Hate, and the Role of a Superpower

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Cleef

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Keep in mind, the purpose of this post is to be a learning vehicle. I'm not stating anything other than my impressions, thoughts and perspective.

I'm not blind nor dumb, but I believe that the US is the best suited Superpower in the World. I also KNOW they have done some incredibly stupid things in their role as a SP. However, that being said, keep in mind that hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy to Armchair Quarterback (sorry for the dumb jock sports cliches) from afar - and many days/months/years removed - and sound as if you KNOW better.

Since coming to this wonderful island I've heard some incredibly rude, hateful and narrowminded insults (jokes) thrown my way in relation to 9/11. I don't retaliate, idiots are idiots as rocks are stones. Not much I can do about it.

I know some at Diario Libre were "cheering with pom-poms" on 9/11 last year. One brave soul was eager to offer "you deserved that." I find that ignorance to be intollerable.

Interestingly, I recently started a teaching position and I find myself respectfully debating with students - and at least one teacher - on why the US is terrible and how they "hate" the US. "The US needs to mind it's own business and let other countries do as they wish" they say. Fair enough; I agree with them in most respects.

I let them say all they want. I want to understand where they are coming from, why they feel the way they do. Why they hate the USA - yet dress like Americans, watch American TV, movies, listen to it's music, import so much from the US, vacation there, etc. - but it still "sucks"?

Today, I learned more about the US involvement in this country. I'm embarassed to say I didn't know all that much. However, I will learn more - starting today - and I'd like to get some live feedback on a few things from the esteemed audience here.

1. Where does this (Dominican) anti-US resentment come from exactly?

2. Did the US hurt or help this island nation with it's involvement of 19teens and 1960's?

3. Pontificate if you will, where this island nation would be without either of these "invasions".

4. Is the US suited to be the World's Superpower?

I'm not asking you to do my homework for me, but help me understand and offer some insight(s).

Thanks.
 

Pib

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Sweet merciful crap! That's some subject for a post-lunch, pre-coffee hour! So many questions, so few brain cells... I will try though to pitch in my RD$0.36 (at the current rate).

It was not my experience that Dominicans, in general or in particular were happy that 09/11 happened. On the contrary, my mom called me, very sad, even when we don't have any relatives in NY, nor happen to know anyone who lives there. Go figure, my mom cries for stuff like that, parents who lost their children, children who lost their parents. . My best friend called me crying; she had being in the towers (for a first visit to NY) a few weeks earlier.

The first hours I was shocked more than sad, very shocked. My first thought was a big WTF?! Followed by total numbness, provoked, I think, by years of watching Hollywood destroying just about any landmark on earth. It wasn't until I started seeing the posters of parents "looking for my son", little children asking "have you seen my daddy?" that it hit me and this time a bigger ?WTF?!? followed. It was simple to remain detached from the tragedy, any tragedy as long as it is simply concrete and steel, numbers in a list. But, no human can (or should not?) ignore, the tears of mothers, wives, fathers, sons and daughters who didn't deserve this. How can you not be saddened by it? That was what I witnessed in the people around me. If you heard or saw the shenanigans of the occasional headless chicken, showing happiness for it... well, it can only be explained by that: stupidity. There?s nothing you can do with those people short of a brain transplant.

I think that Dominicans are more pro-American than not, sometimes to my utter discomfort and annoyance. Not that I am anti-American, but sometimes the balderdash of American politicians make me want to go and slap them silly. Well, I have to admit I feel the same about politicians in general.

Yes, America has been for the most part a MUCH better super-power than its predecessors, or than its alternatives but that matter. Only a fool, or someone who has a total lack of knowledge about history wouldn?t agree. That is not to say that as you mentioned it hasn?t done some incredibly foolish things in the past, and continues to do so in the present. The attitude of the typical American politician sounds very much like ?screw you? to the rest of the world. One example: South Africa. A bunch of thugs, who have no moral or business in condemning the US, found a sympathetic ear when the US pulled its usual we-really-don?t-care-what-you-think attitude and ignores the voice of the rest of the world when it comes to the environment.

