and build up more Scorch and Burn weapons just in case anyone steps out of line and threatens us. Take the other half of he savings an fix domestic concerns.

Why the heck should our country do without health care while we go get ourselves killed to protect (spend spend spend) countries that hate us.

If those countries want military help from us they can pay for it.........


IMHO - I think we should begin pulling back. We build on our alliance with the UK and the other British Colonies... (scr3w the French... ungrateful @$$h013s).
Those are my thoughts exactly! We even give away our money to help provide health and medical care to other countries.....while many of our own citizens do with out......that's BS!

Use our troops to fortify our borders, and to protector our land and our citizens, and let other countries do the same for themselves....or PAY us exorbitant amounts of money & oil (up front!) to come bail their sorry @sses out! And we'll bail them out not only once....but twice! After that, it's '3 strikes and you're out'.....'cause if you need bailing out a 3rd time, you're probably a lost cause to start with....and not worth our effort! Maybe your invading neighbor can do a better job of running your country for you, than you have done yourselves!

But hey, that's just my opinion!
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:57 PM   #18
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Historically, the US has not had a war on its soil since the Civil War - that's why 9-11 was so traumatic - we were not used to it. I would venture that because we were willing to go where the problems were and not allow them to come to us, in addition to having oceans on two sides of us and two countries to the north and south who are non-belligerent in a violent sense, we were able to enjoy the freedom of being free and focusing on our families and material endeavors and not having a fortress mentality. Without that willingness to have our military go 'over there', that evil will find its way 'here.' Americans would need to be able to mentally switch gears to accept that reality. I have been all over the world and the most wonderful thing about the USA is that air of freedom - you can say pretty much what you want without reprisal, you can do pretty much what you want without reprisal - mentally one usually relaxes and can focus on those higher needs per Mazlow's hierarchy. You don't have that in many places - even in Europe. For that, I am willing to go 'over there' to protect the USA from becoming 'there.'
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:23 PM   #19
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All democracies now, what were they: Spain (Fascist), Portugal (Fascist), Italy (Fascist), Poland (Communist), Austria (Nazi), Greece (Military Dictatorship), Argentina (Military dictatorship). In fact, our commitment to Europe allowed that area to become a growing set of democracies.
I wish you had made clear what exact period you are talking about here. Spain and Portugal continued Fascist dictatorships long after WW2 was over. In the case of Spain the death of Franco in 1975 was the beginning of the end of dictatorial control. A new constitution was adopted in 1978. It would be news indeed if the US had anything to do with this.

"During the Cold War, the United States established a diplomatic alliance with Franco, due to his strong anti-Communist policy. American President Richard Nixon toasted Franco [2], and, after Franco's death, stated: "General Franco was a loyal friend and ally of the United States[1]." After his death Spain began a transition to democracy." (Wikipedia)

So we didn't create democracy in Spain any more than we have done in Cuba. Likewise, the Portuguese changed their own government, long after WW2 and without any obvious help from the US. In fact, as the operation of our military and CIA in Latin America demonstrates, we are at least as likely to foster dictatorships that are fascist in nature as we are to oppose them. After all, they are often our only front against anti-US leftist revolutionary groups.

Who did the US support, Allende or the guy who tossed him over, Pinochet? I am not criticizing this policy, only pointing out that it seems to be true. Which was the US dog in the Iran/Iraq war? Iran, with a popularly constituted theocracy, or Iraq under Saddam? I know it is a stretch to call the Iranian government popular, but we are talking relative to Saddam here. Likewise, who are our boys in Arabia? That is right, the fellows who control the oil. I also do not attempt to criticize this policy, only point it out.

As to Poland, it was communist only because of the way Europe was partitioned after WW2. Western Germany got to remain free- everything east of here fell under Soviet domination save Tito in the former Yugoslavia, who was communist but did a pretty good job of resisting the USSR. And Austria, which the west managed to hold. During the Cold War, our policy in Europe, as in Asia and Latin America, had much more to do with containing the Soviets than creating democracy. Currently our strategy seems to be centered on suppressing violent leftist movements. Again, I am criticizing this, only trying to show that it appears to be true. The Germans were busy setting up Gestapo control and manufacturing facilities, while the Soviets perhaps seeing ahead to operation Barbarossa were trying to haul anything they could eastward into Russia.

It remains way better to spin this to the public both in USA and the rest of the world as "Crusading for Democracy".

IMO the final nail in "USA fights for the freedom of oppressed peoples" is Operation Keelhaul. Read all about it! Operation Keelhaul - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Early in WW2 Under the Soviet/German Non-Aggression pact Germany and Russia were nominally allies (remember this?) The Soviets ran the eastern part of Poland, the Germans the west. It was really rule at gunpoint, and enforced slave labor. There was never a Polish counterpart to Vichy France.

Later Nazi troops pushed the Soviets east on their way to invade Russia, thus making Poland a German slave colony. But only in the sense that it was occupied. The Poles never caved like the French- they were defeated in a brave attempt to hang on to their sovereignty.

Credit for the WW2 era rollback of fascist states needs to be shared between England, USA, and USSR, and the various brave partisan clandestine movements in the occupied countries.

If Hitler had not invaded Russia, it is not at all clear how the war might have resolved.

Actually, perhaps Japan should get some credit too for the defeat of the Fascist and Nazi states in Europe as it was their attack on Pearl Harbor that shook the USA out of their official neutrality.

Now, my position on this poll: I think defending against threats to our national borders is too narrowly defined. I think going around doing good is hopeless. Too expensive, and counterproductive. I think we should define the goal as defending our narrowly defined "National Interests." This would likely involve keeping sea lanes open, trying to keep antagonists to our interests from grabbing natural resources (Russia already has enough of that, as does Iran. And clearly it would at times involve selective foreign engagements on land.

Likely it would not include the Iraq war, at least before it was begun.

Ha
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:43 AM   #20
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Historically, the US has not had a war on its soil since the Civil War - that's why 9-11 was so traumatic - we were not used to it.

I am getting a little ahead of myself on this... I will admit.

But I have one word for governments that want to harm us or support groups that would harm us... non-nuclear fuel air bomb.

Now back to reality. Covert action (assassination, disappear in the night, anything goes to protect us), Intelligence, Economic warfare. Teddy Roosevelt style diplomacy. What ever it takes to vanquish our enemies in the shadows. War is a last resort.

The only reason Iraq was in our national interest is oil and Big oil companies. Our best action that could be taken is an aggressive project to remove our dependency on that area of the world.

As far as Israel goes... They had better learn to negotiate and how to coexist. The days of feeding off of the US because we have interests in that area of the world are ending.
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