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People's Daily Comments on Bush Inaugural Speech

  1. Jan 23, 2005 #1
    Never in my life have I dreamt of agreeing with the editorial of the People's Daily, a PRC government mouthpiece. Its comments on the inaugural speech is worth reading.

    American nationalism displays the following characters.
    First, it is originated from the worship to 'The American Creed', with liberty, democracy and the rule of law lying at its core. The Creed takes form along with the shaping and developing of the country, but has been taken by many Americans as a truth or standard that 'fits all'. From a religious perspective, many Americans indulge themselves in a sense of superiority, believing themselves 'men chosen by God.'

    Second, due to the nation's superior natural and geographical conditions, and its history of never being invaded, American nationalism is void of historical bitterness found in typical nationalism of some other peoples.

    Third, American nationalism shows a strong inclination of being self-centered, a combination of an isolationism tendency (being disdain to associate with other peoples) and a sense of mission to save 'the fettered world' by whatever means it desires. American nationalism rejects nationalism in other peoples, which doesn't, or unwilling to learn other people's emotions and thoughts, but adopts American standards in all cases.

    Fourth, in foreign policy, American nationalism takes a form of a mixture of morality and pragmatism. Sometimes America holds ideology as the benchmark, deciding a friend or foe by American values, beliefs and political considerations; sometimes it exercises double standards for the sake of national interest, showing a certain degree of moral hypocrisy.

    The response of global media can be seen here
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2005 #2
    Hey Polly, you're supposed to put quotation marks around other people's words i.e. everything but the first paragraph of your post. That means you get zero, plus have to write "Geoge Bush is my ideal man" 1000 times :tongue2:

    The International Herald Tribune article was good (I quote sections here):

    "The phrase, war on terror, so effective in galvanizing Americans to vote Bush, did not appear. Nor did Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, terror networks or other favorites of the post-9/11 presidential lexicon. In their place came freedom (a word used 26 times), liberty (12 times) and an impassioned call to banish oppression. ... as Senator Joseph Biden, a Democrat, remarked this week, overthrowing the tyrant Saddam Hussein "was not the rationale for going to war when we went to war." ... Because there were no chemical or biological weapons in Iraq and the existence of such weapons was the principal reason advanced for the war, the removal of the despot Saddam became the central justification for the invasion.

    "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one." You have to admire the ingenuity of this. America's long foreign-policy struggle between its values and interests resolved! ...Freedom equals security! Bingo! ...but fighting Islamic terror is more complicated than, and rather different from, the spread of liberty. They are not one and the same, convenient as that would be. ... if spreading freedom means bombing Iran, Europeans would say, "No, thank you."

    But hang on a second. Is it really in America's "vital interest" to force democratic change in Saudi Arabia or, for that matter, in Pakistan or Egypt? Would such change necessarily make America safer? ... It is also worth recalling that Richard Reid, the would-be shoe bomber of American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami in 2001, came from Britain, a country scarcely a stranger to liberty.

    Bush did say America "would not impose our own style of government on the unwilling," adding that the goal of ending tyranny was not "primarily the task of arms." ...These comments appeared designed to reassure an anxious world and had the effect of moderating the ringing freedom-is-the-answer message"
  4. Jan 24, 2005 #3
    I disagree with Bush about spreading democracy for the survival of our democracy, I think he says this because war generally is good for an economy and he wants more war, or at least the minority of people who voted him into office are a reflection of that desire(counting the apathetic or "lost" voters)...that's probably why the navy and air force aren't recruiting anymore in preperation for the draft...basically it would be similiar to some American terrorist groups attacked China and so they sent a massive army over to enforce communism on our failed nuclear/bio weapons hoarding democracy in 2050, it's not right to force anything on anyone be it good or bad for them(unless you want to get something out of it for yourself), everyone knows this. Also, not every dictatorship or form of government is bad, but usually the more power is consolidated into the hands a few the more corrupt they get...who knows maybe anarchy is the best form of government for some people like the native Americans long ago but they won't have that choice, we love to control everything, and many people believe their way is naturally the better way.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2005
  5. Jan 24, 2005 #4

    Ummmm, as Americans, what values should we choose friends and foes by other than our own??? :confused:

    What is the point of this entire thread? It's like a lot of redudant "truths" that can be applied to plenty of countries, and in the end it means nothing.
  6. Jan 24, 2005 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    I always get a kick out of this one:
    Trust me on this one: don't ever try that line with your mother when she tells you to eat your vegetables.
  7. Jan 24, 2005 #6
    You can only be friends with people who share your political beliefs and values?

    Are you trying to say that the previous posts are just stating the obvious?
  8. Jan 24, 2005 #7
    So, bush is the world's father and for our own good we have to do what he says or we will be punished.....
  9. Jan 25, 2005 #8
    *rolls eyes*
  10. Jan 25, 2005 #9
    Howdy Phatmonky :biggrin: .

    There are no friends and foes, we MAKE others our friends and foes and we can "destroy our ememies by making them our friends". Time, patience and empathy are required of course in the process but essentially it is entirely up to us.