If I were able to see the future, or alternate past I would be really busy doing something else, like writing books. I have no idea how good (or bad) the world would be under the ruling of the Mighty English Empire, The Third Reich or the Russian comrades. I have the feeling it would be much worse, that is not to say that the rest of the world has more than the right, the obligation to try and influence the US?s decisions when it can harm us. We have the right to use any means at our reach, EXCEPT violence and murder.
 
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Ken

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There is a lot to wonder about, Cleef. I haven't experienced any anti-American feeling during my 16 years living in the DR, but then I've been living in Samana and Sosua, not Santo Domingo. But I am prepared to believe anything after learning from a recent poll that 60% of the people in Canada apparently belive that the United States was at least partly responsible for the attack on 9/11, and that more than half the people in Europe, especially in France, believe likewise.
 

Pib

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Ken

"Are you anti-American (do you hate the Americans or the US)?"

"Do you believe that the US' actions in the past or present were in part the cause of the 09/11 attacks?"

Two very different questions. Answering yes to the second does not mean you'd answer yes to the first. The US has to come to terms with the concept that "each action provokes a reaction", and that they have to re-think their foreign relations strategies.

Having said that, nobody, NOBODY, has the right to take the life of another human being. September 11 was a cowardly attack that does nothing to justify the cause of the terrorists, they lost (if they ever had it) their moral stance once they killed the first person. Just one.
 
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Cleef

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Ken, "partly responsible?" I don't get it? Please explain, how so?

I should note that I probably draw the anti-US attention in that I'm always asking these questions. I want to know what people think about it here - anywhere. I'm still trying to make sense of it myself.

I've never learned a damn thing from the people that always agree with me.
 

Andy B

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By and large, I recieve more "anti-American" behavior and comments from foreigners, especially the French, than I do from the ocassional Dominican. By and large, despite all our failings especially in the area of our foreign policy of the last 50 or so years, I get the impression that we Americans are the favored species in the DR.

Cleef, I think what you are experiencing may be twinges of jealousy mixed in with a fierce spirit of nationalism that many of the young, educated Dominicans harbor. They are a force awakening that recognizes evils at home and abroad, and that is a good thing for this country.
 

Ken

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Cleef said:
Ken, "partly responsible?" I don't get it? Please explain, how so?
Cleef, I didn't see the questions asked nor the responses given by those polled. However, within the past week CNN and the other networks in the US were reporting the results of a poll that was conducted-I don't know at whose initiative-in a number of countries, including Canada, France, England, Italy, and Germany.

I'm sure you have seen questionaires used by pollsters. Invariably there are questions such as entirely responsible, partly responsible, not responsible. It was my understanding from the reports relative to the results of this poll that in Canada, for example, 60% of the people said the US was entirely responsible for the 9/11 attack or partly responsible, which is why the pollsters were saying that in Canada 60% of the people felt the US was at least partly responsible for 9/11.

Pib, I understand your point and agree that envy, fear, hate, etc., can motivate people to protest. However, I also believe, and I think from your last paragraph that you do, too, that when you send a 17-year-old suicide bomber to kill 50 innocents in a supermarket or hijack a plane for a suicide attack that wipes out not only the innocent passengers but thousands of innocents going about their daily duties, that you have gone beyond the point of claiming that any action by the other party justified the form of "protest" chosen.

For more than half of the people in countries that are supposely allies to say that the US was at least partly responsible for the horror of 9/11 is offensive to me. I am not saying that these people are necessarily anti-American, but I do think that the analytical powers of many are seriously deficient.

If there are large numbers of people in supposedly friendly countries that believe attacks like that of the hijack-murderers is at least partly justified by the actions of the attacked people, then no place in the world is safe (or at least not in any of the countries that participated in the poll). I'm certain it can be argued by at least one aggrieved group or another that each of those countries deserves similar treatment.
 
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Cleef

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I certainly hope so

Andy B said:
Cleef, I think what you are experiencing may be twinges of jealousy mixed in with a fierce spirit of nationalism that many of the young, educated Dominicans harbor. They are a force awakening that recognizes evils at home and abroad, and that is a good thing for this country.
I completely agree. Somehow, I wasn't able to come up with this lucid thought on my own. Mission accomplished, thanks.

