Skip to comments.Americans Aren't Interested in the World's Problems
Posted on 02/18/2014 5:11:03 AM PST by Second Amendment FirstEdited on 02/18/2014 5:14:38 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
Last week, several events took place that were important to their respective regions and potentially to the world. Russian government officials suggested turning Ukraine into a federation, following weeks of renewed demonstrations in Kiev. The Venezuelan government was confronted with violent and deadly protests. Kazakhstan experienced a financial crisis that could have destabilized the economies of Central Asia. Russia and Egypt inked a significant arms deal. Right-wing groups in Europe continued their political gains.
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearworld.com ...
I think if the news media was interested, the American people might be. But as it is, the news doesn’t even mention this stuff. I suspect it really isn’t that we aren’t interested. I think that the LIVs don’t even know about it.
The dumbing down of America continues. We will pay a heavy price for our ignorance and disinterest.
I can say with near certainty that with the possible exception of the Kasakstan financial problem, all the other stories were presented on Fox News
If only we could convince the people who spend our tax dollars and soldiers’ lives to feel the same way.
Obama’s goal is the destruction of America.
His success in that effort helps diminish American’s concern in foreign affairs.
Our reduced involvement further diminishes our standing in the world.
Observe our support for anarchy in the mid-East and undermining allies like Israel.
I have a lot of interest in the rest of the world.
I was very concerned for instance when I revisited France and England about 10 years ago only to discover that they had both been over-run with Muslims.
But what can I do about it? I can’t even stop my own government from committing cultural suicide by stopping to flood of illegals here, what the heck am I going to do to talk sense into liberal hell holes in Europe.
The West seems to have lost he will to live. I am almost to the point of wishing the Germans had won World War 2. At least they wouldn’t have let this happen. And on a recent visit to Germany I noticed to stark difference between it and France and England, it was still clean as a whistle and full of... Germans *shock*
Not a day goes by on CSpan that someone calls in a claims that the solution to our economic problems would be solved by eliminating foreign entanglements, especially military operations.
In a way, I agree. We’re broke. In order to provide monies to foreign governments, we have to borrow it ourselves.
You are exactly correct. Americans don’t even understand or know crucial facts about their own country or what made us free and what keeps us free. We have the educational system and the media to thank for that..I know many here do not like Bill O’Reilly and he often provokes me but last night he explained a big part of the problem..Take a look.
For decades, we have been the world’s defender, subsidizer and caretaker and have been ridiculed, hated, terrorized and had our citizens murdered in return for our generosity and bravery.
Americans are just tired.
What has our interest in the world’s problems gotten us?
What price will Americans pay in the long term? Probably no more than the most isolated of all regimes in the world, that of North Korea.
This self enforced isolation adopted by the governance now in place in the territory once known as “the United States of America”, if it remains for more than a very few more years, shall be forced to turn to much the same means of compliance that has been so warmly embraced by the inhabitants of North Korea.
The People’s Republic of China is not advancing so much by their own bootstrap efforts, as they are being aided by the not very strategic retreat by the Current Regime now squatting in the White Hut.
We are committing cultural suicide from our LEGAL IMMIGRATION policies. We bring in 1.2 million LEGAL IMMIGRANTS A YEAR, 87% of whom are minorities as classified by the USG. The vast majority come from the Third World.
In 1970 one in 21 was foreign born; today it is one in 8, the highest level in 90 years; and within a decade it will be one in 7, the highest in our history. We have just had the two highest decades of LEGAL IMMIGRATION in our history.
We now have close to 45 million foreign born in this country. Immigrants, legal and illegal, use the welfare system to a much greater degree than the native born. We are importing poverty and we are changing the demographics of this country rapidly. By 2019 half of the children 18 and under will be minorities and by 2043 half of the country will be minorities. Demography is destiny.
I’d be happy if our media wasn’t desperately trying to direct our attention elsewhere while our own country burns.
I can say that after the last 12 years or so I really don’t care what happens outside our borders and we have wasted so many young lives and capital pissin’ in the wind in the dark places of the world.
