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Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Do Americans define themselves as world leaders determined to make this a better and peaceful world?

Asked by Dr_Lawrence (19727points) January 1st, 2010
45 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

OR
Is American as a nation determined to always be in a position to crush any opponent, real or imagined, at home or in any country in the World?

What do you want America to be?

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Answers

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes we are. And by we of course I mean me.

Berserker's avatar

If it wasn’t them, it would be someone else, like Rome was at one point.
I can’t say how they define themselves, because of the political webs and the populace underneath and the difference of opinion based on whatever the intent is or the adaptation to situation, but it won’t last forever, as history has shown more than once.

Zen_Again's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence I have to run, so I’ll make this quick: Yes, and yes. That is – though you wrote “or” – I don’t think they are mutually exclusive. If American weren’t in that position – the world would be one big Taliban – look at history, even to recent history – WW2 – when the bad guys get power, nukes etc. You can’t negotiate with a Bin Laden – so imagine if the religios Islamic fanatics (and I know not every Muslim is fanatic) were in power?

Peace, through superior firepower. May God bless America, and protect the brave soldiers fighting for peace (not an oxymoron in my book) in the Middle East.

Happy New Year to all – but expecially to Bluefreedom and the brave soldiers who are spending New Year’s far from home, in danger, fighting for every free person’s rights.

Nuff said.

ZEN OUT

SeventhSense's avatar

@Zen_Again
Zen my ass.

jangles's avatar

@Zen_Again
YA! if you dont like how america does things than you geeeeett ouut!!
the founding fathers loved empirelist regemes!
and they all believed in god! and were firmly chirstian!
we have to go to Iraq and kill because if we dont, we wont have freedom and rights!
Yall are a bunch of hippies
its like what zen said, if we werent in the position to kick everyones ***‘s and make them argree with our ideology then “the world would be one big Taliban”

who cares about africa and the genicide going on there?
america should only stick its neck on the line when we could make some money too!

jangles's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence
This question was bias to begin with. You really weren’t asking anything but just stating your Canadian isolationist opinion. What you’re referring to isn’t American, it doesn’t have a name or a country or a people. It is that ultimate product of natural selection and no moral sense of justice and complaining will stop it.
Perhaps the real question you are asking is “when will the strong stop praying on the weak for the selfish benefit of those who are strong.”

Berserker's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence When China decides to get involved.

Grisaille's avatar

The Iranian people are currently shedding their blood in the name of liberty and freedom; they have requested foreign aid throughout this year.

We stand by, nod in acknowledgment and turn to other, more interesting (and profitable!) matters.

We are neither, @Dr_Lawrence.

@Zen_Again While I share the exact same sentiment regarding overseas troops, you do realize that a weak America wouldn’t be a target? What purpose would an act of terrorism serve?

America is targeted by extremist groups because we are a strong, relatively at-peace nation: the “Shining Example.” Damaging it is damaging their what they perceive as gross deviancy from their idea of an exemplary society. Put bluntly, if we were in a position of weakness, no one would give a rat’s ass.

Moving forward:

If American weren’t in that position – the world would be one big Taliban – look at history, even to recent history – WW2 – when the bad guys get power, nukes etc.

What the hell does this even mean?

You realize we, America developed and perfected nuclear weaponry, right?

You can’t negotiate with a Bin Laden – so imagine if the religios Islamic fanatics (and I know not every Muslim is fanatic) were in power?

What the hell does this even mean?

We can’t negotiate with a nutjob, so imagine if they were in power? In power of what? America? Afghanistan?

Japan?

Nuff said.

No. I’m going to assume you’re drunk from New Year’s Eve festivities and move on.

@jangles I’d like to think you are assuming bias here. Just take it easy.

jangles's avatar

@Grisaille
I found your statement was well put.
However, i do not see how the question “Is American as a nation determined to always be in a position to crush any opponent, real or imagined, at home or in any country in the World?” isnt bias. Its a closed question to begin with (by closed i mean its a yes or no question) and because it has pre assumptions, namely that we “as a nation” are determined to always be in a postion to crush any opponent, ect.”

When one reffers to a nation we are no longer talking about just the governement or military, we are talking about the people. I do not believe that most of the people in america feel this determination. Most people in america feel that there are doing “good” and “right” in the world, in the sense that god is behind there actions.

jangles's avatar

@Grisaille
and i assure you i am taking it quite easy.

Grisaille's avatar

Negative. It’s an “either or” question, not yes or no.

He even ends the thing with a wholly more non-linear inquiry: “What do you want America to be?” This is not a closed question.