I also agree on the next generation being a powerful force. I'm thrilled I have the opportunity to work with them, encourage them. I constantly emphasize to them that they are the future of this country and it's their responsibility to fix what's wrong..... as the electricity goes out every 15 minutes and the temp jumps 20 degrees.

Sweating while sitting still; perhaps the most effective teaching tool since the chalkboard! Pure inspiration for change.
 

AnnaC

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60% of Canadians? I'd like to see how that poll was taken. Did CNN ask 10 people that looked Canadian and 6 said "sure".
I find this hard to believe.
 

WebDev

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84% Of Canadians Think That The U. S. Bears ...

Anna Coniglio said:
60% of Canadians? I'd like to see how that poll was taken. Did CNN ask 10 people that looked Canadian and 6 said "sure".
I find this hard to believe.
84% Of Canadians Think That The U. S. Bears Some (69%) Or All (15%) Responsibility For Terrorist Attacks On Them Because Of Its Policies, Actions In Middle East, Other Parts Of World
Here is the link:
http://www.ipsos-reid.com/media/dsp_displaypr_cdn.cfm?id_to_view=1611

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid/CTV/Globe and Mail poll conducted between August 27th and August 29th, 2002. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 1,000 adult Canadians. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ? 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 1996 Census data.
 

Meredith

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I believe the 60% for sure. Canada is a very multi-cultural country and a lot of Canadian citizens come from another country where the U.S. has done harm in some way, whether it be bombings, attacks, no aid, etc. Some people think that hey, if the U.S. can bomb my country, kill millions of my innocent people, and think that no one will retaliate? Wrong. The U.S. has to think before they act and think of the consequences of their actions. U.S. may be the superpower in terms of money and control, but there are more superpowers with weapons and connections as well.
I know a lot of Canadians who do believe that the U.S. is partly to blame for their actions in the past and what occurred on September 11th.
 

Ken

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Meredith said:
Some people think that hey, if the U.S. can bomb my country, kill millions of my innocent people, and think that no one will retaliate? Wrong.
It is even worse than I thought! In what country, Meredith, has indiscriminate bombing by the US killed "millions of...innocent people"?

Meredith said:
The U.S. has to think before they act and think of the consequences of their actions. U.S. may be the superpower in terms of money and control, but there are more superpowers with weapons and connections as well.
I know a lot of Canadians who do believe that the U.S. is partly to blame for their actions in the past and what occurred on September 11th.
Sounds to me, Meredith, that "a lot of Canadians", perhaps including yourself, believe that flying loaded passenger planes into fully occupied buildings is a socially acceptable response to a grievance, real or imagined. If that is so, God help us all.
 
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Bugsey34

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In response to the original post by Cleef, I have never seen any anti-American sentiment in the DR. In fact I have seen more blind faith than anything else.

To answer question #3, talking about where the island would be without invasion, colonization, etc. doesn?t really sit well with me. None of us know where we would be had history not happened, and I think it is very hard to speculate.

I believe America is well suited to be the superpower. It is definetly well suited, the question is more really are they doing a good job of it. As far as superpowers have gone, I think they are doing a pretty good job.

Being a superpower comes with perks and drawbacks, just like having any powerful job. You must have perfect timing to know when to get involved in a situation, both for the greater good and in self interest. But you must also know when to stop because you are only doing further damage. I, for one, was shocked the day that I made the realization that Sept. 11 was completely connected to the situation in the Mid East. What could have been done to prevent that outcome? I also wonder how many Americans even follow what is happening in the Mid East or realize how much that effects our lives. The problem is, as the citizens of the superpower, the current Americans have been pretty comfortable in their lives, and some don?t make the connection that what their country does directly can effect them. I am not saying that America is responsible for 9/11, but they do have to be responsible for their actions. There is no system of checks and balances in the international arena. I guess you could say the UN is the best substitute, but we have seen in the past that they are not able to stop a fanatic. It would take a very intense study of the origins of the Mid East peace process, Islamic fanaticism, and lots of other topics to trace back the roots of the actions of the USA to see what provoked such an attack and how much responsibility they really had.

