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TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 6:53:10 AM
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The media report that several countries, including Brazil, France, and Mexico, are a bit miffed because Mr. Snowden has revealed that the United States government has been reading the emails of those countries' leaders.

Of course, some commentators say that their protests are meant only to appease their own people, and that those leaders know very well that the United States will use every possible means to find intelligence.

Do you think that it is so awful that the United States "listens in" to the conversations of its friends? (Personally, I do not.)

I remember reading that our secretary of state during World War I refused to read the letters of foreign leaders. He said something to the effect of "Gentlemen do not read other gentlemen's letters." Times have indeed changed.


James
thar
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 7:07:07 AM

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Right or wrong may not be the issue here - it certainly does not seem like a good way to keep friends - and America needs all the international friends it can get.

I would agree with the WWI guy - it is plain rude to invade anybody else's privacy - and an email would be considered private communication.

On a pragmatic note - if you do that to your allies, you are showing that you do not trust them, and you do not consider them equal partners in the relationship. That is not a good basis to be trusted by them in the future.

You have to decide which is more valuable - the immediate intelligence or the long-term relationship. Personally (not speaking as a world leader) I would say the value of continued good relationships far outweighs any information obtained from bugged emails!

And even if the leaders did know - when the secret comes out, of course the leaders are not going to say "fine, I knew they were bugging me, but they are the US, the world's policemen so it is OK if they break all the rules".

If you are going to do sneaky, underhand things to your allies, you had better make sure you are a bit more efficient at keeping them secret!

(you is not 'you' personally, as an American, it is the general 'one- the party involved' - I just want to clarify that in case it looks like a personal attack!)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 7:24:10 AM

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Hi again.

Possibly your use of the word 'friends' influences my answer a bit.

If I were to find out that someone who was pretending to be my friend had been hacking my mail, I would be extremely 'pissed off' - everyone else who knew him would find out about it immediately, with a warning to change passwords, e-mail company etc. He would be reported to the Police, and whatever I could get him charged with, I would.

He would be shunned, completely, by everyone I knew.

So, if you are talking about The USA - as an ally of other countries - hacking the e-mails of it's friends, then the same thing should happen.

All diplomatic relations should be severed.

thar mentioned the idea, "... they are the US, the world's policemen so it is OK if they break all the rules".
From where comes this idea? I've heard something similar before and it does not make sense.

Either the USA is a country, like all the other countries, on equal footings - then the USA can have friends - or the USA is an international dictator, ruling by force, spying on everyone - and a dictator has no friends.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:06:59 AM
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Very interesting comments.

I was a high school and college student in the 1950's, so I just naturally took for granted that we were the top dog and that other nations should follow our suggestions because we had good intentions.

In 2013, however, I have read public opinion polls that show most Americans are tired of being the world's police officer. And in any case, sometimes it is too difficult. (You have read about the embarrassing incident in Somalia a few weeks ago: Our elite troops went into that country to capture a bad guy. But he escaped because -- according to media reports -- our elite troops did not want to do what was absolutely necessary to capture him . That is, they might have killed innocent civilians, and this would have put the United States in a bad light.)

I am also beginning to understand the rage of some people when American drones fly in and kill their citizens.

Nevertheless, some people ask, "If the United States does not take the lead, who will?" They point out that the United Nations is deadlocked all the time because of the veto power of the Big Five. (I have read that some nations in East Asia WANT the United States to beef up its presence there because they want a counterweight to China's sometimes "rude" behavior toward them.)


Thanks again for your very thoughtful replies.

thar
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:28:07 AM

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The United States had an airbase and listening posts in Iceland for 50 years because of the cold war and their need to spy on the Russians. We finally kicked them out and demolished their airbase. They are not our policemen. I, personally, do not trust their intentions or their actions. They have showed, time and time again, both stunning arrogance and unbelievable incompetence in international affairs. Sorry, that sounds harsh, but I think the Americans need to wake up to quite a common opinion from the rest of the world - except that their news coverage does not cover the rest of the world....

