Are you critical or negative about the United States of America? - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Are you negative or critical of the United States of America?

Yes, I am negative or critical of the United States of America
22
65%
No, I am not negative or critical of the United States of America
4
12%
I am neither negative nor positive about the United States of America
8
24%
#15191056
America is a former force for good that has outlived its period in history and failed to adapt itself as it developed, becoming a regressive international force and a degenerate state that has been captured by its corporate/financial institutions. A political and economic system that was revolutionary in 1789 is now woefully archaic.

In terms of things like gender equality and some other social issues it is still a world leader, despite that.
#15191076
Patrickov wrote:I only feel angry because most of you seem to be ok to endorse real pieces of shit which is NOT the USA.

Your pain is not my pain, and my pain is not your pain. The oppression which you experience in your life comes, for the most part, from the People's Republic of China. The oppression which, say, the people of Central America experience in their lives comes, for the most part, from the United States of America, which either props up their murderous and corrupt governments, or funds terrorist groups and death squads to overthrow them if they are not murderous or corrupt enough for the USA's taste. Do you care about the oppression being suffered by the people of Central America as a result of the USA's behaviour? Probably not, any more than they care about the oppression being suffered by the people of Hong Kong as a result of the People's Republic of China's behaviour. And so the wheel turns....
#15191079
We're not critical of America because we dislike them but because the USA is the biggest power in the world, it's decisions affect us. America is also our ally in many cases so we have a right to criticise our allies, especially the most powerful one. A lot of trends developing in America are not good for the rest of the Western world and the Americans (like the British) sometimes get the wrong end of the stick on a lot of issues. We don't ignore the excesses in other parts of the world but the US also affects us significantly and we have a right to express criticism on issues where we disagree and where we think the Americans could take a different approach. Seems like some people think non-Americans from allied countries have to be loyal to the USA and support them in whatever they do (even on issues where half of the US population also disagree). That's wrong. It's not as if we contribute nothing to them, we've helped them out many times in history and sent troops to fight for a common cause. American soldiers fought heroically to defend us from the Axis powers and we'll never forget this. In fact without American help we would probably have fallen to the fascists. Always had good experiences with the few Americans I've met in person.

I wish nothing but the best for America and the American people. It's most unfortunate that such a country is experiencing so many problems.
#15191090
As a european I am very grateful for the world order we have had (and to a large extent still have) with USA as the only global superpower (and prior to Soviets fall, the best superpower to align with).

I think it is obvious that this order is living on borrowed time, and that the west has to adjust to a very different world where other civilizations stand on equal footing with us. China initially, then India, and further into the future who can tell what will happend to the islamic world and subsaharan Africa.

But for americans Id be more concerned with inherent structural problems of the US that, as I see it, goes extremly deep and seems almost impossible(?) to solve; namely the role of the constitution. I think its fair to say that the american constitution is one of the most powerfull and robust political documents in human history but it comes with one big flaw: its lack of plasticity.

Unlike european nationstates USA is basically defined by this documents and its ideas, which makes its very difficult to make reforms of the document itself. This is something I think will be more and more important in the era we are about to enter with massive technological and geopolitical changes.

In addition to that a more ongoing concern for the country is its increasing privatization of crucial state affairs, something that in my opinion resembles the problems for the ancient regime in France. But things like these could likely go on for decades or even centuries before its actually noticeable. So the question is more, how severe is this phenomenom?
#15191108
Rugoz wrote:Yawn. Nonsense.


https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/b ... story.html


    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - The search for Nelson Mackay Chavarria - family man, government lawyer, possible subversive - began one Sunday in 1982 after he devoured a pancake breakfast and stepped out to buy a newspaper.

    It ended last December when his wife, Amelia, watched as forensic scientists plucked his moldering bones from a pit in rural Honduras. Spotting a scrap of the red-and-blue shirt her husband was wearing the day he disappeared, she gasped: "Oh my God, that's him!"

    Along with Amelia Mackay, the nation of Honduras has begun to confront a truth it has long suspected - that hundreds of its citizens were kidnapped, tortured and killed in the 1980s by a secret army unit trained and supported by the Central Intelligence Agency.

    The intelligence unit, known as Battalion 316, used shock and suffocation devices in interrogations. Prisoners often were kept naked and, when no longer useful, killed and buried in unmarked graves.

    Newly declassified documents and other sources show that the CIA and the U.S. Embassy knew of numerous crimes, including murder and torture, committed by Battalion 316, yet continued to collaborate closely with its leaders.

    In order to keep U.S. dollars flowing into Honduras for the war against communism in Central America, the Reagan administration knowingly made a series of misleading statements to Congress and the public that denied or minimized the violence of Battalion 316.

    These are among the findings of a 14-month investigation in which The Sun obtained formerly classified documents and interviewed U.S. and Honduran participants, many of whom - fearing for their lives or careers - have kept silent until now.

    Among those interviewed were three former Battalion 316 torturers who acknowledged their crimes and detailed the battalion's close relationship with the CIA.

    U.S. collaboration with Battalion 316 occurred at many levels.