I am beginning to wonder if 9/11 is not the trigger to the beginning of the end of the reign of this superpower. I started thinking that mainly after living a year in Europe and realizing that the current generation of European young adults are mostly anti-American. They are extremely politically active in almost every country, certainly the most powerful ones. They know more about current international politics than most any Americans their age that I have met, even in the Ivy League.

This is partly because another drawback of being a superpower is that everyone watches. Everyone knows all of your actions, and they form their own opinions. All other countries that don?t have the luxury of being the superpower are concerned about their role in International Politics, possibilities of being sent to war, and their relations with other countries.

I can?t write anymore right now but I wonder does anyone agree that this is the beginning of the end of America?s ultimate power? If nothing else 9/11 was the most powerful wake up call and first step towards it.
 

Escott

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Meredith said:
Canada is a very multi-cultural country and a lot of Canadian citizens come from another country where the U.S. has done harm in some way, whether it be bombings, attacks, no aid, etc. Some people think that hey, if the U.S. can bomb my country, kill millions of my innocent people, and think that no one will retaliate? Wrong. The U.S. has to think before they act and think of the consequences of their actions. the U.S. is partly to blame for their actions in the past and what occurred on September 11th.
My God Meredith, you have lost all credibility in my eyes!

Canada is Multi-cultural? The US is not?

Millions of "Innocent" people killed by the US bombings?

Man I have to stay out of this forum. I have this need to BOMB Meredith and kill millions!
 

AZB

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Bugsey, you are one of the very few americans who actually have some idea as to whats going on behind the scenes of the 9/11 tragedy. Most americans simply watch ABC news, fox new and most importantly CNN and then gather biased stupid info that is fed to fools and then draw their conclusions.
I have seen some of the most successful americans (experts in their professional fields) yet they have very little knowledge outside of their own state, let alone foreign countries. I have come to a point where whenever i present them with something different than what CNN has been feeding them, they look at me as though i am a lunatic. A religious fanatic. They simply refuse to accept any different knowledge than what is fed to them on daily bases.
Lets see, what CNN talks about and what they don't talk about:
Ex: now you are seeing pictures of bin laden all over TV screens, Sadam Hussain with firing rifles in air. Muslim religious groups with AK45 strapped to their backs. Muslims burning american flags etc etc. What do you think an average american would feel when they see those images repeatedly on 24 hrs bases for such a long time? Yes, they see things the way government wants you to see. Government picks an enemy and then tell american to hate that person. What do you all do? You act like a trained dogss and attack when unleashed with anger.
Let me ask you this: what has sadam Hussain done to you that he deserves to be bombed and have his country destroyed? What type of danger does he impose on the american lives?
Now let me tell you what CNN doesn't talk about:
Iraq is a not danger to USA but can pose some challenge to Israel like in the previous war. CNN never mentioned that Israel is the only country in middle east with aprox. 200 nuclear warheads (supplied by americans) and stock piles of bio-chemical weapons. All supplied by americans for free; your tax money at works here. In 1985, israel attacked Iraq's nuclear plant with american built fighter jets. Destroyed the nuclear facility, without any provocation from iraq. Does CNN ever talk about that? Never, you people didn't know that at all and never will. Why iraq was attacked? Because to liberate kuwait? hahahaha. How many americans even know how to even spell Kuwait let alone care for its people? You think sadam hussain would have drunk all the captured oil? No, he was american ally and would have offered even better prices to them. But no, Iraq was a threat to Israel and that?s why Iraq was attacked. It will be attacked again because the new american government puppet government will control the oil there; of course after killing thousands of innocent people during the invasion.
Afghanistan was not attacked for retaliation for 9/11 attack or for bin laden. It was attacked so taliban (ex american friends) would be thrown out and as you see the new president (ex oil company employee) would allow americans to build the oil pipe line from the Tajikistan through afghanistan to the port city of karachi, pakistan. Thats why pakistan was assisting USA in the war efforts. Pakistan will make 500-600 million dollars / year from the oil shipment as royalties. The pipeline project is already started but CNN and the rest of the american media wouldn't dare cover that.
war on terrorism is all a joke and everyone of you have fallen for it.
Most educated dominicans and many europeans also believe that the perfect attack on 9/11 could not have been orchestrated without the help of the american government itself. Now with this incident americans have the green light to do whatever and to whomever they please to choose.
 