And we are an ally - we are in NATO (although purely financial contributions, as we don't actually have any armed forces in Iceland)- but if this is what your friends think of you....

Sorry, that is not meant to be rude, more satirical. Whistle
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:48:03 AM

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Hi again.

I should first point out that, on the subject of politics, I have heard too many 'impassioned' speeches from people who have turned out to be liars.

So I am not strongly on one side or the other, I try to look logically and ethically at things (so I tend to be a bit of a "Devil's Advocate", looking at the opposite of the view just given, to see if that will work too). If I appear to be completely opposed to you, it may well be that I'm just exploring the opposite viewpoint.

The 'obvious' point to look at in your post is "that other nations should follow our suggestions because we had good intentions".
This leads into the other thread about "dark forces" and "good" and "evil".
Whose 'good' was being promoted by the intentions of the American government? The people of the world? The people of the USA? or the Rockefellers and the other five/six multi-billionaire families?

"To go fox-hunting" is a good intention from the viewpoint of a hound, it's good exercise. It is not a good intention from the viewpoint of the fox - or the villagers whose farms and gardens were churned to mud by the horses.

I'm a big fan of Sun-Tzu when it comes to using force:
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
early_apex
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:57:27 AM

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It seems to me that everyone is assuming that emails are private to begin with. In that case, any viewing of an email by a person not on the address list is an intrusion into someone else's affairs.

Maybe the US was "helping" its allies by showing them their security vulnerabilities.

Important communications should be written on paper and sealed in a diplomatic pouch, shouldn't they?

How things operated in the 1950's comes into focus better after watching Dr. Strangelove.

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
Christine
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 10:07:54 AM

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Who knows how many terrorist plans were prevented by reading the emails.

I am carrying my heart~I am carrying my rhythm~I am carrying my prayers~But you can't kill my spirit~It's soaring and strong (Paula Cole's Me Lyrics)***We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We ARE spirtual beings having a human experience.(T.deChardin)***There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. (Albert Einstein)



Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 10:10:53 AM

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It was the e-mails of the UK Prime Minister, the Brazilian, French and Mexican Ambassadors and Presidents.

No terrorist plans were discovered in their e-mails.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:30:42 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:

It was the e-mails of the UK Prime Minister, the Brazilian, French and Mexican Ambassadors and Presidents.

No terrorist plans were discovered in their e-mails.


Ha - maybe that is what they want you to think...Anxious You never know unless you check! Whistle
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:39:00 AM

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I've always assumed that ALL governments spy on one another. It seems to me they would believe it in their best interests to do so. If true, then methinks they protest too much.

We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:43:06 AM

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Well, I had heard rumours of the Prime Minister and the French Premier plotting to plant a nuclear device under Disneyworld in Florida - but it was only rumours, and strongly denied on all sides.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
early_apex
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:58:07 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:

Well, I had heard rumours of the Prime Minister and the French Premier plotting to plant a nuclear device under Disneyworld in Florida - but it was only rumours, and strongly denied on all sides.


I do not believe that is the case. It is more likely that they are planning to infiltrate the Tea Party in order to shut down our government.

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
towan52
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 12:32:43 PM

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thar wrote:
The United States had an airbase and listening posts in Iceland for 50 years because of the cold war and their need to spy on the Russians. We finally kicked them out and demolished their airbase. They are not our policemen. I, personally, do not trust their intentions or their actions. They have showed, time and time again, both stunning arrogance and unbelievable incompetence in international affairs. Sorry, that sounds harsh, but I think the Americans need to wake up to quite a common opinion from the rest of the world - except that their news coverage does not cover the rest of the world....

And we are an ally - we are in NATO (although purely financial contributions, as we don't actually have any armed forces in Iceland)- but if this is what your friends think of you....

