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Why must the USA always be blamed for the horrible actions of others? Options
Chazlee
Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2018 11:08:21 AM
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The recent news out of Iran is horrible. At least 25 dead people, and 53 wounded, but it is not 100% certain at this time who is to blame. However, America's enemies, of which there are more and more these days due to the Twitter King's tenure in office, seem to always want to lay blame at the doorstep of the USA. According to one article posted online, Iran "immediately blamed the attack on regional countries and their "U.S. masters...." What an idiotic statement to make when this attack just happened and the evidence is still being collected.

When 911 happened in America, government officials did not immediately point fingers at any one country. It is unfortunate that all other countries, especially nations which have the questionable history that Iran has, do not follow this same strategy.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iranian-state-tv-gunmen-attack-parade-several-casualties-061405630.html

“I regret that the press treats me so badly.” Donald Trump.
RuthP
Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2018 2:42:22 PM

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First of all, you need to look at your source. This is Iranian State TV. They are playing for the local effect, in Iran. This is propaganda. Do recognize, too, that the U.S. has done nothing to improve relations with Iran, and much to worsen them since Mr. Trump became president. Recognize we do the same thing in reverse here, else why ban Arabs, Muslims, people from seven countries . . . or whatever our current concern is? (Note Iranians are not Arabs.) And, finally, we have a long history in Iran that makes us a very convenient bogeyman, starting with the overthrow (1953) of a democratically elected, parliamentary government and the installation of a monarchical dictator, Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran.

You may also wish to consider investigating the broader background of the U.S. in the Middle East. I suggest starting with Wikipedia, though the article only goes as far back as circa WWII. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_foreign_policy_in_the_Middle_East#Coup_attempt_(2016) US foreign policy in the Middle East.

For one look at why the US has had so much trouble acting effectively in the Middle East, you might consider our lack of understanding of the various factions of Islam, the histories of empires (European and Middle Eastern), and our willingness to intervene for our own short-term advantage with little thought to people in an area. We have a history of active interventionism. We also reap the harvest of a more general Western colonial intervention in many areas of the world, Mid-East among them. For a less monolithic view of the Middle East, a view of Islam which is far more nuanced than portrayed in the West, and how we came to misunderstand and how this contributes to Western errors in dealing with the Middle East, try The Idea of the Muslim World: A Global Intellectual History, by Cemil Ayadin

For a beginning on some of the more general issues in history, try Lawrence of Arabia's War: The Arabs, the British and the Remaking of the Middle East in WWI, by Neil Faulkner. Pay attention to Sykes-Picot, and recognize that the US (with the President of the 14 points and the necessity of self-determination) refused to argue on behalf of Arabs, who had been promised self-determination prior to / in the early stages of the war. (President Wilson was a racist. He had no concerns for the colonial subjects of any European empire, this is true not only in the Mid-East, but also Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.)

For a more contemporary look from another angle, try Desert Kingdoms to Global Powers: The Rise of the Arab Gulf, by Rory Miller.

Also in a more contemporary vein, look at the Six-Day War. Great-power politics internationally (US / USSR) resulted once more in short-sighted local interactions. The US and the USSR played their games with relatively little care for the effect on the citizens of the area. The Six Day War: The Breaking of the Middle East, by Guy Laron. A good companion to this, though not focused on the Mid-East is The Pentagon's Wars: The Military's Undeclared War Against America's Presidents, by Mark Perry.

Does any of this say the Middle East would be peaceful without the US? No. The area has been a hotbed of conflict for over four thousand (let me say that again: over four thousand years. The largest problem the US has is we keep sticking our collective nose in without, apparently, much of any idea about how things work. We have not caused all the troubles. We certainly instigated some and contributed to more (including the rise of ISIS/ISIL and strengthening the appeal of radical Islamic terrorism). We have done little effective to help.

We, as I said, make a very convenient bogeyman. We do little or nothing to help ourselves in the long run. We show little to no respect for the people of the area, neither to what should be their right to self-determination, nor to the tragedy most of the people living in the midst of conflict are experiencing.
thar
Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2018 4:05:00 PM

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Very cogently put, RuthP!
Hope123
Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2018 4:58:05 PM

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thar wrote:
Very cogently put, RuthP!


Agree.

"Do the people you care about love you back?" Warren Buffett's measure of success
Chazlee
Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 1:57:57 AM
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Joined: 7/24/2016
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RuthP
I think I should have given more thought to what I was writing before I posted my comments. In my haste to voice an opinion upon something which had just recently happened in Iran, I left myself vulnerable to appearing as if I had no idea about why an official in Iran would make an anti-American statement. Having personally witnessed physical fights which occurred in the streets in the 1970's between some Middle Eastern gas station owners/employees and some Americans who were upset about long lines at gas stations because there were US government restrictions being imposed which only allowed gas to be purchased on certain days of the week, I am indeed well-aware of the longstanding animosity between the two countries.

In my post, I was not really referring only to the statement made by an Iranian official. I was speaking more in general terms, but based on what I had written and the fact that I was using as a source an article about the tragedy in Iran, I can see how I caused my post to be misunderstood.

