March 12, 2005

What Has America Done For Us

I'm away from my PC and don't have access to any pictures so I'm gonna post sumpin' that was sent to me and written by a Brit who gets it. Thanks to Tom.

I was gonna post this Friday, but my nephew Reid, the WH (War Hero) blew the power supply on the PC Thursday night. He was IM'ing like crazy and downloading CD's onto his IPOD. The PC didn't come back until yesterday afternoon. We went out to dinner and he hogged it after we got back. I didn't kick him off because I support the troops.

What have the Americans ever done for us? Liberated 50 million people...
Gerard Baker



ONE OF MY favourite cinematic moments is the scene in Monty Python's
Life of Brian when Reg, aka John Cleese, the leader of the People's
Front of Judea, is trying to whip up anti-Roman sentiment among his
team of slightly hesitant commandos.
"What have the Romans ever done for us?" he asks.



"Well, there's the aqueduct," somebody says, thoughtfully. "The
sanitation," says another. "Public order," offers a third. Reg
reluctantly acknowledges that there may have been a couple of
benefits. But then steadily, and with increasing enthusiasm, his men
reel off a litany of the good things the Romans have wrought with
their occupation of the Holy Land.

By the time they're finished they're not so sure about the whole
insurgency idea after all and an exasperated Reg tries to rally them:
"All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education,
wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and
public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"

I can't help but think of that scene as I watch the contortions of the
anti-American hordes in Britain, Europe and even in the US itself in
response to the remarkable events that are unfolding in the real
Middle East today.

Little more than three years after US forces, backed by their faithful
British allies, set foot in Afghanistan, the entire historical dynamic
of this blighted region has already shifted.

Ignoring, fortunately, the assault from clever world opinion on
America's motives, its credibility and its ambitions, the Bush
Administration set out not only to eliminate immediate threats but
also to remake the Middle East. In the last month, the pace of
progress has accelerated, and from Beirut to Kabul.

Confronted with this awkward turn of events, Reg's angry successors
are asking their cohorts: "What have the Americans ever done for us?"
"Well, they did get rid of the Taleban in Afghanistan. 'Orrible bunch,
they were."

"All right, the Taleban, I grant you."

"Then there was Iraq. Knocked off one of the nastiest dictators who
ever lived and gave the whole nation a chance to pick its own rulers."

"Yeah, all right. Fair enough. I didn't like Saddam."

"Libya gave up its nuclear weapons."

"And then there's Syria. Thousands of people on the streets of
Lebanon. Syrians look like they're pulling out."

"I just heard Egypt's going to hold free presidential elections for
the first time. And Saudi Arabia just held elections too."

"The Palestinians and the Israelis are talking again and they say
there's a real chance of peace this time."


"All right, all right. But apart from liberating 50 million people in
Iraq and Afghanistan, undermining dictatorships throughout the Arab
world, spreading freedom and self-determination in the broader Middle
East and moving the Palestinians and the Israelis towards a real
chance of ending their centuries-long war, what have the Americans
ever done for us?"

It's too early, in fairness, to claim complete victory in the
American-led struggle to bring peace through democratic transformation
of the region. Despite the temptation to crow, we must remember that
this is not Berlin 1989. There will surely be challenging times ahead
in Iraq, Iran, in the West Bank and elsewhere. The enemies of
democratic revolution — all the terrorists and Baathists, the sheikhs,
the mullahs and the monarchs — are not going to give up without a
fight.



But something very important is happening now, something that will be
very hard to stop. And, although not all of it can be directly
attributed to the US strategy in the region, can anyone seriously
argue that it would have happened without it? Neither is it true, as
some have tried to argue, that all of this is merely some unintended
consequence of an immoral and misconceived war in Iraq.

It was always the express goal of the Bush Administration to change
the regime in Baghdad, precisely because of the opportunities for
democracy it would open up in the rest of the Arab world. George Bush
understands the simple but historically demonstrable thesis that
freedom is not only the most basic of human rights, but also the best
way to ensure that nations do not go to war with each other.

In a speech one month before the start of the Iraq war in 2003, Mr
Bush laid out the strategy: "The world has a clear interest in the
spread of democratic values, because stable and free nations do not
breed the ideologies of murder. They encourage the peaceful pursuit of
a better life."

