Comments: The "Europe" flap

I knew this would be taken out of context.We don't want to vote in your elections. Nobody I know, apart from Alex, knows who John Kerry is. Some people I know don't know who George Bush is. The majority of people here really don't care.I've heard that quite a few Americans don't bother to vote either. Hell, I haven't even read the original article. I can only imagine that the author wanted to get some attention. Obviously, he succeeded! I really wouldn't pay him any attention.

It was the "we saved your asses in WWII", that we object to. That was the point Alex was making.

Also, the "you're an insignificant microbe", kind of comment doesn't help. Tell my neighbour, whose son was killed in Iraq, that his contribution was "insignificant."

Great post though. You're quite right to defend TGDITW! (You SO should have made that a trademark ;-) )

Posted by Sally at October 4, 2004 05:15 PM

Yeah Sally. I'm not responding to what Alex was talking about, I'm talking about the original article. Don't ever think that I don't appreciate the sacrifices of people from over there. It matters quite a bit.

I still agree with Alex on his points. Just because you aren't in TGDITW, doesn't mean you don't matter. I still feel like an idiot for not trademarking that statement. :^(

Posted by Johnny - Oh at October 4, 2004 05:48 PM

There is a lot of bull in the article that guy wrote but his underlying point is that your elections have a global impact - period. Your constitutional points are good but really hold no validity in the face of every government since WW2 taking on the role of "global police" whether that is a direct part of their election manifesto or not. A lot of this was to do with the idea of "never again will there be a power like the Reich" and then the fear of communist takeover of the world, but now a lot of it is to do with the idea of terrorism as a direct threat to a nation's soverignty and ideology.

If the idea of a global empire was so wrong (and it was) then the idea of one country telling or implying what other countries should do is wrong too. We should celebrate our differences rather than ridicule them - how do you know if you have it better or worse than someone else if you have no reference point to compare it against? Europeans are proud that the state can look after you if you are unable to work - but unwilling to work should be no excuse period (I am speaking as a man who has 2 contrasting brothers in law - one is a millionare who has built his engineering company up from nothing, the other is Darren the sponger who attempts to live off wife or state).

Posted by Alex at October 5, 2004 05:21 AM

Oh yes Alex. Mr. Freedland's entire point to his article is all about how much of an impact our elections have on the world scene. The more I look at the history of my country, the more I see us as a Global Policing Force, and it's very likely that we are trying to prevent another Reich or Communist Russia from coming to power. As far as I can tell, that is one hell of a good reason for doing it. That and noone else in the world seems to have the resolve or the resources to act as we do. I'd like to think that if there was another "SuperPower" out there then they would act as we do and attempt to prevent them as well, but (sadly) history shows us that when other countries reach the "SuperPower" status, they generally try to create another Reich rather than prevent one.

I agree with your sentiment that one country shouldn't be able to tell another how to act, but I believe that suggestions made by either side need to be considered. We looked at France and Germany's "suggestions" to not invade Iraq, and found them wanting, so we invaded anyway. It's not like we didn't listen, but I think that they didn't understand the whole impact the attacks had on us. They wanted to be heard, but they didn't want to listen, therefore they have no reason to whine about our actions.

As for the welfare state, I can understand how a people would take pride in the fact that they can take care of the downfallen, but it seems to me that there will always be people ready and willing to take advantage of the State's charity. I guess that it becomes a matter of scale. Determining where the line should be drawn (as a percentage of citizenry) is quite a difficult decision. In a lot of these arguments, you have me at a disadvantage as you have been able to visit the US, and I have not had the chance to come over there and observe the "ground truth" for myself. Could be I'm fulla crap, but right now it feels like I'm on to something.

Cheers my friend. Your input is always welcome.

Posted by Johnny - Oh at October 5, 2004 09:53 AM

"If the idea of a global empire was so wrong (and it was) then the idea of one country telling or implying what other countries should do is wrong too."

I disagree with this statement. I don't think there's automatically something wrong with one country trying to tell another country what to do. I think it depends on whether what they're telling is appropriate.

For example I don't have a problem with telling another country "don't drop chemical weapons on women & children". :-)

Posted by Harvey at October 5, 2004 02:21 PM

Is that why America entered WWII? When women and children were being bombed every night in The Blitz?

(Alex isn't in, so I can't ask him) Is that what swayed it? Or had the killings been going on for a while? I honesty don't know. I know this:

My Uncle had a "job", in the A.R.P where he had to find the heads of people killed in the bombings, so they could certify the people dead. Then he had to find his way home in the blackout, carefully negociating the craters in the road. He was fourteen years old.

Twice, in ten years, my Dad turned up for work only to find that the BUILDING was gone. A City building at that. And on the day he decided not to eat his lunch at Chelsea Barracks bandstand, the I.R.A blew that up.

My point is, we've been through war, and terrorism. In my lifetime, we've seen it on our own soil on countless occasions. It's been a lot better since "external" I.R.A funding dried up *cough*

Posted by Sally at October 5, 2004 04:09 PM

Ooooh! Good point Sally. I haven't really looked into The whole I.R.A. thing in any kind of depth, but I know that quite a lot of money came from the US and went over there. I'm curious. Was the flow of money stopped by your end of the pond, or by a collusion of your and our people? Know any good publications that I can read to educate myself on this further? I'll do some web searches, but I think I'd rather get my info "straight from the horses mouth".

Posted by Johnny - Oh at October 5, 2004 07:37 PM

The whole IRA thing is a mess. As a child, I picked up a few bits of information at family gatherings, (my mother is Irish), and became aware that America was providing money, and shelter. That her father fought in the British Army, then moved his family to England baffled me. I can only assume he could see the bigger picture of why we were fighting. Like Hitler would've spared Ireland...

Posted by Sally at October 6, 2004 01:39 PM
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