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Understanding America and the Bush administration

 
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 11:42 am
Here I am posting two reviews of Anatol Lieven's book..."America, right or wrong. One is somewhat critical of the book and one is supportive.......you decide:

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
An Exceptional Book for Americans to Consider, January 2, 2005
Reviewer: David W. Southworth (Alexandria, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
Anatol Lieven has written an exceptional book that should be read by anyone concerned with the direction this country is going in, and more importantly, why it is going in such a radically conservative one.

Lieven focuses his book on the American Thesis and Antithesis. The American Thesis, also called the American Creed, is the quasi-religious belief in democracy, freedom and individuality, and the universality of those beliefs. In other words, America is a special country, the shining "City on the Hill," and the "New Israel." And anyone who wants to come to this country, works hard, and strives to succeed will almost certainly be able to.

The Antithesis is just that, the opposite of the American Creed. The Antithesis is the irrational fear of others, paranoia, and overt aggression and violence that grip many Americans when they are under attack, real or perceived. This view is often viewed through the lense of an idealized, often mythic, American past, before foreigners were allowed to come into the country and pollute its land. Whether it was Irish Catholics 100 years ago or Muslim American today, the paranoid fear of others could have ugly manifestations.

The one weakness of this book, in his discussion of Israel's place in America, Lieven spends too much time discussing the details of the Israel/Palestine conflict. While valuable, it does not fit with the flow of the rest of the book.

This book should be read by all who are curious about American nationalism and its relation to the rest of the world. This is an important book, and should be widely read.



What natioanlism, March 11, 2005
Reviewer: Seth J. Frantzman (Jerusalem, Israel) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)
This book tries to 'uncover' the 'shadow' parts of American 'nationalism' trying to show how the natioanlism that speaks of good things like democracies is really a hidden hatred of others. It is an interesting diagnosis and one most anti-americans and self hating americans are sure to agree with. The problem is that their is little historical evidence of either, neither has america been a nationalist country(compared to the natioanlism of fascism or the nationalism of Nasser) and neither has america given undue suspicion to foriegners, only being suspicious of those foriegners who come to America with the intention say of flying airliners into buildings.

The author doesnt take into account that after Sept 11th most of the voices in America were ones blaming america, and that almost every academic in america beleives America is evil. It is an interesting kind of natioanlism when the elites of the country hate the country, its actually an 'anti-nationalism'. One might consider the outocmes of a terrorism attack on say Iran that killed 3000 people to see what the normal response would be.

The books diagnoses of how america is suspicous if foreigners is also interesting as it is incorrect. The prime examples he looks at is Muslims after 2001 and Catholics in the 1860s, and no doubt he gets the second example from the film "Gangs of New York". Unfortunatly the suspicion of foriegners is one result of having a coountry made up 98% of non-natives. But is America more suspicous then other nations? The data would show thatin fact america is the most accepting and least suspicous of all nations in the world.

The books last flaw is its drawing a parrellel with Israel. If the books original thesis, that america is hateful towards foreigners, was true then it would also logically apply that Jews as foreigners would come under the 'hated' category. Thus either the points about america's alliance with Israel(and england) are either false or the idea that america hs undue suspicion is false. Any anti-american or ameriphobic european will enjoy this book.


Seth J. Frantzman
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 11:57 am
GeorgeOB1

Thanks for your carefully worded response........I see that we share the perception of many of todays realities. I have developed a great respect for your writing ability and your clarity of thought. I will look forward to reading your comments here on this excellent and quick responding forum. I have found no other forum where the responses are so rapid and demanding of careful wording.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 11:57 am
Quote, "The Antithesis is just that, the opposite of the American Creed. The Antithesis is the irrational fear of others, paranoia, and overt aggression and violence that grip many Americans when they are under attack, real or perceived. This view is often viewed through the lense of an idealized, often mythic, American past, before foreigners were allowed to come into the country and pollute its land. Whether it was Irish Catholics 100 years ago or Muslim American today, the paranoid fear of others could have ugly manifestations." The ab ove quote pretty much summarizes my thinking on this topic.
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 12:05 pm
C.I.

