News American Double Standard

russ_watters

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I am struck by an amazing double standard people have in their opinions of the US. First let me state explicitly that I know the US is not perfect. Its government is not perfect, its military is not perfect, and its people are not perfect. This should be obvious. Americans are humans (duh). However people REPEATEDLY make it a point in these threads to say as much bad about the US as they possibly can to "prove" that the US isn't perfect. WHY?

Certainly Americans have done some terrible things - even recently. But people try to make it seem like ONLY Americans do these things and EVERYTHING americans do is terrible. Does that make it right that others do them? Certainly not. But it does mean there is plenty of culpability to go around. And plenty of improvement for EVERYONE to make.

Any criticism of specific actions of the US (or any country for that matter) *MUST* be weighed against corresponding actions by other countires. No double standards. Some examples from this forum:

In one thread, an article on collateral damage is copied verbatim with no explanation, opinion, or point for posting it. When asked, the poster said he just wanted everyone to know that the US is not perfect. Duh?

In another thread, spying done on the UN is assumed to be American in origin with little or no evidence. Nevermind that EVERYONE spies or most countries even have unspoken agreements about it and consider it necessary to diplomacy.

In another thread, in an effort to downplay Iraq's ourtright BARBARIC treatment of American POWs (beatings and public interrogations are bad enough, but Iraq is summarily EXECUTING POWs), links are posted with 30 and 50 year old examples of American soldiers calling POW's NAMES and not giving them regular MAIL!!!?? Thats just sickening how someone can equate those two things. I personally know a WWII vet who when rescued from a German POW camp weighed 72 pounds and is 6'2" tall. The rescuers carried POWs two at a time out of the camp - one under each arm. There are *NO* similar recent (past 100 years) examples of US actions.

Other posts lambast the US's killing of civilians in when in fact the US takes by far the most precautions of any country in the attempt to limit civilian casualties in war. The dropping of no unguided munitions whatsoever on Bagdhad is one such precaution. Iraq's tactics are aimed at MAXIMIZING their OWN civilian causualties in this war by going out of their way to put civilians at risk. That also is truly sick. Even the Iraqi government is only claiming a relative handful of civilian casualties in this war (note: not all civilians are non-combatants). Additionally Iraqi forces doing fake surrenders and wearing civilian clothes may allow them to kill a few more American soldiers, but only at the cost of putting their own civilians at risk.

So, why the double standard? It almost seems like many of you consider the US to be superior - that any deviation from absolute perfection is if not shocking, but unusual. At the very least many of you imply with these double standards that the US SHOULD be superior - that we SHOULD be held to a higher standard. Being the world leader, I have no problem with being held to a higher standard. What I have a problem with is the US being the just about the ONLY country that is held to ANY standard.
 
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Zero

Hmmmm...good post, overall, several very good points. I would just suggest that when some of us make those comments, what we are weighing American actions against is what the government says.
 

amp

I agree Zero,

Russ you made good points. The problem ...I think is the majority of Americans don't go along with what is often done in their name. I support the troops in harms way, yet I also am apprehensive for them. Why? If, this war drags on (and at this point it seems it will) there will be much larger numbers of causalties, if America somehow loses this war... Saddam will likely become the the Arab world leader. (something Bush would have inadvertently caused and what Saddam wants more than anything) Other countries are slyly getting involved (Russia, selling Iraq weapons) to seek to weaken US military power (I suppose) The US has an enormous amount of assets invested in this war, por exemplo, over 1.5 billion dollars worth of assets were expended in the opening of shock and awe (Tomahawks are 1 million each and about 1500 were used).
 

Phobos

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Excellent post, Russ.
 

Njorl

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When you choose to interfere with another's affairs, it is right that you be held to a higher standard. Still, that standard is not perfection. The Iraqi government is so utterly despicable that any comparisson is ridiculous.

Njorl
 

Alias

Re: I agree Zero,

Originally posted by amp
The problem ...I think is the majority of Americans don't go along with what is often done in their name.
You are simply incorrect. For example, over 70% of the American people are for this war with Saddam's regime.