If the Germans won, we would not have Israel. I fear the Muslim problem would only be worse without that important ally. And the Germans alligned with the Muslims. Methinks it would be a nasty picture.
We live in a world interconnected by trade. Our economy and jobs have strong reliance on exports.
Knowledge of customers is important
There is an appropriate reassessment of the role the United States should have in world affairs. Recent intrusions into the internal affairs of foreign countries have been disastrous. Foreigners will take our money and offer to fight their local enemies but in the end bitterly resent American efforts that “teach them how to live” or order their culture. They view it as the worst form of cultural imperialism. The United States is resented and American security is lessened. Ronald Reagan had an image of America being this moral, just, prosperous city on the hill for others to admire and mimic. That may be the way to go. Let others mimic us, but never have America intrude or impose. Foreign entanglements should only be initiated if and only if the actual security or real interests of the United States are at stake. Of course liberals and socialists will argue that the world is “one” and international intrusions and a diminution of American nationalism is a good and necessary thing. Yet one only has to reflect on the spectacle of that jet lagged gasbag narcissist Kerry pontificating around the globe, accomplishing nothing and making new enemies daily.
No kidding, A little Reaganesque restraint would go a long way.
I think the low information Americans are disinterested. Conservatives are spending a lot of energy working to rebuild and reclaim what has been destroyed and stolen by the decades of Progressive rule.
Interfering in anything and everything is not.
We are the third most populous nation in the world. We have global interests including economic, trade, and national security. We can't isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. If we fail to lead, then we can expect things to happen that will threaten our interests. For example, if the Middle East were to descend into chaos and war, the flow of oil would be affected and that would have a disastrous impact on the global economy, of which we are a part. What happens in Europe, Japan, India, and China affects us. Not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan.
This self enforced isolation adopted by the governance now in place in the territory once known as the United States of America, if it remains for more than a very few more years, shall be forced to turn to much the same means of compliance that has been so warmly embraced by the inhabitants of North Korea.
We are not in self-enforced isolation. We are just not leading and shaping events to protect our national interests. We are just reacting to events and only acting when there is no other choice. We are reactive rather than being proactive.
The topic is knowledge. Deliberate ignorance is a poor way to live.
Isolationism is a piss poor outlook
Maybe people are just sick and tire of paying trillions of dollars for the dubious honor of having a global leadership role?
The dumbing down of America continues.
Indeed. Unfortunately you could do interviews like this almost anywhere in the country and witness similar levels of ignorance:
Afghanistan? Iraq? So what should have been our response to 9/11 or the takeover of Kuwait by Iraq or the bombing of our embassies in East Africa or the attack on the USS Cole? How do we deal with Iran, the world's biggest state sponsor of terrorism and on the verge of becoming a nuclear power? How do we respond to China's expanding military and economic power? Or the rise of militant Islamic fundamentalism?
Specifically, what foreign intrusions are you talking about?
Germany has its own Muslim problem: tens of millions of `guest worker’ Turks that have been there for decades & never assimilated, plus the usual infusion of North Africans, Palis & Pakis.
You have to travel to Eastern Europe to find anything like a Wall of Resistance against the muzzie invasions.
This is nothng short of a seismic shift in our demographics. The cultural consequences of this uncontrolled immigration will prove to be profound and very disruptive IMO.
WE DON”T HAVE ROOM OR ANY MORE PEOPLE!
There are water shortages in California this year... did you know that the average person uses 100 gallons of water a DAY! that means that the 20 million illegals alone here consume 2 billion gallons a day or 7.3 trillion a year or... enough water in 5 years to drain Lake Tahoe completely!
And that's just WATER! Think of all the extra power that must be generated to provide to them! That means extra power plants and more pollution!
Our resources are not infinite! We can either save what we have left for ourselves and OUR children, or we can swing the doors wide for every legal or illegal foreigner or ANY color and watch our children shiver in the cold wishing for water.
THAT is our destiny if we don't stop this insanity now!
Environmentalists should be on OUR side!
Someone needs to put up a
sign at all our borders.