Cleef

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Wow. Somebody get an extinguisher.

Tremendous input - all.

"Gringo Fever, don't catch it"
 

harold

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What I don't like about Americans is how much they brag.Oh, they are always claiming to have the best everything in the planet:justice system, public schools, fire department, police officers etc. You name it!

What I extremely don't like is the fact that many Dominicans go back to DR and rub their fanacial status in peoples faces. They brag about their pretend house in the US, their cars and satilite systems ect. Keep in mind they( the ones I've met) optain this by scaming the welfare system. Yet, they believe they've accomplishment something. Give me a brake!
Then they have the nerve to insult the goverment system in DR, like they're ancestors had anything to do with constitution of the United States.
I have more recentment towards these American wannabes.
 

Porfio_Rubirosa

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AZB,

Sorry to generalize, but you, like most Arabs, are wonderful at figuring out lies but horrible at discerning the unbiased truth. I could categorize the misstatements of your posting, but they are too numerous and infamous. And your post is most untimely, though indicative of overall Arab sentiment. I'm only suprised that you didn't repeat the Egyptian stories about Israel being behind the World Trade Center attack and all of the Jews not showing up for work on 9-11-01. (For the record, many of the victims were Jewish.)

This forum is about the DR. Israel is (i) a friend of the DR, having assisted the country in major food-producing irrigated agriculture projects in the Southwest and (ii) maintains a large embassy with many employees for the entire Caribbean region in Santo Domingo. The DR declared war on Nazi Germany in 1942, accepted Jewish refugees in 1940 and has had relations with Israel since 1948. I'm sorry to say that, though many Dominicans have Arab blood of which they may or may not be aware, no Arab country has taken a serious interest in the DR.

Importantly, Israel is a "red herring" for the Bin Laden types. The terrorist asshole really couldn't care less about the Palestinians. His real interest was Saudi Arabia - in ending America's military presense in the Kingdom and assuming control himself. By attacking on 9-11, he hoped to create an overreaction by Bush and a regional holy war that would bring down the House of Saud. But, then, you knew this.

America is a superpower of global scale, and therefore plays a role in everything everywhere. Myanmar doesn't like American meddling either, but has somehow managed to refrain from killing 3000 American innocents in protest.

To focus on American power is to conveniently avoid the larger issues for Arabs. There can be no progress in the Arab world until Arabs become interested in truth and justice and, most importantly, TAKE IT UPON THEMSELVES TO IMPROVE THEIR OWN LOT rather than blame others for the Arab condition.
 
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mondongo

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AZB...I am interested to learn more about the pipeline that is being built in Afghanistan...If you have any links to some info....I would appreciate if you posted them...


Meredith... I don't think Meredith means any harm by what she says..... I don't speak for her, but after reading her post...I can assure you she is not condoning this type of subhuman behaviour.

When the USA intervenes in another country....it usually has to take sides...those on the wrong side get REALLY mad...so whenever the USA intervenes...SOMEONE is gonna get pisssed at the USA....

add to this list the following groups:
1) those jealous of our riches and freedoms
2) religious extremists
3) wanna be superpowers

CONCLUSION: there are plenty of people who are angry at the USA....BUT....and this is a big BUT (but not as big as Jazzcom's fat ass) .. I can categorically and with unwavering resolve say that none of these reasons are enough to merit this barbaric terrorism...and the USA should respong to it with its full military might....
 
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Pavan

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Porfio_Rubirosa,

Intellegent reply except AZB is not an Arab. And believe me, he is way away from being a Muslim other than being born a Muslim by accident of birth. I of all the people who post here know AZB.

I still have one question which any American cannot answer. Where the hell were you when we (Indians) were fighting against the extremists YOU Americans help create and we lost 65,000 people over one decade. 65,000 is approximately 2000% more than the number killed on 9/11 and by the way they were not all Americans. 250 Indians, 200 Britons, 80 dominicans just to name a few.

It is sad what happened on 9/11, very sad and shameful for humankind but it did wake the American's up and made them take action and not just talk.

My recommendation to Americans...............stop talking keep bombing!!!!!
 
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