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Understanding America and the Bush administration

 
 
physgrad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 07:36 pm
hi

Sorry for dropping out earlier..a few pages ago..but spring break beckoned..

I believe that the current discussion is racial profiling? I guess we would all agree that arresting people or holding them to different standards before the law based solely on race, seems unjust.
However, if that distinction is based on more than race, as in reports of suspects who fit a certain profile, then isn't extensive searching at borders or other checkpoints reasonable? To make myself clearer, suppose the police are looking for a particular african american entering/leaving the country, then isn't it logical for them to verify the identity of other other african americans entering/leaving? Or would you rather they extensively search hispanic americans in the hope of finding their suspect. It seems a more practical approach as opposed to a blanket search which becomes a lot more time-consuming and a lot less thorough.
Ofcourse I agree with CI, when he implies that it is incorrect to deny rights on the basis of race, but a search at the border, based on intelligence information, wherein, the main purpose seems identity verification, is hardly a civil rights violation.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 07:40 pm
No, I'm a racial minority in this country, and I do not complain if any airport security officer takes precautions to make sure I'm not a terrorist or wanted for some crime. Usually, these people will have some profile of the "INDIVIDUAL" they are looking for - not some wholesale race of people. Out of the 37 detained, that is racial profiling - not terrorist profiling.
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physgrad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 08:04 pm
hi

But the intelligence covered the meeting that they had just been to. They were searched and their identities were verified as they had just attended the meeting. The fact that they were all american-muslims has to do with the nature of the meeting they went to, the procedure is after that fact.

If their is evidence to suggest that the meeting was rendered suspect solely due to religious profiling then you have a valid case for racial profiling.
In the absence of such evidence, the border patrol was just doing its job and acting upon received intel, which grouped the people based on where they had been, as opposed to who they were.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 08:07 pm
In my mind, our intel that concluded that the meeting in Canada "might be" a terrorist meeting is speculation without one ounce of merit. It either is or it isn't. In my mind, it isn't until proven otherwise.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 08:09 pm
I don't find it any different than a group of Asian Americans having a meeting in a public hall in Canada, and as we tried to return was detained for quesitioning for the sake of "security." It's called racial profiling, and it's wrong.
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physgrad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 09:14 pm
If the classification of the meeting was, as you say, without an ounce of merit, then I agree with you, it was racial-profiling, and that is wrong.

But, I will try and see if there is any information about the classificaion.
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 10:03 pm
"Racial profiling" is a cant phrase that on closer inspection treally doesn't have any meaning. In the first place race is not a well defined term. There are large numbers of people in this country of every skin shade from white to black. Many "whites" have skin as dark as many who consider themselves as "black". In the end these terms don't have much meaning. If the police have reason to believe a certain criminal has blonde hair they will properly look for suspects with that characteristic (with proper consideration of the possibility of cosmetic changes.). The Moslems in this country come primarily from Lebanon Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Morocco and Nigeria. This involves a reather considerable variety of himan types. Considering that so far an Islamic terrorist is not likely to have a generally Scandanavian aspect I see no reason why we should not use that obvious fact in screening people when that is required.
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oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 10:04 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
oralloy wrote:
We can be the leader of the free world and an empire at the same time, IMO.


Interesting that you use these terms synonymously.

What about the freedom of those nations, who belong to your empire?


We are a different sort of Empire because we also value freedom and democracy.

Countries do not belong to us. They are merely influenced by our power, and occasionally invaded to install a more reasonable government.
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oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 10:06 pm
rayban1 wrote:
oralloy wrote:
rayban1 wrote:
What is there about wanting the same freedoms we have for the rest of the world, that makes us the imperial Empire? What's wrong with the WANTING even though we know it's not realistic?


I don't think "wanting it" is what makes us the Empire. It is that we use our muscle to achieve it.


Oralloy
You seem to concede to Steve that we are and want "Empire". Empire to me has the implication that we want to seize, control and exploit other countries permanently for our benefit only.


No such implication was intended. I am using a broader definition of "empire" than you are using.
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oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 10:09 pm
rayban1 wrote:
Of course being nationalistic makes us dangerous because nationalism equates to evil as in Nazi Germany.


I do not think that nationalism equates to evil or to the Nazis.

It can be evil, or Nazi-like, but it doesn't have to be.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 10:12 pm
georgeob, Your anthropological classification of "race" is correct, but your assumptions about the treatment of race in this country stinks. You're lucky you are not dark or black, because they have the largest chance of being stopped by cops in this country - mostly law-abiding citizens. It's nice that you're in the "majority" group, but your outlook on the treatment of minorities is lacking. FYI, dark does not mean terrorist by any stretch of your imagination. The problem is that our security system thinks the same way you do.
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oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 10:13 pm
georgeob1 wrote:
Here Steve makes a very revealing admission. In his view we have an empire merely because we have global reach and the ability to enforce our will.


That is much how I define the term "empire" as well.



georgeob1 wrote:
Never mind that we do it only selectively, and


We're going to be a little less selective now, post 9/11.
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oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 10:25 pm
Steve (as 41oo) wrote:
oralloy wrote:
The desire to bring freedom, democracy, and free trade to the world is genuine in the American people.