As for your offering a link to Wikipedia to learn more about the history between the US and Iran, I will respectfully decline to visit it since there are so many better sources available. I offer the following articles to you.

One is from Newsweek: https://www.newsweek.com/us-iran-relations-regime-change-revolution-wars-middle-east-768384

Another is here: https://www.npr.org/2017/10/18/558477261/cokie-roberts-on-the-history-of-u-s-relations-with-iran

This one goes back a few years, but I found it to be interesting, and you may like it as well: https://www.brookings.edu/on-the-record/the-persian-puzzle-u-s-iran-relations/

Peace. Chazlee.









RuthP wrote:
First of all, you need to look at your source. This is Iranian State TV. They are playing for the local effect, in Iran. This is propaganda. Do recognize, too, that the U.S. has done nothing to improve relations with Iran, and much to worsen them since Mr. Trump became president. Recognize we do the same thing in reverse here, else why ban Arabs, Muslims, people from seven countries . . . or whatever our current concern is? (Note Iranians are not Arabs.) And, finally, we have a long history in Iran that makes us a very convenient bogeyman, starting with the overthrow (1953) of a democratically elected, parliamentary government and the installation of a monarchical dictator, Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran.

You may also wish to consider investigating the broader background of the U.S. in the Middle East. I suggest starting with Wikipedia, though the article only goes as far back as circa WWII. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_foreign_policy_in_the_Middle_East#Coup_attempt_(2016) US foreign policy in the Middle East.

For one look at why the US has had so much trouble acting effectively in the Middle East, you might consider our lack of understanding of the various factions of Islam, the histories of empires (European and Middle Eastern), and our willingness to intervene for our own short-term advantage with little thought to people in an area. We have a history of active interventionism. We also reap the harvest of a more general Western colonial intervention in many areas of the world, Mid-East among them. For a less monolithic view of the Middle East, a view of Islam which is far more nuanced than portrayed in the West, and how we came to misunderstand and how this contributes to Western errors in dealing with the Middle East, try The Idea of the Muslim World: A Global Intellectual History, by Cemil Ayadin

For a beginning on some of the more general issues in history, try Lawrence of Arabia's War: The Arabs, the British and the Remaking of the Middle East in WWI, by Neil Faulkner. Pay attention to Sykes-Picot, and recognize that the US (with the President of the 14 points and the necessity of self-determination) refused to argue on behalf of Arabs, who had been promised self-determination prior to / in the early stages of the war. (President Wilson was a racist. He had no concerns for the colonial subjects of any European empire, this is true not only in the Mid-East, but also Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.)

For a more contemporary look from another angle, try Desert Kingdoms to Global Powers: The Rise of the Arab Gulf, by Rory Miller.

Also in a more contemporary vein, look at the Six-Day War. Great-power politics internationally (US / USSR) resulted once more in short-sighted local interactions. The US and the USSR played their games with relatively little care for the effect on the citizens of the area. The Six Day War: The Breaking of the Middle East, by Guy Laron. A good companion to this, though not focused on the Mid-East is The Pentagon's Wars: The Military's Undeclared War Against America's Presidents, by Mark Perry.

Does any of this say the Middle East would be peaceful without the US? No. The area has been a hotbed of conflict for over four thousand (let me say that again: over four thousand years. The largest problem the US has is we keep sticking our collective nose in without, apparently, much of any idea about how things work. We have not caused all the troubles. We certainly instigated some and contributed to more (including the rise of ISIS/ISIL and strengthening the appeal of radical Islamic terrorism). We have done little effective to help.

We, as I said, make a very convenient bogeyman. We do little or nothing to help ourselves in the long run. We show little to no respect for the people of the area, neither to what should be their right to self-determination, nor to the tragedy most of the people living in the midst of conflict are experiencing.


“I regret that the press treats me so badly.” Donald Trump.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 5:51:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 691
Neurons: 3,483
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Chazlee wrote:
The recent news out of Iran is horrible. At least 25 dead people, and 53 wounded, but it is not 100% certain at this time who is to blame. However, America's enemies, of which there are more and more these days due to the Twitter King's tenure in office, seem to always want to lay blame at the doorstep of the USA. According to one article posted online, Iran "immediately blamed the attack on regional countries and their "U.S. masters...." What an idiotic statement to make when this attack just happened and the evidence is still being collected.

When 911 happened in America, government officials did not immediately point fingers at any one country. It is unfortunate that all other countries, especially nations which have the questionable history that Iran has, do not follow this same strategy.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iranian-state-tv-gunmen-attack-parade-several-casualties-061405630.html


I agree. Blaming a party before a thorough investigation is carried out and facts are exposed is always very harmful and counterproductive.
(1) It helps to hide real perpetrators.
(2) It undermines in the minds of the public the very notion that we should always come down to who exactly does evil / provocative things. Something happens, the next minute a TV head tells them who's to blame. It's an obvious manipulation technique. That of course only exacerbates conflicts and never helps to resolve them.
Ursus Minor
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 6:57:51 AM

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When Phillip Marshall described his understanding of 911 in a book he was killed together with his kids and the dog.
No use pointing fingers at any other country.
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 7:39:19 AM

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Ursus Minor wrote:
When Phillip Marshall described his understanding of 911 in a book he was killed together with his kids and the dog.
No use pointing fingers at any other country.


