Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 15 Oct '09 06:05
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/13/AR2009101302654.html

    ...

    Former Republican senator Jack Danforth has described the practical effect of these European attitudes bluntly: "What it really says is: We will follow the U.S. provided the U.S. doesn't want to lead anywhere." What does it mean to "do the right thing in world affairs"? For Europeans, this essentially means pacifism. A recent transatlantic poll asked whether the use of force can ever be "necessary to obtain justice." Seventy-one percent of Europeans said "no," while 71 percent of American said "yes." In general, Europeans believe that nothing -- not peace, or freedom, or security, or the rights of the weak -- is worth fighting for. It is an attitude Europeans can afford to hold because America has chosen to defend them. But it is not a view that an American president can share, or ultimately appease.

    Hard power is essential. Soft power is useful. Star power matters mainly in Oslo.
  2. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    15 Oct '09 08:07
    In determining which of two worldviews is "right", I often ask myself which world I'd rather live in: a world in which all of the people believed in A, or a world in which all of the people believe in B. Here the choice is simple. I would much rather live in a world of pacifists than in a world of people who held in high regard the use of military or terrorist force as a means of solving problems. You can say I'm a dreamer who's only free to dream because a soldier took a bullet for me, but remember: the one who fired that bullet was himself a pawn of policies enacted by those who hold in high regard the use of military or terrorist force as a means of solving problems. The military mentality is ultimately self-defeating. The same goes for nationalism. Yes, sometimes it comes down to kill or be killed, but never celebrate that reality or heap scorn on those who cannot bring themselves to put a price on peace.
  3. 15 Oct '09 08:21
    In zeeblebot's world, a Nobel peace prize is representative of "what Europe thinks".
  4. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    15 Oct '09 08:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    In zeeblebot's world, a Nobel peace prize is representative of "what Europe thinks".
    Hey, be kind to him. In his world there are "good guys" and "bad guys",
    so you can't expect much, really.

    Edit. Now that I think of it, in his world Santa Claus exists and he
    is Anglo-Saxon, when we all know Santa is Finno-Ugric. Bash him!
  5. 15 Oct '09 09:25
    Originally posted by Seitse
    Hey, be kind to him. In his world there are "good guys" and "bad guys",
    so you can't expect much, really.

    Edit. Now that I think of it, in his world Santa Claus exists and he
    is Anglo-Saxon, when we all know Santa is Finno-Ugric. Bash him!
    Blasphemy! Santa Claus is Turkic.
  6. Subscriber Crowley
    Not Aleister
    15 Oct '09 10:09
    Refresh my memory. How many times in recent history has American bombs brought peace and prosperity to the country they have/had in their sights?
  7. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    15 Oct '09 10:21
    Originally posted by Crowley
    Refresh my memory. How many times in recent history has American bombs brought peace and prosperity to the country they have/had in their sights?
    Japan, Germany, Vietnam, South Korea.....
  8. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    15 Oct '09 10:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    In zeeblebot's world, a Nobel peace prize is representative of "what Europe thinks".
    I only hope Europe goes in the path that zeeblebot describes. We should not use force in other countries to impose our justice, unless this is done by the UN and is shared by all kinds of countries. We simply shouldn't go where we are not welcome.

    The EU should keep expanding by means of peaceful cooperation and increased membership. That's the role I'd like to see Europe do. If you give a country the opportunity to join by stating the conditions by which you will be accepted, then that the people in that country will have much more leverage over their governments to move in that direction, should they wish to have institutions similar to ours. War and force only creates an environment where the ruthless move to the top.
  9. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    15 Oct '09 11:23
    Originally posted by Palynka
    ...If you give a country the opportunity to join by stating the conditions by which you will be accepted, then that the people in that country will have much more leverage over their governments to move in that direction, should they wish to have institutions similar to ours. War and force only creates an environment where the ruthless move to the top.
    ..and if the people have never experienced the freedom to express civic virtue, and have never known peace enough themselves to resonate the right balance of expectations from those that rise to become their leaders, then to what extent should those with western values assume that belligerence in another nation stems mainly from a lack of parity?

    The nature nurture argument may simply not hold for other cultures. More specifically our sensitivities as to the degree to which those levers can affect a change. Treating all men like gentlemen may not necessarily produce a universal transformation.
  10. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    15 Oct '09 11:27
    Originally posted by kmax87
    ..and if the people have never experienced the freedom to express civic virtue, and have never known peace enough themselves to resonate the right balance of expectations from those that rise to become their leaders, then to what extent should those with western values assume that belligerence in another nation stems mainly from a lack of parity?

    The natu ...[text shortened]... change. Treating all men like gentlemen may not necessarily produce a universal transformation.
    If it doesn't hold, then our institutions are not adequate and imposing them by force wouldn't solve anything, anyway. I still see no advantage.
  11. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    15 Oct '09 11:32
    Originally posted by Palynka
    If it doesn't hold, then our institutions are not adequate and imposing them by force wouldn't solve anything, anyway. I still see no advantage.
    It allows 'us' to enjoy our absurd notion of peaceful civilization just a little bit longer before the howling dogs of hell do their best to try and rip 'us' all apart.
  12. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    15 Oct '09 11:38 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by kmax87
    It allows 'us' to enjoy our absurd notion of peaceful civilization just a little bit longer before the howling dogs of hell do their best to try and rip 'us' all apart.
    ....okay okay,, just file it under that old definition of paranoia you thought made an amusing bumper sticker once..."......just because you're not paranoid, doesn't mean they're still not out to get you......."
  13. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    15 Oct '09 12:38
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/13/AR2009101302654.html

    ...

    Former Republican senator Jack Danforth has described the practical effect of these European attitudes bluntly: "What it really says is: We will follow the U.S. provided the U.S. doesn't want to lead anywhere." What does it mean to "do the right thing in world af ...[text shortened]...

    Hard power is essential. Soft power is useful. Star power matters mainly in Oslo.
    Since you like links so much, then you click on the link that follows to the report of that poll. You would then see that the question was not about the use of force is ever necessary to obtain justice, but whether if, "under some conditions, war is necessary to obtain justice".
  14. 15 Oct '09 13:14
    Originally posted by kmax87
    Japan, Germany, Vietnam, South Korea.....
    explain how.
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    15 Oct '09 13:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    In determining which of two worldviews is "right", I often ask myself which world I'd rather live in: a world in which all of the people believed in A, or a world in which all of the people believe in B. Here the choice is simple. I would much rather live in a world of pacifists than in a world of people who held in high regard the use of military or ter te that reality or heap scorn on those who cannot bring themselves to put a price on peace.
    Your initial question doesn't make any sense. Of course everyone would prefer it if everybody in the World were peaceful. But you don't have control over the other guy; you only have control over you. To not fight the other guy simply because you'd rather the other guy not want to fight you doesn't make any sense. If a burglar was in your house and headed towards your kids' rooms and you had a gun, would you say "Well, gee, I'd rather the burglar not be violent so I won't be violent either"? No. You'd blow the burglar's brains out and then when your kids are safe, you'd go back to being peaceful.

    Hawks don't "hold in high regard the use of military or terrorist force as a means of solving problems." They think it necessary in certain cases to solve problems that can't be solved in other ways. Whether they're right or wrong with regard to a particular situation is a question that needs to be dealt with on a case by case basis. But you're basic point is an oversimplification.