    * The CIA was instrumental in training and equipping Battalion 316. Members were flown to a secret location in the United States for training in surveillance and interrogation, and later were given CIA training at Honduran bases.

    * Starting in 1981, the United States secretly provided funds for Argentine counterinsurgency experts to train anti-Communist forces in Honduras. By that time, Argentina was notorious for its own "Dirty War," which had left at least 10,000 dead or "disappeared" in the 1970s. Argentine and CIA instructors worked side by side training Battalion 316 members at a camp in Lepaterique, a town about 16 miles west of Tegucigalpa.

    * Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, who as chief of the Honduran armed forces personally directed Battalion 316, received strong U.S. support - even after he told a U.S. ambassador that he intended to use the Argentine method of eliminating subversives.

    * By 1983, when Alvarez's oppressive methods were well known to the U.S. Embassy, the Reagan administration awarded him the Legion of Merit for "encouraging the success of democratic processes in Honduras." His friendship with Donald Winters, the CIA station chief in Honduras, was so close that when Winters adopted a child, he asked Alvarez to be the girl's godfather.

    * A CIA officer based in the U.S. Embassy went frequently to a secret jail known as INDUMIL, where torture was conducted, and visited the cell of kidnap victim Ines Murillo. That jail and other Battalion 316 installations were off-limits to Honduran officials, including judges trying to find kidnap victims.

    The exact number of people executed by Battalion 316 remains unknown. For years, unidentified and unclaimed bodies were found dumped in rural areas, along rivers and in citrus groves.

    Late in 1993, the Honduran government listed 184 people as still missing and presumed dead. They are are called "desaparecidos," Spanish for "the disappeared." Mackay is the first person on the list to be found and identified. The discovery of an identifiable body has enabled prosecutors to try to bring his killers to justice.

    To this day, the events in Honduras have been little noticed, an obscure sideshow to a highly publicized struggle in the region. ,, They came about as the Reagan administration was waging war against a Marxist regime in Nicaragua and leftist insurgents in El Salvador.

    Honduras, a U.S. ally, was used by Washington as the principal base for its largely clandestine effort. Keeping Honduras secure from leftists was Battalion 316's mission.

    "I think it is an example of the pathology of foreign policy," said Jack Binns, a Carter appointee as ambassador to Honduras who served from September 1980 through October 1981. "The desire to conduct a clandestine war against Nicaragua out of Honduras made us willing to go beyond turning a blind eye and made us willing to provide assistance to people doing these things even though we knew they were doing them."

    Elliott Abrams, former assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs from December 1981 to July 1985, when he was appointed assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, vigorously defends the Reagan policy.

    "Disappearing people - murdering people, was not the policy of the United States. Nor was it our policy to avert our eyes," Abrams said.

    Abrams and other Reagan administration officials said that while fighting communism was the primary goal, they encouraged military leaders in Central America to curtail human rights abuses. In contrast to the Carter administration, which had emphasized human rights in crafting foreign policy, they tackled the issue privately, Abrams said.

    "A human rights policy is not supposed to make you feel good," he said. "It's supposed to do some good in the country you're targeting."

    No one was safe

    Some of the victims of Battalion 316 were subversives, involved in such crimes as bombings and robberies. Nelson Mackay, an easy-going man of Australian descent, had many friends in the military. But he was suspected of arranging gun sales to a radical student group.

    Many others were kidnapped and killed for exercising the same freedoms that the United States said it was fighting for in Latin America. Victims included students demonstrating for the release of political prisoners, union leaders who organized strikes for higher wages, journalists who criticized the military regime and college professors demanding fair tuition for the poor.

    Among the kidnapped were 14 who described their treatment in interviews with The Sun. Nine said members of Battalion 316 clipped wires to their genitals and sent electric currents surging through their bodies.

    "They started with 110 volts," said Miguel Carias, an architectural draftsman who was held captive with Nelson Mackay for a week in 1982. "Then they went up to 220. Each time they shocked me, I could feel my body jump and my mouth filled with a metal taste."

    Former members of Battalion 316, interviewed in Canada where they are living in exile, described how prisoners were nearly suffocated with a rubber mask wrapped tightly around their faces. The mask was called "la capucha," or "the hood." Women were fondled and raped, the torturers said.

    The body of Mackay, who was 37 years old and the father of five, showed signs of other tortures.

    Farmers who found Mackay's body in 1982 and later buried it reported that his hands and feet were tied with rope and a noose was around his neck. A black liquid spilled from his mouth. The farmers recognized the substance as "criolina," a thick, black liquid rubbed on cattle to kill ticks and mites.

    Stalking the victims

    Before being kidnapped and tortured, suspects were stalked by Battalion 316.

    Jose Valle, a former battalion member now in Canada, describes a typical surveillance: "We would follow a person for four to six days. See their daily routes from the moment they leave the house. What kind of transportation they use. The streets they go on."

    Once the battalion determined the time and place an individual was most vulnerable, the person was kidnapped, often in daylight by men in black ski masks. They ambushed their victims on busy streets, then sped off in cars with tinted windows and no license plates.