Sorry, that is not meant to be rude, more satirical. Whistle


I'm not sure that anything other than lip-service to honesty and integrity has ever been utilised in international relations - I personally and (probably) naively believe that this is a great shame. thar's point about US news coverage not covering the rest of the world has quite a bit of substance. It is available if you look for it, but (IMCO) network news stations are governed by the ratings' wars and their ideological outlook. Many people here seem to have a condescending and patronising attitude to other countries and pay little attention to what goes on in the rest of the world unless it directly affects them - or is of curiosity value. I generally look at the BBC and English newspapers for comprehensive world news. I also think it's a good idea to look at several sources in respect of contentious issues. It seems a lot of people here in Texas only ever look at Fox News which in my opinion would have Attila the Hun murmuring protests from his grave. Personally I never watch Fox or MSNBC because of the sure knowledge that both are skewed by their particular ideology. I'm just sayin'.

"Today I was a hero. I rescued some beer that was trapped in a bottle"
thar
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 4:46:08 PM

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I know you weren't actually disagreeing with what I said, but seeing my post there - I must admit I did make rather a sweeping statement (and from second-hand information, as I am not an American news consumer).

I am sure there are excellent US newsgatherers, and Americans who seek out a balanced world view and try to understand what opinions foreigners have of their country and government, and its actions.

As dragon commented, the more impassioned the cry, the less unbiased the view - and I would not like to be guilty of exactly the same thing I am complaining about! Shame on you
Luftmarque
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 7:47:42 PM

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It's the ugly face of "exceptionalism."

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
excaelis
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 10:10:46 PM

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TheParser wrote:


Of course, some commentators say that their protests are meant only to appease their own people, and that those leaders know very well that the United States will use every possible means to find intelligence.


James



Well, they can cross the Tea Party and Hollywood off their list.

Sanity is not statistical
Hope2
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 12:52:18 AM

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excaelis wrote:
TheParser wrote:


Of course, some commentators say that their protests are meant only to appease their own people, and that those leaders know very well that the United States will use every possible means to find intelligence.


James



Well, they can cross the Tea Party and Hollywood off their list.


Exy - (miss you when you aren't on to give me my nighttime laugh.)
Applause Applause Applause

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 5:28:14 AM
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thar wrote:
We finally kicked them out and demolished their airbase.



But, Thar, if the Russians had attacked Iceland, you could have counted on NATO's protection.

Surely, there was some good to having an American base there.

(If I am not mistaken, the United States plans to establish a naval base in Australia. And I hear that the Philippines are thinking of asking the Yanks to return -- in light of China's recent provocations in that area. Oh, and without American protection, there would be no democracy in Taiwan. And don't forget: President Obama's threat to bomb Syria scared Russia into forcing Syria to confront its chemical weapons. Surely, the United States deserves SOME credit for doing good!)

*****


Another poster pointed out that intelligence is absolutely necessary to stop terrorists. The horror of 9/11 must be prevented by any means, say some people. That is why some (many?) people may be willing to accept government snooping here at home. There are a lot of very bad people out there. They have already killed scores of people here, but the United States government will not label their acts as "terrorist." (I am thinking of that Army psychiatrist who murdered about a dozen soldiers. It's just called "workplace violence," perhaps because the government does not want to involve his religion in the case.)


So I guess that this listening to friends and enemies will continue to go on. It's up to those nations to work harder to keep their secrets secret. (I read somewhere about Russia being so concerned about this matter that it was -- in some instances -- resorting to good old pencil and paper to transmit certain information!)


*****

Yes, of course, I never watch MSNBC, because as one of our comedians said, it is, in reality, the headquarters of the Democratic Party. But I feel that FOX NEWS is getting a bad rap. I watch it because it gives the news that other channels (and newspapers) will not report because the news is not politically correct.

James
thar
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 5:38:43 AM

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TheParser wrote:
thar wrote:
We finally kicked them out and demolished their airbase.



But, Thar, if the Russians had attacked Iceland, you could have counted on NATO's protection.

Surely, there was some good to having an American base there.
James


Yes, we joined NATO, we joined a group to protect each other. I just think the US seems to forget the difference between working with allies, and thinking they know what is best for everybody. It is the attitude that gets them into trouble. Hence the OP!
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 9:27:42 AM
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The old saying about walking a mile in another person's shoes comes to mind so often when I read these discussions. I wonder if the kinds of persons who honestly do subscribe to the idea of America as 'the world's policeman', 'the greatest country on earth', 'the country that saved the world' etc. ever try to reverse the situation and consider how the rest of the world looks upon them?