There are more people turning to fox. The young have never been news watchers unless they were in a 1 tv house. Not gonna happen today.
Many Americans aren’t interested in anything of substance or anything that requires critical thinking or anything that requires them to act responsibly.
Oh there are just a few futilities that come to mind. What was the purpose of the prolonged nation building commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan and the huge material and human sacrifices that went with it? Ever consider that the attempt to introduce or impose Western values to these places in itself gives rise to “Islamic fundamentalism”? What is the purpose of the United States aiding and abetting political Islamists in in Syria? Can or should the United States attempt to influence evolving Asian affairs far from our shores. Should not the Asians themselves work out a consensus and balance? If wealthy South Korea cannot stand on its own, then more American treasure and sacrifice is not the answer. If nations choose downward spiraling economic socialist or quasi socialist debt producing systems, why should the American worker be expected to provide rescue capital? Finally just where to you recommend sending brave young Americans to die and just how is the security of the United States enhanced?
[95-98% summary of the news we hear, sung to one of his catchiest tunes]
I was siting home alone one night
In LA, watching old Cronkite
On the seven o’clock news.
It seems there was an earthquake that
Left nothing but a Panama hat
And a pair of old Greek shoes.
Didn’t seem like much was happening
So I turned it off and went and got another beer.
Seems like every time you turn around
There’s another hard-luck story that you’re gonna hear.
And there’s really nothing anyone can say.
And I never did plan to go anyway
To Black Diamond Bay.
First and foremost we are doing this out of our own self-interest. We have the world's largest economy thus a vested interest in the global economy. We are the indispensable country when it comes to maintaining global order and the protection of freedom and liberty.
I was in Berlin in June 1987 when Ronald Regan stood at the Berlin Wall and said, "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev -- Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! "
"But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind -- too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor."
I also lived in Poland during the rise of Solidarnosc'. What America says and does is of immense impact to the oppressed people of the world. Our trillions of dollars and blood have liberated tens of millions and created a better world, including for us. There is a square in Warsaw named after President Reagan and there are countless other streets and squares honoring our sacrifices.
My greatest fear is that the US will retreat from its global leadership role partially due to the weariness you mentioned, but also because the welfare state is forcing us to reduce our ability to project power around the globe. It is the same guns versus butter that forced the UK to step down from its global role and hand us the torch to maintain global order and defend freedom and liberty. In guns versus butter, butter wins every time.
A US in decline will embolden China to assert its influence and world view on the Far East and eventually the world. It will help the radical Islamists to achieve their objectives. It will bring fear and dispair to our allies like Japan and Taiwan who see the rise of China; to Israel and Saudi Arabia who fear a nuclear Iran; and to oppressed people everywhere.
And the steady decline of America will affect us directly. Our standard of living, personal liberties, and national security are at risk. A global leadership role is not a "dubious honor," but rather a necessity if we want to maintain our national security and way of life. The world is a far better place today because of our leadership.
Obama is undermining all we have achieved with his leading from behind and his apology tour that diminished this country in the eyes of many and helped our enemies.
That's the politically correct answer, but multiculturalism and diversity are destroying the country. It also affects electoral politics as minorities and immigrants vote more than two to one Democrat.
WE DONT HAVE ROOM OR ANY MORE PEOPLE!
So why did you just focus on illegal aliens rather than immigration period? We take in more than twice as many immigrants annually as the number of illegals who come here. Immigration drives 75% of our population growth.
If the 3rd world wants to breed like cockroaches... that's their business, and they will pay the price in famine, starvation and overpopulation, but DON'T let them come here and use up our remaining resources that we should be protecting for the use of our children and grandchildren.
Obama's failure to negotiate a SOFA in Iraq negated the blood and treasure we sacrificed to win the war. Instead, we lost the peace. The world is a far better place with Saddam and his two sons gone. We should have taken him out during the Gulf War. I drove through and flew over the "mile of death" and the burning oil fields of Kuwait.