I support the troops in harms way, yet I also am apprehensive for them. Why? If, this war drags on (and at this point it seems it will)
Just exactly how long should it take to depose a regime and rebuild a country? Six days? Fourteen? Twenty-one?

there will be much larger numbers of causalties,
Larger than what? Relative to what?

if America somehow loses this war... Saddam will likely become the the Arab world leader.
Surely, you don't believe we will loose the war?!?!?!?

Other countries are slyly getting involved (Russia, selling Iraq weapons) to seek to weaken US military power (I suppose) The US has an enormous amount of assets invested in this war, por exemplo, over 1.5 billion dollars worth of assets were expended in the opening of shock and awe (Tomahawks are 1 million each and about 1500 were used).
We've already dealt with the Russians on this. And we will deal with any other punks on the block that want to interfere.

And when it comes to the money, how much money is the liberation of Iraq worth? It doesn't matter anyway. Bill me!
 

LURCH

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I used to be very upset by this double standard applied to Americans. But now I found that a source of pride. Implicit within it is the global recognition of the moral superiority of Western culture.

For example; when Saddam Gassed and entire Kurdish village in his own country, the world sadly shut its head, heaved a collective sigh of resignation, and returned to their dinners. When one American munition goes astray and accidentally kills a single civilian there is goal outrage, even here. By holding us to a higher standard, the people of the world are unintentionally expressing their expectation that Americans will conduct themselves more nobly than other people.
 
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Originally posted by LURCH
I used to be very upset by this double standard applied to Americans. But now I found that a source of pride. Implicit within it is the global recognition of the moral superiority of Western culture.

For example; when Saddam Gassed and entire Kurdish village in his own country, the world sadly shut its head, heaved a collective sigh of resignation, and returned to their dinners. When one American munition goes astray and accidentally kills a single civilian there is goal outrage, even here. By holding us to a higher standard, the people of the world are unintentionally expressing their expectation that Americans will conduct themselves more nobly than other people.
Lurch, there may be another reason for the double standard. Maybe it arises out of fear. If a weak country picked a fight with its even weaker neighbour it wouldn't bother anyone because they know the aggressor is not a threat to them. But what if a country that was powerful enough to be a threat to anyone showed aggressive tendencies? America is the most powerful nation on earth and could be a threat to any other country. Naturally the rest of the world will be keeping an eye on it to make sure it behaves, not because they respect its moral superiority but because it is a potential threat.
 
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However people REPEATEDLY make it a point in these threads to say as much bad about the US as they possibly can to "prove" that the US isn't perfect. WHY?
That's just human nature Russ. When you disagree with something someone does you will criticise them for any deviation from perfection. It' just human nature.
 

kyleb

America is the most powerful nation on earth and could be a threat to any other country.
exactly Laser Eyes, kinda like how a material arts expert gets charged assault with a deadly weapon for simply taking a swing at someone.
 

Kerrie

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Re: Re: I agree Zero,

Originally posted by Alias
You are simply incorrect. For example, over 70% of the American people are for this war with Saddam's regime.
proof please?
 

Alias

Re: Re: Re: I agree Zero,

Originally posted by Kerrie
proof please?
Here ya go...

http://www.gallup.com/subscription/?m=f&c_id=13277 [Broken]
 
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russ_watters

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Wow. I gotta say these responses are far more reasonable than I was expecting. Glad to see it.
I used to be very upset by this double standard applied to Americans. But now I found that a source of pride. Implicit within it is the global recognition of the moral superiority of Western culture.
Lurch, though I am leaning in that direction, I am trying hard to avoid it because it can lead to arrogance (at least the appearance of it). In a convoluted sort of way though, it does give me a sense of pride when the US is held up against the standard of perfection - even though we will inevitably fail before it.

proof please?
Kerrie, these opinion polls are conducted on virtually a daily basis by all major news outlets. Just pick one at random.
 