Parser, you say you were brought up in the fifties when, you assume, it really was true that the rest of the world looked up to the USA. Did it never strike you that, of all the Allies, America was the one so untouched by the war that it was able to jump into the gap and forge ahead while everyone else was only just dreaming of economic recovery? In other parts of the world people were trying to re-build towns, cities, infrastructures that had been razed to complete rubble.The were still on rations. They were trying to find lost friends, sons, mothers. So of course America, where everything was bright and modern and shiny and untouched, looked like some sort of Nirvana. Your supermarkets and gadgets and lifestyle were the envy of millions. Your 'Red under the Bed', cold wars, persecution of 'commies', adventures in Cuba/Korea/Vietnamn etc. etc. that held the rest of the world up to ransom? Well, not so much.

But do you not also think how much resentment existed as well? You said to Thar that you would have thought his country would have been happy to have their ally, the USA, plonked down in his country... because that guaranteed help if things with Russia went awry? That the USA would stand by their 'friend' and give protection?

Well, to return to a previous thread of yours...can't you see how the lessons learned in two world wars about the USAs role as an ally, forever colours views?

Right. You built ammunitions plants, and vehicles and equipment but, if you were to make a study of history you might find out that the USA has not exactly been particular about where those armaments and equipment go...and it does do wonderful things for American economy.(In other words, this was not a 100% ultruistic move).

But...in two world wars, when the rest of the allies respected the fact that an alliance binds one country to another, one particular ally sat back (at least in the eyes of those who were dying and fighting) and went on with business as usual. You said you had read that Winston Churchill wanted America on-side? Well that's kind of a no-brainer, isn't it? Alliances are made so that allies help each other. Of course Churchill wanted you guys in: that's where, in the eyes of everyone, you were supposed to have been from the get-go. No-one else hung back and kept on making and breaking promises. They all got in there - even from places so far away in the world they'd never even heard of Poland.

Can you blame Thar's and other countries around the world for not finding the idea of American 'help' particularly convincing? Nor for realising that wherever there are American bases there is planned American aggression? Who welcomes that, do you think? If we, the British, were to decide to go and plonk ourselves down in, say Hawaii, how would you feel? If the Australians took it into their heads to build a base in Texas, or the French in California - for your own protection, of course - would you look upon us as heroes?

Hey, we're your allies, though. Surely we'd be doing some good?

As to the OP? So far, I have only heard people from the USA saying they see nothing wrong with it, or that those who oppose it are protesting too much, or that shucks, everybody does it.

Out of sheer curiosity I would like to see how many posters from countries outside the States share that opinion?
thar
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:27:06 AM

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Applause Very well put, Romany.

In fact, your idea of foreign bases on American soil - I had to read it twice to really take in the idea, the relationships are so solidified and codified as being so one-sided. Applause
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:30:45 AM

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As an example of the British attitude to the Americans in the late 1940s (as reported by my mother, who was in her thirties at the time - while my dad was in France, I think).

"They're overpaid, over sexed and over here."

A 1952 view:



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:43:19 AM

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And, not to get into the whole debate about communism, because it is massive, depressing, emotive, murky, and I wasn't there... but did the 'communists' actually invade any non-communist countries, before Afghanistan? (correct me if I am wrong).

Yes, they kept a vicious hold on Eastern Europe, with military invasions, but they were in the communist bloc. Yes, they schemed and 'aided' communist rebels, and backed popular communist takeovers in Vietnam, Korea, Cuba... but invasion? I know the forces camped out on either side of the Rhine for years, but, looking back as an observer now, McCarthy did more damage to Americans' lives than did any soviet tanks. The communists were certainly not the good guys (especially not to their own people, I mean talk about paranoid!) - Stalin was a genocidal maniac and some of the others weren't much better. But nobody came out of that era with a shiny halo, frankly. Two big dogs faught obsessively over an ideological bone, and the rest of the world suffered.
towan52
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:00:13 AM

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TheParser wrote:
Yes, of course, I never watch MSNBC, because as one of our comedians said, it is, in reality, the headquarters of the Democratic Party. But I feel that FOX NEWS is getting a bad rap. I watch it because it gives the news that other channels (and newspapers) will not report because the news is not politically correct.