You really have to make a whole lot of assumptions to get from what @Dr_Lawrence was asking to him promoting some sort of “Canadian isolationist” agenda. As such, the rest of your post is irrelevant. There is no schism here, it’s a simple question.

jangles's avatar

@Grisaille
i am open to except that I’m wrong but you didn’t really prove it here.
I was addressing the second question not the third or the first.
and the second question is a closed question (by journalistic standards)
also either or and yes or no are pretty much the same thing.

jangles's avatar

@Grisaille
i need to clarify
either or and yes or no are the same in the context of what defines a closed question

Grisaille's avatar

“Do Americans define themselves as world leaders determined to make this a better and peaceful world or as a nation determined to always be in a position to crush any opponent, real or imagined, at home or in any country in the World?”

Try to answer “yes” or “no” to that question, @jangles.

The question is a bit wonky grammatically, but these two questions are, in fact, one whole inquiry. “Either/or” =/= “yes or no.” Ever. If someone asks you if you want an orange or an apple, are you able to answer with a yes?

Edit: Ah. Never mind, then. Yes, both forms of this question are closed questions.

Regardless, why are you focusing on one aspect of a larger question? Refusing to address the third, and probably most operative statement (such that it nullifies the closed question) and attacking the asker with ad hominems is absurd. It is, by all accounts, unfair mining of his position. The reason I’m sticking up for @Dr_Lawrence in his (I presume) absence is because I’ve corresponded with him in the past and, by my judgment, is not some sort of flippant, self-important ideological bastion. If you know something about him that I don’t – please – fill me in.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Americans are just trying to make their lives a little better for their families.

American leadership has adopted the role of Nazi to the world for some strange reason. And the American people of course haven’t the cahonies to do anything about their leadership.

Violet's avatar

Americans should not be blamed for what the government does. I do not want to be at “war”, I don’t want us occupy any county, etc etc
I would like America to be what our Founding Fathers wanted it to be. Land of the free. With liberty and justice for all (including gays).

jangles's avatar

@Grisaille
you did indeed prove me wrong
I read the question(s) incorrectly and entirely understand your point
and indeed you are correct i do not know Dr. Lawrence

i apologize.

mammal's avatar

@Violet no but you want consumer goods on tap, so you tacitly consent to the current political policy by voting with your product purchases.

Violet's avatar

@mammal um, no

mammal's avatar

@Violet um yes, don’t be silly and dismissive.

jangles's avatar

@mammal
How perfectly short and relevant.
It puts my long, drawn out and often grammatically incorrect answers to shame.

Violet's avatar

@mammal I will be dismissive, because you just want to argue, and nothing I say will be good enough for you. You don’t know how I consume. The end.

jangles's avatar

@Violet
Lets see just from reading your page, it looks like you buy sex toys
and you buy cable or some means of watching television and a TV.
You buy make up. and you obvously have a computer and internet service.
I would say that these kinds of things are kind of what mammal was talking about.

Fernspider's avatar

I don’t see how purchasing consumables determines how governments rule countries…

Violet's avatar

@jangles you’re attacking me for buying the same things you do. I’m not going to argue about this. Stop trying to pick a fight. The end.
@Rachienz thank you!

jangles's avatar

@Violet I was just speculating on what you said “You don’t know how I consume, the end”
Your consumer information is known… somewhat.

Violet's avatar

@jangles that’s fine. I’m just not going to talk about consuming when that is not the topic.

Zen_Again's avatar

Hello again @Grisaille – though we haven’t conversed in ages I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Nuff said in the sense that I had to run… sorry. I respectfully disagree with your way of thinking.

:-)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I think that @Violet has a key point in this discussion. It is Americas leaders, not the American people that have turned the US into the “worlds policeman”. Middle America is essentially isolationist and doesn’t care about the rest of the world unless the US is attacked or family/friends in the military are being killed overseas.

This is actually in line with the principles upon which this nation was founded. As a place of refuge for those fleeing the military adventurism of European powers and their constant silly wars. Our official policy in world affairs (with the exception of the Monroe Doctrine) for over half our history as a nation was that of neutrality vis-a-vis foreign conflicts.

We have not only strayed 180 degrees from the intent of the founders but are now using a “war on terror” as an excuse to strip away from our own people rights that the founders considered so obvious (privacy, among others) that they didn’t bother to enumerate them in the Bill of Rights, They could not imagine a state even contemplating such violations.

