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Bravo Europe Union, Shame on you France, Damn the Chinese are smooth

  1. May 1, 2004 #1
    Bravo Europe Union, Shame on you France, Damn the Chinese are smooth....


    Good Job to the EU for standing ground on true human rights and democracy.

    Shame on France (and Germany to an extent) for looking to cash in on the Humanitarian crisis occuring in China.

    Damn, the Chinese are so patient! They'll get their ban lifted, and they'll do it without improving the human rights conditions I bet. Very skillful politicans!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2004 #2


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    Trade, don't forget trade phat! Everyone - maybe even including you - enjoys the benefits of free trade, whether it's with the #1 or #2 wilful wrecker of developing countries' agriculture sectors, or that #1 or #2 'untapped' market of 1 billion people, or the nation brutally suppressing the independence aspirations of the downtrodden region of {insert your favourite here}.

    The major difference among those who are probably in your 'sin bin' is their ability to divine the key interests of the other guys, and then devise a skillful negotation strategy that maximizes their chances of success. In this respect, how much difference do you see between the US, France, China, Russia, other EU countries, Canada, ... and Belize?
  4. May 2, 2004 #3
    Yeah, damn those French and Germans for not supporting Bush. I mean, for being "evil" and such...
  5. May 2, 2004 #4
    I'm fully aware of Trade and France wanting to release the tight trade grip we have on their balls.
    I'm aware of the great prospect of selling a billion hamburgers to China. But for now, I'm going to enjoy watching the EU keep France in check
  6. May 2, 2004 #5
    Yet another reason to dislike Chirac's right-wing government.
  7. May 3, 2004 #6


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    This question is only marginally related ...

    Which countries does the US have an arms trade embargo on?
  8. May 3, 2004 #7


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    That's hard to answer. There are a whole gamut of restrictions from simple weapons, to high tech stuff. Even Canada is restricted from some things.

    This site has a lot of info:


  9. May 3, 2004 #8


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    Thanks Njorl.

    With the exception of exporting (giving?) all kinds of arms to Israel (which is in flagrant violation of all manner of international laws, UN resolutions; illegally occupies the territory of another country, denies civil liberties to the occupied people, etc, etc, etc), where else does the US appear to be, shall we say, somewhat inconsistent in the application of arms embargos?

    How about Uzbekistan (and some of the other -stans)? Colombia? Indonesia?

    At least it would seem that some of the more outrageous Cold War era arms flows have stopped (though the role that the US played in creating the abhorrant Taliban regime in Afghanistan doesn't get as much airtime as it should, IMHO).

    For the avoidance of doubt, no one should be shocked or horrified by the extent to which the US aids and abets regimes which trample on human rights, through arms sales or other means; the US government's motives are no doubt pure and consistent - national self-interest by whatever means deemed necessary.
  10. May 3, 2004 #9


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    Uhhh, which country is that? egypt... jordan...lebanon?
  11. May 4, 2004 #10


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    C'mon kat, all those settlements and army posts, they're in the sovereign state of ... Israel? No? What about "Golan Heights"?

    Anyway, the point is that nation states act in their own self-interest, and their actions make the most sense when seen from that perspective. Trying to keep a "support for/principled stand against" list of states which one (phat in this case) perceives as violating some noble stance (or not) is just plain silly.

    I mean, I get all hot & bothered about the fact that the US pours more $$ in subsidies per year into supporting their cotton farmers than the entire world trade in that commodity. The net effect is a nice cosy life for ~25,000 US cotton farmers, and misery for millions in west Africa (and other places). But the way to discuss this is through the benefits of free trade - ALL parties are better off - rather than some kind of 'fair play', or 'natural justice and respect for the right of west Africans to have an opportunity to make a decent living'.
  12. May 4, 2004 #11


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    What you said. And sugar is even worse.
  13. May 4, 2004 #12
    Hold it,

    "nation states act in their own self-interest."

    Ultimately that's obvious. it's called "Grand Strategy". The question is "what is self interest". Living in great prosperity but having some poor mislead idiots flying airliners into your prime symbols of prosperity is most certainly not "self interest".

    It may be surprising but some countries (I'm fortunate to be living in one of them) have "world wide stability" as number one objective for "self interest". This would translate to mitigating the consequences of wars and supporting the weak. A direct objective of such a foreign policy is containing and reducing the flow of fugitives seeking asylum. Although very ambitious, I believe that this is the only way to achieve real "self-interest".

    Now of course all of this is pretty much good advise from the sidewalk for the warring parties within Israel but communication, understanding, respect but mostly sufficient concessions by both parties is the only way to live in the same house.
  14. May 4, 2004 #13


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    And this is how the discussion should be taking place - the self-interest of X is {this}. Now, what sorts of harmony can there be between the self-interest of X and Y (and Z, ...)? How may the inevitable disharmonies be identified, and if possible mitigated?

    Of course, it's likely there would be some lively discussion on just what the self-interest of the US, Israel, China, India, North Korea, Pakistan, ... actually *is*!
  15. May 20, 2004 #14
    Mental masturbation, what trade grip? :rolleyes: Is someone taking his wishes for reality?

    For the record, concerning the policy towards China I deplore France's decision.
  16. May 20, 2004 #15
    Are you serious??
    We are THE biggest buyer. With sanctions on China, France does not have anyone else NEAR as big with enough money or want to purchase the military supplies that they are trying to sell to China. By lifting the sanctions, France has a more diversified market and thus we lose clout in purchase power. This is simple business!

    Why don't you lose the attitude a little :zzz:
  17. May 20, 2004 #16
    You have any evidence that the US is the biggest buyer of French weapons?
  18. May 20, 2004 #17
    No, but we are the biggest buyer of weapons in the world.
    The fact that France does not compete enough in this market is not the issue.
    The fact that we ARE the market is. And France wants China to diversify this- understandable, and it's equally understandable that i'm happily against this.
  19. May 20, 2004 #18
    The United States would be the biggest buyers of handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, that kind of stuff, not military weapons. They are the biggest seller of that.
  20. May 20, 2004 #19
    We are the largest buyer, and due to Russia's recent activity I will ask you the same you asked me: Any proof of either of your statements??

    If we are not the largest buyer of military supplies, why do we have the largest number of submarines, ships, and airplanes??
    Even if most of our military is built by domestic companies, it is all up open to international bid, including France.
    The president's helicopter may be English soon!

    I have no idea what you are arguing anymore. The fact is, and even Adam (who disagrees with me on 99% of everything) knnows that we pump more money into our military than anyone else. As a result, there is the largest market of any country. France is faced with penny penching about with other countries trying to sell to everyone, or going to the largest market on the block. They are trying to open a new market (for more than one reason).
  21. May 20, 2004 #20
    US world leader in arms sales, Saudi Arabia no 1 buyer

    The United States sells more arms than any other country, and Saudi Arabia leads the world for buying arms among developing countries, a report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said Wednesday.


    I have not found any proof for the United States being the biggest importers of handguns - hard to find info on that per country - etcetera but I remember reading it somewhere.
    The domestic shopping is not considered.

    The US rarely buys its military hardware elsewhere pal, you merely gave a few exceptions. It's not like France, nor Germany, nor the UK has any stake in the US market anyway, not before nor after the Iraq war so your influence on France is zero point zero.
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