    The prisoners of Battalion 316 were confined in bedrooms, closets and basements of country homes of military officers. Some were held in military clubhouses at locations such as INDUMIL, the Military Industries complex near Tegucigalpa.

    They were stripped and tied hand and foot. Tape was wrapped around their eyes.

    Those who survived recall interrogation sessions that lasted hours. Battalion members shouted obscenities, accused them of being terrorists, and told them they would never see their families again if they did not answer questions and confess.

    Milton Jimenez, former leader of a radical leftist student group, .. endured such interrogation. He and several college housemates were kidnapped by military police on April 27, 1982. When Jimenez refused to answer questions, he said, the officers told ,, him they were going to kill him. "They said they were finishing my grave. . . . I was convinced that I was going to die."

    They stood him before a firing squad. They aimed their guns at him, promising that it was his time to die. But they never fired.

    Eventually, he was released.

    "They never accused me of anything specific," said Jimenez in an interview in Tegucigalpa, where he is now a lawyer. "They said they knew I was a terrorist and they asked, 'Who are your friends?'"

The article continues with some descriptions of the torture, but I was not interested in reading that for you. As someone from a country that lived through similar “liberation” by US forces, it is not something I can dismiss as “nonsense”.
#15191117
Pants-of-dog wrote:https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/bal-negroponte1a-story.html


Left-wing guerillas in Latin America are basically thugs, but even if they weren't, all Marxist-Leninist revolutions have led to oppressive dictatorship, hence preventing them is pretty damn important. It's only a question of methods.

That said, it's the social conditions that lead to such uprisings that matter, and they are a consequence of how those regions were colonized (and also to some extent of the culture of the indigenous societies). Contrary to what Marx predicted communist revolutions were successful in societies where an impoverished peasantry was facing a landed aristocracy, not in industrialized societies.

American meddling is really just the tip of the iceberg.
#15191120
Rugoz wrote:Left-wing guerillas in Latin America are basically thugs, but even if they weren't, all Marxist-Leninist revolutions have led to oppressive dictatorship, hence preventing them is pretty damn important. It's only a question of methods.


You seem to be changing your position.

Before, you effectively stated that claims of US oppression of people in Central America are nonsense.

Now, you seem to be saying those claims are instead true and valid. And that this oppression is justified because Latin American socialists are all evil.

That said, it's the social conditions that lead to such uprisings that matter, and they are a consequence of how those regions were colonized (and also to some extent of the culture of the indigenous societies). Contrary to what Marx predicted communist revolutions were successful in societies where an impoverished peasantry was facing a landed aristocracy, not in industrialized societies.

American meddling is really just the tip of the iceberg.


The fact that Latin America was colonised in such a way as to lead to poverty and instability is one of the reasons why the US was able to effectively extend imperial control over the continent.

Your fact does not cancel the fact of US oppression, but instead corroborates it.
#15191121
Pants-of-dog wrote:You seem to be changing your position.

Before, you effectively stated that claims of US oppression of people in Central America are nonsense.

Now, you seem to be saying those claims are instead true and valid. And that this oppression is justified because Latin American socialists are all evil.


Well I assumed the argument was more sophisticated. That oppressive regimes now are a consequence of America meddling in the past. My mistake. :roll:

The US doesn't oppress the people of Central America. It exercises very little authority. Not at all comparable to China on its terrority.
#15191131
Rugoz wrote:Well I assumed the argument was more sophisticated. That oppressive regimes now are a consequence of America meddling in the past. My mistake. :roll:


Yes and no.

For example, Colombia is essentially a democracy and it is even looking into, and seeking justice for, atrocities committed during the dictatorship and rebellion.

But leftists are still being targeted by paramilitary groups that were initially set up and trained by the USA.

The US doesn't oppress the people of Central America. It exercises very little authority. Not at all comparable to China on its terrority.


I do not think it is possible to make any sort of informed statement about relative levels of meddling since we do not have a transparent method of knowing how much meddling each country is currently involved in.
#15191150
Pants-of-dog wrote:I do not think it is possible to make any sort of informed statement about relative levels of meddling since we do not have a transparent method of knowing how much meddling each country is currently involved in.


So we could say Cuba meddles across Latin America and is to blame for all the left wing guerrillas and the Venezuelan dictatorship, as Latin American rightists often claim in a similar conspirational way?

Or this line of reasoning only applies to the US?
#15191160
Rugoz wrote:The US doesn't oppress the people of Central America.

One of the objectives of the CIA's MK-Ultra program, was to invent a chemical product that could attack specific "genetic combinations" that could be found in Banana Plantation countries (like Cuba and Guatemala) and make these people stupid, passive, and easy to boss around.

Experimenting with chemicals that make entire nations in Central America braindead stupid is an act of extreme racism and oppression.

It speaks volumes about the attitude that American Money has regarding the less rich peoples of Latin America. Even if you know and read nothing about Latin American history, read about MK Ultra and its intended victims.

By the way, MK ULtra was the first project that the CIA worked on after it was created.
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