It is high time that we return to these basic principles. Heavily armed neutrality, yes. Sticking our noses into the business of other nations, no. Destroying pirates on the high seas, yes. Unilaterally interfering in the internal affairs of other nations (no matter how repugnant those internal policies may be), no. Massive retaliation for any attack on the US, yes. Occupying that nation after such a retaliatory strike, no.

Our elected representatives should be following the wishes of the people, not trying to “shape” or “manipulate” public opinion.

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Grisaille's avatar

Woah.

Don’t go bringing science fiction into this.

ucme's avatar

@Grisaille Well is he alive or dead? Who cares?

Zen_Again's avatar

@ucme – you know nothing about me because we have never spoken. You attack me personally because I defended a friend from your attacks, and that has nothing to do with my beliefs or even lends any credibility to what you say.

I am not a great sci-fi geek, and I often forget why I even used his avatar years ago and stuck with it.

You probably think I am American, too.

I have flagged your trashtalk and personal affront, and look forward to not reading your threads in the future.

ZEN OUT

Edit: I didn’t even have time to flag it, and I appreciate someone else doing so. Let me make a prediction for 2010 – ucme won’t be a part of fluther if you continue that way. There is a way to disagree with someone, and you have evidently not – or have unlearned it. Shape up, or ship out.

syz's avatar

[mod says] Differences of opinions and varying viewpoints should be discussed in a civil manner. Off topic chatter and personal attacks will be removed.

syz (35649points)“Great Answer” (1points)
oratio's avatar

I have the worst hang over, and I am eating cake. Mind the spelling errors.

America is the world leader, which in some cases has been a disaster with America actually fighting against democracy and development, in others been crucial for it. America as a people and culture should not be confused with the international politics, but in a democracy, the people do have a responsibility for the actions of their leadership, but as it is, America provides stability in the world.

To loosely answer you question, times are changing. Yes, Americas hegemony is weakening and this might be seen as both good and bad depending, but is a natural development of global simplexity, and in the end good for America too. It’s a move towards a global state of stability in international politics, economy and security. To be first, strongest and keeping down others has been a path to destruction for too many in too many places. Co-operation and equality is key to the future, and corresponds to core american values. America will continue to be one of the most prominent countries in the world, together with others.

The EU is the strongest economy in the world atm, and the Euro the strongest currency. We haven’t seen the like of China’s growth and development since the US in the beginning of the last century.

What I am trying to say here is that the world is slowly moving from a unipolar world to a multipolar world, towards a global community of “regional states” rather than national states, where there is no room for a superpower. Some of these “regional states” will be stronger, and some weaker, but there will be no one dictating the conditions. This should not be seen as a developments towards terror balances and iron curtains, but a harmonization, strengthening and stabilization of the world. This development will, and has to take it’s time, especially in Africa.

But we can see this development everywhere. There are few nations that are not part of regional FTA’s or political co-operation. The EU has taken the lead in this path and set both examples of success and mistakes as well as failures, and I find it likely that regional co-operation and development will strengthen and spread democracy in other parts of the world.

These are most of the communities from the top of my head:

Central Asia
CIS

South Asia
SAARC

South East Asia
ASEAN and Asean+3

Oceania
CER, PIF

Africa
AMU, SADC, ECCOWAS, ECCAS, EAC

Middle East
GCC

South America
USAN

The Carribean
CARICOM

Central America
CA4 and SICA

North America
NAFTA

denidowi's avatar

Well, I define myself as a world leader in many things… and I’m NOT AmericanLOL!!!
I’m Australian.

But I must admit, now that you pose the subject matter as “World Peace”, I cannot claim world leadership in that field… though, of course, hopefully, we All pray for it.
Nevertheless, upon that subject matter, note that holy writ has declared prophesy that things will continue to get worse until the Saviour returns to the earth again to Claim His Crown and claim His Kingdom.
When that occurs, total world peace shall become a Reality.

HumourMe's avatar

America thinks it can save the world. No country can.

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Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I see my question stimulated a lot of discussion. I never meant any disrespect to the brave troops who stepped up to serve their country in dangerous places overseas. They don’t make foreign policy they do the work of carrying it out.

I raised my question on the eve of 2010. New Years is a time to reflect on what we believe in and what we want for the future.

Your government is comprised of those candidates Americans put in place to do their bidding. The laws they pass and the policies they make are made on your behalf.

Many of you see a great divide between what your government does and what Americans want. Well, here is a question:

If Americans don’t get involved in the process that selects the candidates among whom they can choose when election times come around, how will things ever change?