We went into Afghanistan to get OBL and remove the people who harbored him--the Taliban. Mission creep led to nation building. We should have just concentrated on our national security interests. Still, if we leave Afghanistan entirely, then the Taliban in Pakistan will return Afghanistan back to a safe harbor for militant Islamists. And the regime in a nuclear Pakistan is vulnerable to an Islamic fundamentalist takeover.
Ever consider that the attempt to introduce or impose Western values to these places in itself gives rise to Islamic fundamentalism?
I was in Iran during the fall of the Shah. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism can be traced directly to Khomeini and his defeat of the West. If you read OBL's 1996 fatwa declaring war against the US, his rationale resembles your assertion. It is nonsense. The rise of fundamentalism is a reaction to the corruption and oppression of the Middle Eastern dictators. It is far easier to blame the West and our values than it is to blame your own people.
A different course of action by the US during the Iranian Revolution would have prevented many of the problems we face today in the region. Jimmy Carter was dead wrong in what he did and we are paying the price today for his failure of leadership.
What is the purpose of the United States aiding and abetting political Islamists in in Syria?
We missed an opportunity early on to aid the nationalists in Syria to overthrown Assad. Obama's dithering allowed the foreign Islamists to flock to Syria and now we have a mess on whom to aid. The main thing we need to do now is to try to contain what is happening in Syria from spreading throughout the region.
Can or should the United States attempt to influence evolving Asian affairs far from our shores. Should not the Asians themselves work out a consensus and balance?
We have defense agreements with Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. We have US military bases in Japan and South Korea. We are involved now. The last thing we want to do is to retreat from the region. It will lead to Japan and South Korea developing their own nuclear weapons and there will be risks of hostilities as China tries to extend its influence, witness the Chinese recent declaration of an illegal air defense zone, which not only affects the region but commercial international aviation as well. Should we accept these new air defense zones?
If wealthy South Korea cannot stand on its own, then more American treasure and sacrifice is not the answer.
South Korea provides for most of its own defense and helps subsidize the costs of maintaing the 25,000 US troops there. The war in Korea is not over, which is why we have a US presence at the DMZ. In addition to the US tripwire military presence, the US provides a nuclear umbrella for South Korea rather than having them develop their own, which could destabilize the Korean peninsula.
If nations choose downward spiraling economic socialist or quasi socialist debt producing systems, why should the American worker be expected to provide rescue capital?
I have no idea what you are talking about.
Finally just where to you recommend sending brave young Americans to die and just how is the security of the United States enhanced?
As a Vietnam veteran who spent a year in-country, I am well aware of the sacrifice we make when defending our national interests. No American should be sent in harm's way unless US national interests are involved.
We spend more on defense than the next ten or eleven countries combined. We spend trillions of our dollars so people like Germany and France and Poland don't have to. And I'm sorry, but I'm tired of it. If the rest of the world is so concerned with China and Syria and Iran then the rest of the world had better beef up their armed forces and take them on. We didn't do so well the last couple times we tried. I'm willing to sit back for a while and let someone else see if they can do better.
Sorry but you are simply not persuasive. American over extension in world affairs neither enhances the security of those area where we insert ourselves or the United States. Virtually every example you gave has been a costly failure or has no long term viabilty. You cannot impose values on a foreign culture at the point of a bayonet. Next time our leaders should send thirty thousand laptops with a good internet connection instead of thirty thousand brave young Americans. Carefully reflect. The sixty five thousand young American who have died abroad since 1965, the countless wounded, those who are permanently deranged: Just how did their sacrifice enhance the security of the US and how might it been handled differently?
I am not trying to persuade you of anything. I am just giving you my opinion based on 28 years as a foreign service officer and 8 years as a naval officer. I have lived and worked 26 years in 11 foreign countries.
You cannot impose values on a foreign culture at the point of a bayonet.
Cite one example where we have done that save for Japan after the war? And that was a resounding success.
The sixty five thousand young American who have died abroad since 1965, the countless wounded, those who are permanently deranged: Just how did their sacrifice enhance the security of the US and how might it been handled differently?