James


Is it remotely possible that you watch Fox News because it says what you like to hear? My aged father reads the UK's Daily Mail and trusts and repeats what it says as gospel truth. He says that he likes what it prints. I have always been a "news-hound" and was surprised to hear the Fox catch-line "We report, you decide" seemed to me it was more like "We decide what to report and how to report it". I also dislike CNN's "Your most trusted news source" - no it isn't! Quality media does not need catchphrases - it's content speaks for itself. Having said that, they all make mistakes and get things wrong in the rush to be first. Validation, confirmation and journalistic integrity are frequently sacrificed to the Gods of exclusivity. As I mentioned in my previous post, multiple sources encourage objectivity. I'm just sayin' Think

"Today I was a hero. I rescued some beer that was trapped in a bottle"
early_apex
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 12:21:05 PM

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towan52 wrote:
TheParser wrote:
Yes, of course, I never watch MSNBC, because as one of our comedians said, it is, in reality, the headquarters of the Democratic Party. But I feel that FOX NEWS is getting a bad rap. I watch it because it gives the news that other channels (and newspapers) will not report because the news is not politically correct.

James


Is it remotely possible that you watch Fox News because it says what you like to hear? My aged father reads the UK's Daily Mail and trusts and repeats what it says as gospel truth. He says that he likes what it prints. I have always been a "news-hound" and was surprised to hear the Fox catch-line "We report, you decide" seemed to me it was more like "We decide what to report and how to report it". I also dislike CNN's "Your most trusted news source" - no it isn't! Quality media does not need catchphrases - it's content speaks for itself. Having said that, they all make mistakes and get things wrong in the rush to be first. Validation, confirmation and journalistic integrity are frequently sacrificed to the Gods of exclusivity. As I mentioned in my previous post, multiple sources encourage objectivity. I'm just sayin' Think


Well, then, if you want to add a variety of sources, Fox News does supply variety.Whistle

You are right about the rush to exclusivity. Add to that, there does not seem to be much negative backlash for any news source who publishes corrections a day or two later.

We all naturally seek out sources that validate the opinions we have about the world, and it takes some effort to read or watch sources with a different world-view, but I agree it is healthy to do so.

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:11:44 PM
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Thank you, EVERYONE, for your heartfelt feelings. I do think that many Americans would be astonished by these sentiments coming from Europeans. They expect such sentiments from other continents, but not from our European friends.

As a fan of journalism, I have always been astonished by the resentment expressed by some Brits toward the Daily Mail. I never read it (the Guardian -- online -- is the only British paper I scan), but I have heard that some British really, really detest it. I have heard that the main complaint against it is that it sincerely feels the high level of immigration is not good for the cultural integrity of England. (I believe that some Americans have the same sentiment about the massive immigration into this country.) I do NOT believe, however, that having that point of view means that the Mail should be detested. (P.S. I have read that "everyone" agrees that Mr. Dacre puts out a very professional product, indeed. That is, from a journalistic point of view. It is, they say, very well edited and is a very attractive product.)


James
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:55:25 PM

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Hi James.

I'm not a fan of either the Guardian or the Mail.

The thing is that they are both party-political and partisan.

The Mail is excessively "Tory", right wing. Nothing but sarcasm will be written in the Mail about any centre or left-wing politician or policy. If you happen to be left-wing, you will hate it.

The Guardian is left-wing, not quite so bad, but definitely.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
early_apex
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 1:58:22 PM

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Romany wrote:

.
.
.
Can you blame Thar's and other countries around the world for not finding the idea of American 'help' particularly convincing? Nor for realising that wherever there are American bases there is planned American aggression? Who welcomes that, do you think? If we, the British, were to decide to go and plonk ourselves down in, say Hawaii, how would you feel? If the Australians took it into their heads to build a base in Texas, or the French in California - for your own protection, of course - would you look upon us as heroes?