    For peaceful co-existence we need to know how we are perceived by others so that we could adjust our ways. The quote was given for no more reason than to show how the PRC government perceives US nationalism, just thought some of us might be interested that's all :smile: .
  11. Jan 25, 2005 #10
    When I did I say that? Values are not definitively synonymous with political beliefs.

    Again I ask, if we don't use our own values to choose right and wrong, friend and foe, what values are we supposed to use?
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2005
  12. Jan 25, 2005 #11
    I still don't follow I guess. Perhaps I am too slow.
    I agree that we make others our friends and foes, but the comment seems to imply that our choosing friends and foes by using our own set of values is something unique to the USA.
    Does China choose it's friends and foes based on something other than their own values?
    Do YOU, polly, choose friends and foes based on something other than your own values? (please, don't tell me you have no foes, or there is no situation that would make you determine (using your line of logic) someone to be your foe)
  13. Jan 25, 2005 #12
    :blushing: Sorry for being so rude in my previous reply, the truth is I wanted to edit the first post upon being reminded by you (and avoid doing the 1000 times thing) but there is no edit button in the first post and I don't know how to make it appear :frown: :cry: 42 help!!
  14. Jan 25, 2005 #13
    once the post has been quoted you can't edit anymore.

    btw, i think USa chose his friends and foes not by their values but by their economic and military interests.. nothing more... in the 80' saddam was a friend... now he is the enemy, the same with osama, what values are you talking about?????
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2005
  15. Jan 25, 2005 #14
    No, I am slower.

    Subject to my reply below, I think countries in general choose their friends and foes by necessity and self-interest just as people in the working environment or the commercial world align with others who are able to further their own interest.

    However the USA is an exception to this general rule. Being the only super power it does pretty much what it wants, and precisely because it is so powerful, it is not necessary for it to use the cheap parlour trick of dichotomy and divide the world into friends and foes - to put it in very childish terms - all the USA has to do is to be nice and understanding and use some tact and persuation and other countries, in a less favourable bargaining position and therefore predisposed to yield, will try to get along. This is however what it has not been doing and why it has got itself into so much trouble.

    I am a buddhist and I see everything in terms of emptiness/possibility. I am not accomplished of course and often I feel more akin to some ( :biggrin: 42, Yeah!!) than the others. But I always remind myself that had I the same genes (which is the result of karma) and with the same set of background (which is also the result of karma) as XYZ, I would be thinking, believing, reacting and feeling in the exact same way as XYZ does.
  16. Jan 25, 2005 #15


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    Staff: Mentor

    In a controvertial decision, it was decided to dis-allow editing after 24 hours, as we have witnessed abuse of the edit function in the past.
    Ok, I'm with you so far (and #4 in the opening post seems to imply that)....
    Whaa??! You're saying if we were nice, the world would yield to our will? You cannot possibly be that naive. Please clarify...
    That may explain your mindset, and even I agree that if the world did work that way, it would be nice, but it most certainly does not work that way.

    Further, what does it even mean to be nice? Join Kyoto, never bomb anyone for any reason, give money and not loans, accept our foreign trade deficit with a smile, etc? In short, do everything everyone else wants us to do...? See a contradiction there (or perhaps two?)?
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2005
  17. Jan 25, 2005 #16
    I see, thanks Russ.

    By "nice" I mean starting with NOT doing the very things the People's Daily enumerated. May I respectfully interest you with the idea of going through those paragraphs again? Please? :smile:
  18. Jan 25, 2005 #17


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, I'm just not seeing it - the article was very non-specific. There aren't any actions enumerated in it - it was about characteristics. And like phat said, the ideas in it apply to a lot more countries than just the US.
  19. Jan 25, 2005 #18


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    Lemme try to distill this a little. With translations, it can be hard, but the four points made seem to be:

    -"American nationalism" comes from a belief that the American ideals of liberty and democracy can 'fit all.'

    -Due to America's geographical/historical security, "American nationalism," unlike most other nations' nationalism, contains no historical bitterness.

    -"Amercan nationalism" is selfish, yet charitable - wanting to try to fix other people's problems, but with American solutions.

    -America acts in its own self-interest in ways that sometimes lead to double-standards.

    Am I missing anything there? About the only thing I see that separates our worldview/motivation from anyone else's is the second point, which implies we have less historical reason for bias than other countries - certainly a good thing. Other than that, there really isn't anything unique, surprising, worrisome, etc. about that. Heck, maybe what worries the PRC is Bush's (and Americans') honesty? (I know that one will get a rise out of a few people...) We're not afraid of, nor are we ashamed of who/what we are. Ie, we're selfish: so what, so is everyone else. What separates us is we're willing to admit it.

    Another irony in this is that it implies the US should not be selfish, self-centered, self-involved, etc. Why shouldn't we be? Is there a reason why we should act better than other countries? Is it because we are better? I find this (certainly unintended) irony, especially from a country that maintains an adversarial relationship with us, hilarious.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2005
  20. Jan 26, 2005 #19
    Enlightened self-interest, baby. America would be better off giving more carrot and less stick.
  21. Jan 26, 2005 #20
    Russ, I have read your post many times. I do not think I can make a speck of difference in what you think, so I'll admit defeat and rest my case. Sorry for working you up.

    o:) God bless America *mental note: must work on r.....rrrrrrrrrrrrrr*
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