Since 1945 the US had a policy of containment for the Soviet Union and the spread of communism. The fall of the Berlin in 1989 was the culmination of those efforts that led to the downfall of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe. You need to include the dead and wounded in the Korean War to your totals.
And exactly what would have you done to enhance American security after 9/11? Or the invasion and takeover of Kuwait by Iraq? Or what should be done with Iran and its pursuit of a nuclear weapon? When should the US use military force?
We won the war in Vietnam and Iraq and then lost the peace. We abandoned South Vietnam including shutting off military assistance after our military forces departed. It took the North almost three years to defeat the South Vietnamese forcing millions to flee and millions more placed into reeducation camps. The Communists won. It is a sad chapter in our history. We snatched defeat again from the jaws of victory in Iraq.
Still, the elimination of Saddam Hussein was a good thing for the region. Iraq had invaded Kuwait and Iran and used WMD against the Iranians and its own people. The Israelis took out the Osirak nuclear plant in 1981 that could have led to Iraq having nuclear weapons--something that Saddam was still pursuing before we eliminated him. The Libyans. as a result, gave up their nuclear weapons development after the Gulf War.
US military losses are regrettable no matter when or where they occur. We lost over 400,000 in WWII and 50,000 in Korea. I have seen and experienced those losses during my military service. We who have served or are serving know the risks and we have had a voluntary military for almost 40 years. As bad as combat deaths are, they are exceeded in number by military training accidents, motor vehicle crashes, suicide, etc.
60 million people lost their lives in WWII, Stalin killed an estimated 20 million of his own people during his purges and gulags. Mao contributed to the death of 40 to 70 million of his people. 15,000 to 20,000 Americans are murdered each year. From 1965 we have been averaging 45,000 deaths per year due to motor vehicle accidents. So spare me the emotional argument of lives lost needlessly. Personally, I don't view the 65,000 lives lost since 1965 as being lost in vain. They died defending American interests. The only animus I have is for the politicians who failed to seek victory as an outcome. The military personnel have nothing to be ashamed about. They did their duty.
“So spare me the emotional argument of lives lost needlessly”. Those lost lives should be used as a template against which the actions they participated in and future actions are judged. Politicians who are woefully ignorant of history or local realities are too quick to commit the United States to futile interventions. There is is a reason that defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory in the cases you mention. The reality was that chances that the long term goals of the American interventions would be realized were practically nil. Our leaders would do well to study how the thinking and positions of Douglass MacArthur evolved over time and how some of his insights still pertain. MacArthur came to understand at least some of the rational of why Japan fought. Japan and most Asian intellectuals were humiliated by European dominance in the economic and political life of Asians. They abhorred the British presence in Malaysia, India, the Mideast, Hong Kong,China and Singepore. The Dutch in Indonesia , the French in Indochina and the Americans in the Philippines. They were of course nationalistic and ravenous imperialists but MacArthur came to understand this important point. Today the Chinese claim to be Asia’s leader and absolutely abhor American involvement in Asian affairs be it in Iran, Korea, Taiwan, the South China sea etc. MacArthur also understood that the vast population and political currents in Asia were beyond the capability of the US to change meaningfully. He warned against American military involvement on the Asian mainland. Now this is not to say that MacArthur’s conclusions should be the be all and end all of American foreign policy but his insights were hard earned and should not be forgotten. Also just have to wonder as you look back on your career that the America you were fighting to protect and defend as a young man would become a place where officials dump fresh water into the Pacific ocean during a drought to protect an obscure fish while farmland dries and people suffer, or if you ever thought that Detroit would resemble Hue after the Tet offensive. America has a lot of mending that will not come easy, and really should not squander its resources on futile foreign entanglements.
We could have had an independent South Vietnam in much the same way that we have a Republic of Korea. We intervened in Kuwait and rescued that country from Saddam. Obama got out of Iraq on the timetable established by Bush, but Obama failed to negotiate a SOFA, which could have reduced the current violence and provided the time for the country to recover from the war. And frankly, it is far to early to come to any conclusions about the impact of our "interventions" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our leaders would do well to study how the thinking and positions of Douglass MacArthur evolved over time and how some of his insights still pertain. MacArthur came to understand at least some of the rational of why Japan fought. Japan and most Asian intellectuals were humiliated by European dominance in the economic and political life of Asians. They abhorred the British presence in Malaysia, India, the Mideast, Hong Kong,China and Singapore. The Dutch in Indonesia , the French in Indochina and the Americans in the Philippines.