Hey, we're your allies, though. Surely we'd be doing some good?
.
.
.


Interesting thought, Romany, I hadn't looked at it that way. I am ambivalent about Hawaii, but the French can have California, as far as I am concerned. Wouldn't mind having some Aussies down in the valley to help us with the illegal immigrants.

"Shut up, she explained." - Ring Lardner
IMcRout
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 2:44:29 PM

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I am sick of it.

It is not only that American "institutions" (and the British GCHQ, as well) have control over exchange of emails - most servers are in the US and transatlantic communication passes the UK, making it easy to observe anything that comes along -, they have also checked each and every financial transaction along the SWIFT system, not just suspicious ones and, by doing this, have violated international treaties. NSA, CIA and consorts have bugged embassies, consulates and conference rooms of allied nations, in- and outside the USA. This is even against American law. Mr Snowden is not a traitor, he has acted in the spirit of the American constitution.

I see what members of the Tea Party do and say and feel that they are still fighting last year's election.

I read that 60 per cent of the white voters voted for Mr. Romney, a candidate who was dropped by his own party before the final results were even published.

I hear that a vast majority of Americans still does not believe in global warming and that to a large extent it is due to human influence. A fact, by the way, that 95 per cent of all scientists acknowledge. I remember a similar reaction when the risks of smoking became known and the big tobacco companies bought a few scientist to 'prove' the opposite. Let's ask ourselves whose interests are endangered by the protection of the environment?

I read - even here at TFD - that a considerable number of Americans still deny the theory of evolution and that in some states Darwin's books are even banned from public libraries. Yes, of course it is a THEORY, but so many of its suggestions have been proven, that I simply cannot understand so many people holding tight so desperately to their old beliefs.
This is a kind of Christian fundamentalism that I feel is almost worse than some aspects of Islamic or other forms of fundamentalism.

I still love that country and (most of) its people, by they make it very difficult to do so at times.

End of rant.

EDIT

I've just read that even Mrs Merkel's cellphone has been subject to snooping and she has complained about this with the President.



I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
towan52
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 3:26:28 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 1,730
Neurons: 176,188
Location: Midland, Texas, United States
TheParser wrote:
Thank you, EVERYONE, for your heartfelt feelings. I do think that many Americans would be astonished by these sentiments coming from Europeans. They expect such sentiments from other continents, but not from our European friends.

As a fan of journalism, I have always been astonished by the resentment expressed by some Brits toward the Daily Mail. I never read it (the Guardian -- online -- is the only British paper I scan), but I have heard that some British really, really detest it. I have heard that the main complaint against it is that it sincerely feels the high level of immigration is not good for the cultural integrity of England. (I believe that some Americans have the same sentiment about the massive immigration into this country.) I do NOT believe, however, that having that point of view means that the Mail should be detested. (P.S. I have read that "everyone" agrees that Mr. Dacre puts out a very professional product, indeed. That is, from a journalistic point of view. It is, they say, very well edited and is a very attractive product.)


James


The Daily Mail has evolved over the last two decades or so into a strident and utterly predictable voice of right wing politics - or as we Texans say "conservative". Before then it was a reasonably fair-minded and well-written medium - all IMCO. Now it is really the Tory equivalent of the Mirror. I've been away a few years so I don't know who the Sun favours this month. Of course there's always this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGscoaUWW2M


"Today I was a hero. I rescued some beer that was trapped in a bottle"
Luftmarque
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:47:32 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/17/2009
Posts: 3,120
Neurons: 30,222
Location: Pau, Aquitaine, France
Romany wrote:
Parser, you say you were brought up in the fifties when, you assume, it really was true that the rest of the world looked up to the USA. Did it never strike you that, of all the Allies, America was the one so untouched by the war that it was able to jump into the gap and forge ahead while everyone else was only just dreaming of economic recovery? In other parts of the world people were trying to re-build towns, cities, infrastructures that had been razed to complete rubble.The were still on rations. They were trying to find lost friends, sons, mothers. So of course America, where everything was bright and modern and shiny and untouched, looked like some sort of Nirvana. Your supermarkets and gadgets and lifestyle were the envy of millions.

