I have come across a rather refreshing take on the U.S. and Britain foreign policy. Th author points out that countries like Pakistan and others in the middle east like to do a lot of blaming and not enough taking responsibility for their own ills.

Honestly I think he nails it on the head here. When are we going to stop letting them lay it all on the west?

 

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Or England where the Queen is the principal head of the Churches of England and Scotland.
Heather, I won't try the holier than thou approach to refute you, rather the pragmatic approach:

- The US is the de-facto ruler of a world empire at this moment, and has been for over 60 years. As such, it is the most benign (by far) empire ever to have existed on Earth.
- As a world empire, the US controls the world economy - much to the chagrin of those who predicted that Russia, then Japan, then China, would overtake the US. Keep dreaming.
- As a world ruler the US faces, every now and then, problematic countries, who want to rebel. Their rulers need to be effectively and summarily crushed, so that the country continues playing ball.
- When countries play ball, they are rewarded (free trade agreements, etc). Carrot-stick approach.

This has led the world to a great detente, which has seen the world's arguably most prosperous patch in history, since 1950 onwards.

To think that if the US "stepped down" from their current position, the world would be a better place, is laughable and completely naif. I repeat: laughable and naif. To work, this would assume that all 6 billion people on earth and their leaders would all of a sudden become apolitical and not wanting to fill in the US's shoes. As if that wouldn't happen: in no time there would be a struggle to occupy the void. And this is forgetting all the muslim loons that want to convert us all to Islam.

To think that the US could continue exerting its economic power without the political power is also naif.

So this is why I am so but so very happy that the US is spending so much money per year in keeping itself, and by extension the rest of the civilized world, free of loons and tyrants.

Heather, what would be your alternative to the US world domination? Tell me.

First off, the 'most prosperous patch in history' that you are referring to happens to represent the history of the petroleum economy - an economy based on an easily extracted and transported commodity that provides a surrogate for a huge labour force.

 

Secondly, the U.S. has in fact kept plenty of tyrannical governments in check, and if that could continue perpetually then we could sit back and watch global government coalesce.  The problem is that isn't going to happen because we are well over half way through the prosperous patch provided by petroleum.

 

Thirdly, keeping tyrannical governments in check has resulted in a cultural dependence on an unsustainable daycare program.  If the cultures in unstable countries do not evolve to the point of shrugging off their own tyrannical governments, that is exactly the system that will return when daycare funding runs out: when the petroleum runs out.

 

Forth, although diplomacy does not get us the instant gratification we desire, it is by far a more sustainable system of daycare that actually fosters cultural evolution in these unstable countries.  The desired results of such diplomacy will take at least a century but that century does not start until that reliance on diplomacy commences.

 

Finally, as petroleum depletes, western economies are going to become very dependent on alternative energy infrastructures.  Those infrastructures will be the prime target of all nations who, being without those infrastructures, will believe (justifiably) that their energy resources were stolen in order to create them.  The nightmare that that will create will make our current turmoils seem like a walk in the park.

 

I have not, in this thread, suggested that U.S. world domination should be terminated - so you've missed the entire point.  The means of domination, western domination, are unsustainable.  My alternative is not to that domination, it is to the strategy, and that alternative is diplomacy over unsustainable military interventions.

 

I've already stated that this is a 100 year long process - but so is occupation of the middle east.  Diplomacy, however, is sustainable for that hundred year plan.

 

 

Why do you play OLD Christopher Hitchens' stuff when he now says he was naive back then and his viewpoints have evolved dramatically and do not reflect that video?
Provide direct evidence of a single claim made by Hitchens about this video.  You never base your opinions on facts, just your dogmatic beliefs.  What's it like to be a theist to instinct?

Heather, look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves

We have currently 54 years of PROVEN reserves. And by the way, guess how many oil reserves were discovered in 2009? TWO HUNDRED.

 

I am afraid "peak oil" is as bogus as AGW... 

Perhaps you could learn a bit about the calculations here:

http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles/blogs/the-rule-of-72-and-doubling

Furthermore, you mentioned that this prosperous period began in the 1950s, so given 54 more years of proven reserves, then we are in fact exactly at the half way point - where did I say we were?  Just past the half point?
That is arguing for argument's sake... It is "peak" if we don't discover a single oil reserve more, ever... and we are discovering around 200 a year!

Another bogus argument from the scare crowd.
I see you either didn't read about the rule of 72 and doubling time you you just can't comprehend the math.  For 54 years of remaining petroleum there needs to be growth of under 1% per year in consumption - but China has only just stepped up to the trough alongside other petroleum importers.  If growth in consumption moves above that 1% mark, even to 2% or 3% then discovering new oil fields just won't cut it, we'll need to find a new planet with all the oil reserves we started with to push past those 54 years.  We either need to keep the consumption rates in check or watch those 54 years get cut down, and if you can't understand math then I cannot help you.

- The US is the de-facto ruler of a world empire at this moment, and has been for over 60 years. As such, it is the most benign (by far) empire ever to have existed on Earth.

 

Benign, in what respect? Human rights, say? Sure. But what we have here is, primarily, an economic empire - and when it comes to diverting resources (especially non-renewable ones) from other countries for its own good, the US is the less benign (by far) empire ever to have existed on Earth.

It may look cynical to put human lives and mineral ores on the same footing, but let's face it - had the Roman Empire plundered the planet as well as enslaved its inhabitants, we wouldn't notice the effects of the latter today. But we sure would notice we live on a depleted world.

Interesting conversations.

 

How about we don't blame the west or the east but we do try to take a historical look at the cases of "American imperialism" and take responsibility for it. I think that's what several people in this thread have been doing. Of course they may be jealous of us for our prosperity, but for our freedom?

 

As the worlds only empire, we have to take responsibility. We pick and choose which regimes to support and take out. Based on what? In Syria the murder of civilians is arguably far beyond Libya, but we sit on the sidelines? It's hypocrisy.  But this has been the status quo for the US for years. Let's begin with the genocide of the American Indian, which still has not been full acknowledged,  and go from there.

 

Alejandro, the US may not step down, but may by default lose its position as a hegemony. Things are going from bad to worse in this country and our course is not sustainable.

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