Kerrie

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i question this because i am skeptical that the media is portraying these "statistics" in order to convince those in opposition that their fellow americans support our governments role in Iraq...especially when EVERYONE i know is against the reasons for this war...
 

drag

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Originally posted by russ_watters
I am struck by an amazing double standard people have in their opinions of the US. First let me state explicitly that I know the US is not perfect. Its government is not perfect, its military is not perfect, and its people are not perfect.

What ?!
The USA IS perfect !!!
No doubt about it whatsoever !
USA ! USA ! USA !

Live long and prosper.
 

kyleb

Originally posted by Kerrie
i question this because i am skeptical that the media is portraying these "statistics" in order to convince those in opposition that their fellow americans support our governments role in Iraq...especially when EVERYONE i know is against the reasons for this war...
sure enough Kerrie, the major media coperations have a lot of money to gain by pushing this war forward. here is a nice little analisis of the situation:


http://www.fair.org/reports/iraq-sources.html [Broken]
 
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Alias

Birds of a feather....


Your 'friends' will hardly be a representative sample kerrie.
 

Zero

Originally posted by Kerrie
i question this because i am skeptical that the media is portraying these "statistics" in order to convince those in opposition that their fellow americans support our governments role in Iraq...especially when EVERYONE i know is against the reasons for this war...
Depending on how the question is phrased, you can get anything from 40-70% support. Claiming that Americans are behind this war, exactly the way it is being conducted, is a falsehood.
 

kat

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Originally posted by Zero
Depending on how the question is phrased, you can get anything from 40-70% support. Claiming that Americans are behind this war, exactly the way it is being conducted, is a falsehood.
I'm not sure that I've seen any polls differentiate between supporting war and whether a person agrees with "exactly the way" the war is being conducted. I'd have doubts about any poll that tried to nuance itself in such a manner.
Historicly there has always been a 20%ish portion of the U.S. that does not support war. Even in the beginning years of the Vietnam war those who opposed war were floating right around 20%.
I can't see trying to support polls being erroneous by stating "nobody I know". I interact with a broad range of Americans throughout the week and I find that the polls appear to accurately reflect the populace that I interact with as a whole. Taken in portions, college and highschool students seem to oppose the war in greater numbers, school administrators and professors tend to oppose in greater numbers. (There is no real science to those observations)
One could also say that the media exagerates "anti" war fever by focusing disproportionately on anti-war protesters.....

Having said ALL That...Polls make good indicators but not good proof.
 
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russ_watters

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i question this because i am skeptical that the media is portraying these "statistics" in order to convince those in opposition that their fellow americans support our governments role in Iraq...especially when EVERYONE i know is against the reasons for this war...
Kat virtually everyone I know is FOR the reasons for the war. In any case, certainly the media manipulates statistics. But being liberal, the media tends to manipulate them AGAINST a republican president. Just listen to the tone of the questions in the daily press breifings.
Depending on how the question is phrased, you can get anything from 40-70% support. Claiming that Americans are behind this war, exactly the way it is being conducted, is a falsehood.
Granted, zero - but then so is EVERY opinion poll. Unless you are saying there is no way to know what popular opinion is, we'll have to make do with the only method we have.
 

Zero

Russ, besides your mistaken notion that the media is 'liberal', the problem with polls is that they are NEVER as accurate as people would like to think. Unless the media prints the actual questions and choices of answers, how can we know what others think? If the question is 'Should Saddam be in power?', you'll get a large percentage of people saying 'No'...but that isn't support for this specific war, is it?
 