Exactly so Romany. And there is a universal tendency for people who have benefited from some advantage or another (inherited wealth; being born in a stable, wealthy, at-peace country; genetic endowment) to ascribe their resultant success to either their own efforts or their virtue. Then, perhaps, later on, when those advantages are negated (the war-ravaged countries rebuild, coincidentally using a later generation of technology superior to that still in use in the undamaged country; the fortunate country over-reaches, imagining it can control the rest of the world with a bloated unsustainable military budget; the population over-consumes, under-saves, loses touch with the value of education and science, becomes enamored of vacuous entertainment) they wonder who did it to them. Must be the evil-doers. Best to spy on everyone, you never know who could be hatching a plot.

}- Luftmarque لوفتمارك -{ Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde.—Voltaire
Hope2
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 6:04:03 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/6/2012
Posts: 4,909
Neurons: 16,769
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Apparently some folks did not set a wireless baby cam correctly and someone hacked it. The perp could see and hear the baby in its crib. Not sure exactly how dangerous that was but would you like that to happen to you? (The parent quickly fixed the situation and called the media to warn others not to be as stupid as they were.)

Would you want even your best friend to read everything you write? Some spouses don't even share, although we find that to be strange.

So no. I don't want anyone spying on me even though I have nothing to hide.

Is it time to get over the trauma of 9/11? I am only surmising, but perhaps if the intelligence reports received had not been dismissed so easily and departments had talked to each other instead of being territorial, it might have been prevented.

The terrorists of 9/11 were angry young men with a grievance against the United States. One of my US friends at the time said to me that the States needed to smarten up and stop creating this anger in other countries. I thought she might have a point.

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
Maryam Dad
Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 7:15:53 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/13/2013
Posts: 676
Neurons: 3,419
Drag0nspeaker wrote:

It was the e-mails of the UK Prime Minister, the Brazilian, French and Mexican Ambassadors and Presidents.

No terrorist plans were discovered in their e-mails.


I wouldn't be surprised if their goal is to gain economic advantage over their friends.



I wonder if Snowden was a Chinese revealing Chinese secret spying activity. He would be hailed as a world hero, with Nobel Prize to his name.

"And the sun and the moon are brought together --" (Al Qiyamah: 9)
towan52
Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 10:22:39 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 1,730
Neurons: 176,188
Location: Midland, Texas, United States
TheParser wrote:
Thank you, EVERYONE, for your heartfelt feelings. I do think that many Americans would be astonished by these sentiments coming from Europeans. They expect such sentiments from other continents, but not from our European friends.

I would venture that these sentiments are directed toward the governments and administrations of the USA, not the people. It may be that the arrogance mentioned in an earlier post is part of an entrenched "Washington Ideology" that is little changed by the nature of congress. I have now been in the US for very nearly ten years (have an honors degree in political science from the University of Texas)and I agree that with James that "many Americans would be astonished..." but it comes from a combination of unfamiliarity with world affairs and an irrational belief in "American Exceptionalism". All countries from Albania to Zambia are exceptional in one way or another. I have a genuine affection for most Americans I meet (including one in particular whom I married) but, to quote someone who, I believe, did irreparable damage to the US (Ronald Dumbsfeld), we don't know what we don't know. By that I mean insufficient education, ineffective news media and a rather parochial outlook on life. Generalisations are often inappropriate and the forum members here are much more open to ideas than "the average bear" - otherwise they wouldn't bother to be members! One of the members (Hope2) has a Churchill quote: The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter shows that governmental arrogance is an international trait. I often hear and see the words "they don't like Americans" usually used to describe a whole nation - well put on your big-girl/boy panties and grow up. Nations do not "like" or "dislike" they are full of people who make decisions based on the information provided to them. A problem or opportunity that is pretty much universal. As always, I'm just sayin'.

"Today I was a hero. I rescued some beer that was trapped in a bottle"
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