I'm relieved the American people do not wish to bring slavery, despotism, and tariffs to the world.


Laughing



Steve (as 41oo) wrote:
What do these noble ideas mean in practice?


Ideally we'll have a world filled with democratic countries, and a global marketplace where everyone can trade freely.

To get there, we may need to do a few more "Iraqs" in select locations, strengthen free trade treaties, and strengthen organizations like the WTO.



Steve (as 41oo) wrote:
You say you are not being complacent anymore? What shocked you out of that complacency? 9/11?


Yes.



Steve (as 41oo) wrote:
so you were shocked by a monstrous crime, an act of war against the United States, into bringing freedom democracy and free trade to the world. Doesn't follow in my book.


The thinking is: the lack of freedom and democracy in the Middle East has lead to dissatisfaction in those countries, which leads to recruits for the terrorists.

By bringing freedom and democracy to them, we create a situation where most Arabs are more interested in leading middle-class lives than they are in killing us.
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oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 10:32 pm
rayban1 wrote:
I would like to continue the discussion about the premise the author makes that Americans are nationalistic and therefore dangerous to the global community.


I haven't seen anything from the book to imply that the author says we are dangerous to the world community.



rayban1 wrote:
He further suggests that Europe has progressed beyond Nationalism into Regionalism and therefore have risen to a higher level of sophistication than "ignorant" Americans.


I've also seen no claims that changing from nationalism to regionalism is progress, or a sign of greater sophistication. Just that it is a change that happened.

I also haven't seen any claims that Americans are ignorant.

But I've not read the book beyond the excerpts quoted here.
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rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 10:45 pm
oralloy wrote:
rayban1 wrote:
Of course being nationalistic makes us dangerous because nationalism equates to evil as in Nazi Germany.


I do not think that nationalism equates to evil or to the Nazis.

It can be evil, or Nazi-like, but it doesn't have to be.


Oralloy

I agree with you that nationalism does not necessarily equate to evil and Nazism but I believe that was the author's inference.
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rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 10:54 pm
oralloy wrote:
rayban1 wrote:
I would like to continue the discussion about the premise the author makes that Americans are nationalistic and therefore dangerous to the global community.


I haven't seen anything from the book to imply that the author says we are dangerous to the world community.



rayban1 wrote:
He further suggests that Europe has progressed beyond Nationalism into Regionalism and therefore have risen to a higher level of sophistication than "ignorant" Americans.


I've also seen no claims that changing from nationalism to regionalism is progress, or a sign of greater sophistication. Just that it is a change that happened.

I also haven't seen any claims that Americans are ignorant.

But I've not read the book beyond the excerpts quoted here.


Oralloy have you read this:

Under the administration of George W. Bush the United States drove toward empire, but the domestic political fuel fed into the engine was that of a wounded and vengeful nationalism. After 9/11, this sentiment is entirely sincere as far as most Americans are concerned, and it is all the more dangerous for that. In fact, to judge by world history, there is probably no more dangerous element in the entire nationalist mix than a sense of righteous victimhood. In the past this sentiment helped wreck Germany, Serbia and numerous other countries, and it is now in the process of wrecking Israel.
(Introduction...page 1-4)

There was no literal translation to "ignorant" but to me that was the inference.
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rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Mar, 2005 11:21 pm
Oralloy

To further clarify my position I borrow a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt:

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country."
-- Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th President of the United States (1901-1909)

True nationalism voiced and acted upon by any American would indeed equate to.......America, Right or Wrong. You would have witnessed large demonstrations supporting Bush and the Neocons and inviting all non-supporters of the Gov't to leave by the next boat. Instead what sort demonstrations did we see? You saw only demonstrations critical of the Gov't which is in fact the antithesis of Nationalism.

There was a strong show of patriotism as evidenced by massive contributions for the survivors of the towers, the Pentagon and the flight that crashed in PA. No where did you see massive demonstrations that would equate to those of the Brown Shirts in Nazi Germany. Americans did not and do not spend much time analysing the philosophical differences between Nationalism and Patriotism therefore those that want to define the difference and who want to make an issue of it or often uncontested. Therefore, it is easy for America haters such as Michael Moore proclaim to the world........ that Americans are the most ignorant citizens on the Planet.

My profound opinion is that both Anatol Lieven and Michael are dead wrong about Americans.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2005 04:55 am
Oralloy said :-

"By bringing freedom and democracy to them, we create a situation where most Arabs are more interested in leading middle-class lives than they are in killing us."

Sounds great. Who do we attack next? Sorry who do you attack next?

You know I could almost buy into this. But as ci has been saying you can't impose democracy from 30,000 feet.

Well the Great Day has come at last, I am now in possession of Lieven's book. Hope it has a happy ending.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2005 05:03 am
Hey Walter if you're still following this thread...help

First words of The Great Book are in some foreign language

quote

Zwei seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Brust.

What can it all mean? Looks like I'm going to need help not only with big words, but big words written in...


no its ok he's flipped back into English for the rest of the book. Phew! nearly £15 wasted.
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Francis
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Mar, 2005 06:21 am
Steve (as 41oo) wrote:
Zwei seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Brust.


in meine Brust auch :wink:
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