The passive "he was killed" is spinning. Furthermore, the book may or may not be connected to his death.

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Ursus Minor
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 7:46:32 AM

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Hope123 wrote:

The passive "he was killed" is spinning.



Hope, I am still learning English. What does the word 'spinning" mean?
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 9:39:39 AM

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Ursus Minor wrote:

No use pointing fingers at any other country.


I think the mistake is in using the word "country".

Even in small countries, let alone giants like the U.S., there are very different people with very different agendas.

It is not "countries" that act in the world. It is organized groups of people united by common interest and/or common ideology. So just saying "It is America" or "It is Russia" is misleading in itself. Who exactly in America? Who exactly in Russia?

So I think it is important not to generalise beyond the group that is really responsible for an action. And "a country" usually describes a way too generalised group..
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 10:21:41 AM

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Ursus Minor wrote:
Hope123 wrote:

The passive "he was killed" is spinning.



Hope, I am still learning English. What does the word 'spinning" mean?


Don't worry Ursus Minor. It is not that you are just learning English. It is recent "politicese".

Spinning in its proper sense means making fibres into yarn or thread. The fibres may be twisted together.

Now in politics it means twisting news to make it seem to be in a certain way to fit the point of view one is proposing. I don't know where the use started or how widespread it is.

I meant here that using the passive voice without saying who did it makes it seem like a conspiracy theory - that someone in the US (or you mentioned country - so even the country US, that is the government) killed him when in fact it was ruled suicide. Did I misunderstand what you were saying?

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Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 10:38:36 AM

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Kirill wrote: So I think it is important not to generalise beyond the group that is really responsible for an action. And "a country" usually describes a way too generalised group..

Agreed. We are all individuals with individual notions. And even if one puts themselves into a larger group, one does not always agree with everything the group stands for.

However, in the sense of the OP, does country not mean government? In elected governments that could even mean some of the people who voted for that government are implicated as well if they knew the platform before they voted.



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Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 4:45:34 PM

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Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
Something happens, the next minute a TV head tells them who's to blame. It's an obvious manipulation technique.

A TV head blaming someone the next minute after something happens is not a big deal. The worst thing is when it is the head of the spokesperson of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the head of the speaker of a country’s parliament. I mean Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, and Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s parliament, who both blamed “the Kiev regime” of killing the leader of the so-called Donetsk Republic Zakharchenko just a few hours after his death.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 4:53:07 AM

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Hope123 wrote:

However, in the sense of the OP, does country not mean government?



I don't know who they meant, this is another problem with inappropriate generalisation.

Quoting the OP: "Iran "immediately blamed the attack on regional countries and their "U.S. masters...."

So they could have meant any influential group in the US that has the technical / financial ability to back such an operation, not necessarily the government. Let alone the fact that governments are not monolithic either, apparently the US government included.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 4:57:46 AM

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Helenej wrote:


A TV head blaming someone the next minute after something happens is not a big deal. The worst thing is when it is the head of the spokesperson of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the head of the speaker of a country’s parliament. I mean Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, and Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s parliament, who both blamed “the Kiev regime” of killing the leader of the so-called Donetsk Republic Zakharchenko just a few hours after his death.


I agree, Russia is by no means immune to this.

I do not agree though that TV heads don't matter. Unlike you and me (unless you are a media starAngel ), those people have the priviledge to impose their views and "picture of reality" on millions of other people, thus manipulating minds and "managing" various processes including conflicts. So what they say does matter, and it is a big deal. This is unfortunate, because owners and managers who control media giants are not elected representatives, they are just private individuals, and yet their position gives them enormous power over societies.
Helenej
Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 5:17:34 AM

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Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
I do not agree though that TV heads don't matter.

Neither do I. It was a bit of exaggeration. Just to highlight facts when senior officials publicly try to manipulate public opinion.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, October 1, 2018 10:44:19 AM

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Despite the realities - what is actually happening in these middle-east countries in this case - it is a matter of PR and 'image'.

I'm sure it's not helped by announcements from the media and /or government, but I think that Ruth P has the answer fairly well tied up.

If American people had been in the area, getting to know the locals, helping out (really helping individual people) then no matter the black propaganda, people would not listen. They would know that American people were OK.

However, when the only contact people in the area have had with America has been "help" which really amounted to destructive interference; "Peacekeeping Forces" who appeared to cause more fighting than they stopped; and tourists who acted aloof, argumentative and aggressive - they're going to listen to the bad stories.

It's the same as happened with the British Empire - the 'mad dogs and Englishmen' never got to know the people of India and Africa. The Founding Fathers never bothered to learn the ways of the Sioux and Cherokee.

Probably the Middle East would be in pretty much the same state without all the American interference, but at least America would not be blamed for it all.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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