Virtually all the countries you mention have good relations with their colonial "masters." The British left behind democratic institutions and economic systems that have contributed to the stability and success of these countries. The British helped defeat the communist insurrection in Malaysia, which took 12 years.
You need to get better informed about Japan and its own imperialism. The people of the Philippines, Korea, China, Singapore don't have fond memories of the Japanese or their rationale for killing millions of them.
They were of course nationalistic and ravenous imperialists but MacArthur came to understand this important point.
And the point is? Why did Japan invade Manchuria and set up a puppet state in 1931 if they were upset about European dominance? Why did they commit the Rape of Nanking? I guess we also need to understand that the harsh treatment of the Germans at the end of WWI led to WWII. So we must understand why Hitler acted the way he did. Yeah, right. Japan and Germany were just victims. The Japanese had no other choice but to attack Pearl Harbor and the Germans were forced into attacking Poland.
MacArthur also understood that the vast population and political currents in Asia were beyond the capability of the US to change meaningfully.
But MacArthur's leadership in Japan created a modern democratic country with a constitution. I would consider that to be meaningful change. Our defense and support of Korea has led to a modern democracy and a booming economy.
Also just have to wonder as you look back on your career that the America you were fighting to protect and defend as a young man would become a place where officials dump fresh water into the Pacific ocean during a drought to protect an obscure fish while farmland dries and people suffer, or if you ever thought that Detroit would resemble Hue after the Tet offensive.
We are definitely heading in the wrong direction. While Europe is moving away from the welfare state, we are expanding it. Our immigration policies have rapidly changed the demographics of this country as we enter the era of tribal politics. America is in decline economically, culturally, militarily, and morally. We are losing our personal liberties in the name of security.
I was in Danang during the Tet Offensive, but as bad as Detroit is, it in no way resembles Hue and the carnage there.
America has a lot of mending that will not come easy, and really should not squander its resources on futile foreign entanglements.
We are a global power with global interests. That said, we will be, by necessity, less and less able to project our power abroad. We will suffer the same fate as the UK when it had to make hard choices between guns and butter. As I have indicated, butter (welfare state) wins every time because it has more constituents.
Nature abhors a vacuum. Someone else, perhaps China, will take our place. If that happens, the world will remember fondly the days when the US was the world's lone superpower--a generous, gentle giant who believed in freedom and liberty for oppressed people everywhere.
I was in Warsaw during the days of Solidarity. I can recall vividly the time when Pope John Paul II drove by our Embassy in the Pope-mobile. A crowd formed spontaneously behind the Pope shouting long live America and Ronald Reagan. Riot police attacked them with clubs sending them scattering thru the side streets. This was an act of defiance in a Communist police state. What America says or does matters to many people who look to us for support.
I lived four years in Berlin when the wall was still in place. JFK's 1963 speech still resonated with the people of Berlin almost 25 years later.
I am proud to come to this city as the guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolized throughout the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin. And I am proud to visit the Federal Republic with your distinguished Chancellor who for so many years has committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress, and to come here in the company of my fellow American, General Clay, who has been in this city during its great moments of crisis and will come again if ever needed.
Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was "civis Romanus sum." Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Berliner."
I appreciate my interpreter translating my German!
There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass' sic nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.
Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. I want to say, on behalf of my countrymen, who live many miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, who are far distant from you, that they take the greatest pride that they have been able to share with you, even from a distance, the story of the last 18 years. I know of no town, no city, that has been besieged for 18 years that still lives with the vitality and the force, and the hope and the determination of the city of West Berlin. While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of. the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, for it is, as your Mayor has said, an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, and dividing a people who wish to be joined together.