You have confused me in your response: Are you saying that you identify with the "Anti-thesis" .... or.....that you recognize it in others and are revolted by it? It is important to me that I understand precisely what you mean.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 12:14 pm
The American reality of today combines both Antithesis and the American Creed which confuses more than clarifies what we are all about to the outside world. The paranoid fear of others has taken its toll in this country; during WWII, Japanese Americans were put into concentration camps, and when the war in Iraq was initiated, Muslim/Arab Americans lost their Constitutional Rights. If our Constitition is to mean anything, those are faiilures of our government and people of this country,
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 12:36 pm
C.I. Wrote;

<The paranoid fear of others has taken its toll in this country; during WWII, Japanese Americans were put into concentration camps, and when the war in Iraq was initiated, Muslim/Arab Americans lost their Constitutional Rights>

You are correct that Japanese were put in concentration camps in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Was the attack a treacherous sneak attack?.....Yes. Was the response more of an involuntary survival tactic as a part of human nature or a calculated nationalistic retaliation against an ethnic minority........I will not speculate here.....you tell me.

You also wrote that after 9/11 all Muslim/Arab Americans lost their constituional rights. I was not aware of that........are you certain you are correct?
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 12:46 pm
Cicerone, I believe that if the "outside world" is confused, it is because it chooses to be confused. We are not and have not been perfect in any of this. However, we have been a decided improvement on the prevailing standards of the "outside world" , and is is simply a common lie to imply otherwise.

Our internment of the Japanese Americans in California had many things about it to be regretted. However it was quite benign compared to the contemporary actions of other nations during that unhappy, war-filled period. The treatment of Koreans, Chinese and the occupied people of the Philipines and Singapore by the Japanese; the voluntarty transport of their Jews to extermination camps by the Vichy government of France; the mass exterminations practised by Nazi germany and by the Soviet Union; the treatment of Lybians by the italians, and of Algerians by the French, and of the peoples oif their Mideast and Indian empire by the British -- all of this was far worse than what we did. If the "outside world" is disposed to see only our imperfections then the problem is there and not here.

In addition your reference to the supposed removal of the constitutional rights of Moslem Americans is both exaggerated and inaccurate. We have given the government certain specific investagative powers which, though they involve a stricter interpretation of constitutional rights than prevailed before 9/11, are fully in accord with the limits in the Constitution. Moreover much stricter rules were applied during our Civil War, and during WWI and WWII. There is nothing new or unusual in any of this.

It is easy to mislead by a selective rendition of facts separated from the context in which they arise.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 12:47 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
The American reality of today combines both Antithesis and the American Creed which confuses more than clarifies what we are all about to the outside world. The paranoid fear of others has taken its toll in this country; during WWII, Japanese Americans were put into concentration camps, and when the war in Iraq was initiated, Muslim/Arab Americans lost their Constitutional Rights. If our Constitition is to mean anything, those are faiilures of our government and people of this country,


Ok,what constitutional rights did they lose?
Which one of these amendments was or is being denied to Muslims in this country...

Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


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Amendment II - Right to bear arms. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


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Amendment III - Quartering of soldiers. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


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Amendment IV - Search and seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


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Amendment V - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


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Amendment VI - Right to speedy trial, confrontation of witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.


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Amendment VII - Trial by jury in civil cases. Ratified 12/15/1791.

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


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Amendment VIII - Cruel and Unusual punishment. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


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Amendment IX - Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.



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Amendment X - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


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0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 12:49 pm
Here's one; "Amendment IV - Search and seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 12:51 pm
Here's another, "Amendment V - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 12:54 pm
Another, "Amendment VI - Right to speedy trial, confrontation of witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 12:54 pm
Oh, hell, you wouldn't understand any of this anywhos.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 12:55 pm
I do wonder, though, if you read anything you post?
Or better still, if you "UNDERSTAND" what you post?
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 02:18 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
I do wonder, though, if you read anything you post?
Or better still, if you "UNDERSTAND" what you post?