amp

RE: Alias re: I agree Zero

First I'd like to thank Kyleb for the site, that is exactly the case!
You are simply incorrect. For example, over 70% of the American people are for this war with Saddam's regime.
Before or after the war started? In any case, I believe its more in support of the troops although many do want Saddam to be evicted.
Just exactly how long should it take to depose a regime and rebuild a country? Six days? Fourteen? Twenty-one?
A weak country like Saddams(comparatively speaking) Oh... less than 60 days. Someone like Kim in North Korea, I don't think Bush has the balls, even though NK spit in his eye.
Larger than what? Relative to what?
Larger than the American people were led to believe, than was anticipated (by you), since the American people were led to believe this would be a walk in the park.
Surely, you don't believe we will loose the war?!?!?!?
We would lose simply by not achieving our objectives, incurring more the 25% causalty rates, bankrupting the nation prosecuting this war or/and having the world gang up on US.
We've already dealt with the Russians on this. And we will deal with any other punks on the block that want to interfere.
Have we? It would by ironic if Russia does to us what we did to them when they were in Afghanistan, if other nations gang up on US would we nuke the whole world? Making ourselves extinct as well.
And when it comes to the money, how much money is the liberation of Iraq worth? It doesn't matter anyway. Bill me!
At least as much as the liberation of North Korea whose dictator is as bad as Saddam, perhaps worse. BTW, you must have trillions at your disposal if your going to pay for all of this.
 

Zero

Speaking of double standards, what about the human rights violators that America supports?
 

Njorl

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Originally posted by Zero
Speaking of double standards, what about the human rights violators that America supports?
I think the theory behind supporting regimes with human rights violations is that the alternatives would be worse. There are some nations, such as Turkey and Egypt, with histories of human rights abuses, but the likely alternative to the existing regimes would probably be worse abusers. While accurate sometimes, in other cases I think this theory becomes self-fulfilling prophecy. Our support for the Batista regime in Cuba made it easy for Castro to set up his own repressive regime. Had we supported democracy in Cuba in the 30's, we could have avoided a lot of trouble.

One good example of this policy is South Korea. We supported a dictator, when the alternative was communism. We did try to influence the behavior toward a more liberal society, though never very forcefully. Eventually, democracy became the likely alternative rather than communism. I think we supported the dictatorship longer than we should have, but that was a judgement call. When it became obvious that S. Korea was going toward democracy, we did not interfere. Think of the state S. Korea would be in now if we did not support it while it was in the hands of a human-rights-violating dictator.

Njorl
 

Alias

Re: RE: Alias re: I agree Zero

Originally posted by amp

You are simply incorrect. For example, over 70% of the American people are for this war with Saddam's regime.
Before or after the war started? In any case, I believe its more in support of the troops although many do want Saddam to be evicted.
Before and Now.

Just exactly how long should it take to depose a regime and rebuild a country? Six days? Fourteen? Twenty-one?
A weak country like Saddams(comparatively speaking) Oh... less than 60 days. Someone like Kim in North Korea, I don't think Bush has the balls, even though NK spit in his eye.
You're an idiot if you think it takes testicular fortitude to fight a war in which you know that you will recieve tens of thousands if not hundreds thousands of casualties on your side guaranteed. NK has nuclear capability and tens of thousands of artillary pieces trained on Seoul. NK is not equivalent to Iraq. If you think they are, you are a fool.

Larger than what? Relative to what?
Larger than the American people were led to believe, than was anticipated (by you), since the American people were led to believe this would be a walk in the park.
What prognosticator was it that convinced the American people he was able to predict the future? And which boneheaded Americans bought it?

You have no idea how many casualties I anticipated, so shut your trap about what you think I thought.

Relative to every other war fought in the last two centuries, this has been a walk in the park. What war are you watching.

Surely, you don't believe we will loose the war?!?!?!?
We would lose simply by not achieving our objectives, incurring more the 25% causalty rates, bankrupting the nation prosecuting this war or/and having the world gang up on US.
What happened dude? Did you smoke one of your dreadlocks thinking it was a big juicy bud?

We've already dealt with the Russians on this. And we will deal with any other punks on the block that want to interfere.
Have we? It would by ironic if Russia does to us what we did to them when they were in Afghanistan, if other nations gang up on US would we nuke the whole world? Making ourselves extinct as well.
You're supposed to throw the bong water out, you dope, not drink it!
 

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