If people keep doing (or not doing) what we have always done (or not done) then we will keep getting what we have been getting and nothing much has changed.

You changed the President and the majority party in the house but you left the Senate just short of the super-majority needed to carry out any policy. Many of the Democrats you elected are Republicans in all but name. You are still deadlocked in the past with a President with potential but little hope of moving his program forward substantially because voters voted for change but not strongly enough to allow any real change to happen. The good news is that mid term elections are coming up in November this year.

How old will you be before Americans have any real change for the better if you keep you keep electing people who serve interests other than yours?

How long can the world wait for America to lead the world by the best possible example?

But what do I know, I’m just an observer from Canada. We are that big empty country to the north where most of us vote in every election and we all have equal access to health care services. We have troops serving and dying in Afghanistan. We lost four more to a road side bomb the other day. We can’t change the world for the better without our friends and neighbours to the south.

We criticise our leaders and government all the time. Maybe our friends could try a few new things like participating in democracy actively and regularly like it matters to you and your children and the world you live in and profoundly affect for better or worse.

But what do I know? I’m just a Canadian!

philosopher's avatar

I don’t think America should be expected to fight terrorism without support from all it’s allies. I think the American people are bing asked to sacrifice too much. We could do a better job if other democracies contributed equally. We are doing too much.
The quality of life for Americans is being hurt by two Wars, NAFTA and all the out sourced jobs.
We can not save the world .America has many problems .
People have forgotten all we did during WW2 and to rebuild Europe.

denidowi's avatar

You know, it is a matter of ‘Belief’! ... not just in yourselves, as Americans, but as one nation under GOD.
If you believe in God and holy writ as given by Him, you will recall His greatest Promises and Blessings ARE to those who do His will, and look after their ‘lesser’ fellow-men.
America’s work in other countries is an act of Good will, and God has blessed America, so far, above all other nations because of its commitment to Free will and freedom to choose, and because it has guarded well, other nations.
It is obviously Tough, but overall, the blessings to the United States have proven themselves.
Now those few thoughts are from an Australian.
Many of you do us proud as human beings.
I can only say, “Keep up the good work. We need you”
You are doing something well that we cannot do as well for ourselves; and that is where you will be blessed – not only in this life, but in the life to come.
Hopefully, you believe in it!

SeventhSense's avatar

There does appear to be a divide within the psyche of the American government and its governed along military usefulness and its role in the world. Acts like 9/11 bring to the surface this existing mentality of fear which would pit us at odds with the rest of the world. But it is always there. Not ironically the proponents of the hawk like Neo Conservative solution are scant on acceptance and/or exposure to a variety of cultures or at least appear so. It’s truly easier to kill the man/woman/religion/culture who you demonize. Looking deeply takes acceptance of difference, understanding, restraint, reflection and humility.

Furthermore, many of the loudest voices of restraint were those at Ground Zero itself in New York. Many of us New Yorkers were overwhelmed and saddened by this tragedy but regardless of its impact we wanted to find solutions. To see the insanity of the aggression in Iraq left many of us speechless. And at least to me, lent more credence to the False Flag accusations about the WTC attack. Not that I am convinced that it was such an act but nevertheless, the verdict is still out for me. Especially when the nature of the subsequent aggression was so blatantly ignorant. If my government could show such an overwhelming indifference to the lives of innocent Iraqis (while avoiding Afghanistan and Pakistan), of what else is it capable? The insanity was so profound to almost have to be a set up. Yet ironically it had just enough truth to be palatable to the average middle American citizen. i.e.: A bunch of Arabs over there in the vast sand pit called the Middle/Far East hit us and now we’re taking it back to them.
And of course no one is bombing North Dakota or Nebraska so it’s easy to spin the situation.

The solution is deescalating the military complex and retooling it for true peacekeeping. We have unwittingly come full circle. We started a Revolution to escape from an oppressive miltary regime with no regard for it’s governed and we’ve become an even larger military machine with layers of insulation from the direct democracy of its governed.
@oratio
The EU is the strongest economy in the world atm, and the Euro the strongest currency. We haven’t seen the like of China’s growth and development since the US in the beginning of the last century.
This is true but historically it’s not the currency as much as access to resources which has defined empires. Currency is just a fictitious number whose basis is only the trust of those using it as exchange. And if the euro is stronger than the dollar (and it is), who is selling all their goods to the European Union and increasing their GDP as a result of these favorable exchange rates? Hint- Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Apple etc. But I do agree that there needs to be a balancing of equity both internally and internationally.

Zen_Again's avatar

I second what @philosopher said.

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