Who, exactly are you addressing C.I.?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 03:26 pm
mysteryman seems to be the one questioning my opinion with his posting of our Constititution.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 05:44 pm
I am questioning your claim that Muslim Americans lost their rights under the constitution after 9-11.
That is a blatantly false statement on your part.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 06:22 pm
February 27, 2003
U.S. Racial Profiling Must Stop, Says Civil Rights Group
OneWorld US

The oldest and largest civil rights coalition in the United States has demanded that police and other authorities put a stop to the practice of racial profiling, which they said has expanded since September 11, 2001, from targeting African American and Hispanic groups to include the nation's Muslim communities.


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Alison Raphael, OneWorld US

WASHINGTON, D.C. Feb 27 (OW-US) - The oldest and largest civil rights coalition in the United States has demanded that police and other authorities put a stop to the practice of racial profiling, which they said has expanded since September 11, 2001, from targeting African American and Hispanic groups to include the nation's Muslim communities.

"Racial profiling was wrong before September 11 and it is wrong today," said Wade Henderson, executive director of Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), at the launch Thursday of a report offering evidence both of widespread profiling and the ineffectiveness of such profiling as a law enforcement tool.

The LCCR report comes exactly two years after President George W. Bush (news - web sites) condemned racial profiling and announced that it must stop. But his pledge to terminate the practice was lost in the aftermath of September 11.

Among the cases cited by the report was that of African-American Harvard law-graduate Robert Wilkins who, along with members of his family, was stopped and searched while driving a rental car by Maryland police on suspicion of a drug-related offense. Another case involved an African-American advertising executive subjected to a body search when returning to the U.S. from Jamaica.

Statistics collected in Maryland during the late 1990s revealed that 70 percent of those stopped on highways by police were Black, although only 17.5 percent of drivers registered in the state were Black. Evidence of similar trends--in New York and New Jersey, for example--began mounting during 1999 and 2000 when the U.S. Customs Service was also found to be searching a disproportionate number of Black women, ostensibly for drug-related activities.

In February, 2001, both Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) spoke out publicly on the need to end the practice altogether. "[It is] wrong and we will end it in America," Bush told Congress.

The following June, two Democratic lawmakers introduced the "End Racial Profiling Act 2001" in Congress, forbidding the practice and authorizing lawsuits by individuals who claimed they were targeted along racial lines. The legislation did not pass, and after the terrorist attacks three months later there was a new onslaught of profiling, this time of those thought to be Muslim.

LCCR's report finds numerous cases of unwarranted arrests and harassment of people of Middle Eastern appearance, such as the seizure of an Amtrak passenger wearing a turban on September 12, 2001, and the arrest the same month of Ali al Maqtari, husband of an American servicewoman, who was held in jail for more than seven weeks without any evidence to substantiate the charges against him of violating immigration laws, beating his wife, and conspiring with Russian terrorists.

The report compares the current targeting of Muslims with the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, saying that these are both examples of "what can happen when fear of a distant enemy and irrational responses erode core constitutional values."

The thinking underlying much racial profiling, says the LCCR report, is based on false beliefs, for example, that minorities commit the majority of drug-related crimes. The report challenges this idea and finds that, for example, drug use among Black youths is consistently lower per capita than among White youths.

The report also points to a December 1999 study in New York that found that "hit rates," or the rate at which random stop-and-frisk actions result in an arrest, were higher for White people than for minorities as part of the evidence that racial profiling is not an effective law enforcement tool.

To counter myths that link crime and the nationality or ethnicity of an individual, the report recommends a series of measures ranging from public education on profiling and more diversity within police ranks to an outright ban on race-based profiling at all levels of law enforcement that is legally enforceable, including by victims. Citizens should be able to take out an injunction against racial profiling agencies, according to the report, but not sue them for financial damages.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 06:25 pm
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 06:49 pm
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 06:57 pm
"38 Muslim Americans" were detained... It would seem to me, at least, that this is racial profiling pure and simple. These are American citizens return from Canada. I find racial profiling of Muslim Americans disturbing on the face of it. Yes, I want our country to be vigilant against terrorists, and every precaution taken, but Muslim Americans are not terrorists. We have white Americans that have caused terrorism in this country. Not all white Americans are checked at the border through racial profiling.
0 Replies
 
 

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