What is true of this city is true of Germanyreal, lasting peace in Europe can never be assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and that is to make a free choice. In 18 years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans has earned the right to be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in lasting peace, with good will to all people. You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main. So let me ask you, as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of tomorrow, beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany, to the advance of freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind.
Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.
All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner!"
PS: You need to learn how to create paragraphs.
The point that is not being communicated is that the Western values of the European enlightenment (articulated so beautifully in JFK’s speech) and the bedrock inspiration of post War American foreign policy, are not always compatible with the culture and customs of the lands that Americans find themselves intervening. Afghanistan is just one example. The natives eventually resent the intrusions and view it as cultural imperialism. American soldiers should not be deployed as cultural missionaries. As a former foreign service officer, it is a bit surprising that you are not aware how bitterly most Asians resented European dominance of their political and economic lives despite the “benefits”.
You are correct that changing demographics has changed America forever and will affect foreign policy. An example is how support for Israel is declining. Post war America was largely of European descent and was very sensitive to the Holocaust and supported the founding of Israel and supported it during difficult times. Today that support is withering and the policies of Obama and Kerry, who themselves are in power due to those demographic shifts, reflect those domestic political changes.Simply put there no longer exists in the US a common social consensus that would result in broad support for US interventions of the types you historically described. America has changed and not
necessarily for the better.
Your condescension aside, these values are universal. Culture and customs may have some effect on how they are implemented, but the basic concepts of liberty, freedom, and individual rights are and should be embraced. The preamble of the UN Charter states, "to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small."
At the behest of Congress, the State Department prepares an annual human rights report for every country in the world. It is also worth noting that all cultures and customs are not equal, even in this age of multiculturalism that seems to require that we not place one culture above another. In reality, there are inferior cultures. For example, how can anyone accept the treatment of women in Afghanistan or countenance slavery in Sudan or the forced ritual of female circumcision in more than 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East? I can guarantee you that the women in Afghanistan do not want to return to the cultural and customs of the Taliban.
The natives eventually resent the intrusions and view it as cultural imperialism. American soldiers should not be deployed as cultural missionaries.
I find your characterizations of America to be offensive and wrong. You stated earlier that, "You cannot impose values on a foreign culture at the point of a bayonet." And now you assert that American soldiers are deployed as "cultural missionaries." What kind of country to you think we are and what kind of people do you think inhabit our military? Our military goes to extraordinary lengths to accommodate local cultures and customs and even at the risk of our own personnel, they try to minimize collateral damage. We are liberators, not oppressors or occupiers.
If America is such a cultural ogre, then why do 1.2 million legal immigrants enter annually, most of them from the Third World? There are literally billions of people that want to come to America and enjoy the benefits of that "evil culture." Many risk life and limb to get here. We have 800,000 foreign students attending our universities, including almost 45,000 from Saudi Arabia. You should see the lines at many of our consulates around the world with people applying for visas.
And the US is not alone when it comes to being a magnet for foreigners. Europe is a destination for many. They come from all cultures. Why? Because our culture (Western Civilization) is superior to theirs and offers more opportunity for the individual. Our culture and values allow people to flourish. I have been to Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, and many other third world countries. The grinding poverty and human misery is overwhelming. There is a lack of hope and no expectation of change. These are failed cultures.
America is the shining city on the hill for most of humanity. We have nothing to apologize for. Whenever there is a major catastrophe around the globe, the US is there providing aid and assistance. We provide more foreign aid than any country in the world from both government and private sources.
First, one of the primary responsibilities of government as provided in the Constitution of the United States is to defend this country. Without an adequate national defense, everything else is in jeopardy.
Our defense posture is based on an assessment of the threat posed by our enemies and potential enemies. It has nothing to do with spending money so France, Germany, and Poland don't have provide for their own defense.
We have been reducing steadily our defense expenditures including reducing the number of military personnel. Our military is in a state of decline.
If the rest of the world is so concerned with China and Syria and Iran then the rest of the world had better beef up their armed forces and take them on.
We should be concerned about China, Syria, and Iran because we will be affected by what happens in those countries whether we like it or not.