I doubt that anybody, even the most prescient in the Bush
Administration or at 10 Downing Street, thought the progress we are
now seeing would come as quickly as it has.

But what was clear to the bold foreign policy strategists in
Washington was that the status quo that existed before September 11
could no longer be tolerated. Much of the Muslim world represented
decay and stagnation, and bred anger and resentment. That was the root
cause of the terrorism that had attacked America with increasing
ferocity between 1969 and 2001.

America's critics craved stability in the Middle East. Don't rock the
boat, they said. But to the US this stability was that of the mass
grave; the calm was the eerie quiet that precedes the detonation of
the suicide bomb. The boat was holed and listing viciously.

As a foreign policy thinker close to the Administration put it to me,
in the weeks before the Iraq war two years ago: "Shake it and see.
That's what we are going to do." The US couldn't be certain of the
outcome, but it could be sure that whatever happened would be better
than the status quo.

And so America, the revolutionary power, plunged in and shook the
region to its foundations. And it is already liking what it sees.


gerard.baker@thetimes.co.uk


By the way, what has France done lately, other than obstruct us in the War On Terror?



Posted by denny at March 12, 2005 12:25 PM  
Comments

A-fuckin'-men. I wish more Europeans were like Gerard. I'd buy that man a round on the house if I ever met him!

--TwoDragons

Posted by: Denita TwoDragons on March 12, 2005 10:09 PM

Uh-huh.

"US forces, backed by their faithful British allies, set foot in Afghanistan,"
The British people dion't support this, only the opliticians. What's going on in Afghanistan now? CNN is too busy giving you up-to-the-second coverage about some guy who shot a judge and is on the run to tell you about the mess the place is in. A little Prisoner abuse, a bit of torture, more Taliban attacks, but we can safely ignore all this.

Knocked off one of the nastiest dictators who ever lived and gave the whole nation a chance to pick its own rulers.
Saddam Hussein was installed by the CIA, propped up by the US, and the curret "leaders" in Iraq were installed, not elected. They're friends of the Bush family and of Halliburton.

Libya gave up its nuclear weapons.
No, Libya never had nuclear weapons. Libya said it would stop trying to obtain them, a process which began in 1998 under Clinton. Foreign relations processes take time. Liby has been trying to get out from the sanctions it's been under since 1993. They still haven't paid a penny to the Lockerbie victims.

Syrians look like they're pulling out.
Looks like it, huh? Funny, even the Bush Regime says it's not.

"The Palestinians and the Israelis are talking again and they say there's a real chance of peace this time."
Hmm... Under Carter, Israel and Egypt finally ended hostilities. Under Clinton, a lot of headway was made. Only since Arafat snuffed it has everyone agreed that there's a better chance at finding a solution, but war-mongering isn't going to cut it.

Not since 1865 has an American life been lost after a war was declared over. It's averaging three a day...

Posted by: M W Grossmann on March 12, 2005 10:09 PM

guess whos back

Posted by: little inner man again on March 13, 2005 12:49 AM

Ok, I was away a long long time and as I realized the last URL I used for posting was a victim of censorship I have to say that I have access like to 20 different computers and URLīs, but anyway this is the last time Iīll post since Im not so passionate for senseless conversations. I just canīt resist to answer just some of the points the kind owner of this site has exposed to everyone around the globe:

- Ok your site your rules and blah blah blah, but I have the impression that if,as you say, youīre paying for your site and you publish like whatever you think there, itīs kind of (how to call it?), a waste of money maybe, just to admit opinions that support yours and just going out for the typical "that stupid was telling that the deficits are bad, but noooo, theyīre good because our exports are so cheap!" and in the process to block that stupid guy so he canīt even respond. Got my point? Itīs like the kid that just puts his hands in his ears and shouts "I donīt hear anything! I donīt hear anything! I have the reason! I have iiiiiiiiitttttt!!!", yeah, a little bit of american modern history,

- Just a quick response about the deficits, as I saw youīre response as a kind supperficial economic class:
Fact No. 1... Thereīs a huge commercial deficits, youīre imports are higher than the exports.
Fact No. 2... America is buying more non-american, the world is neither buying at all...
What the fuck is happening? Isnīt it supossed to be otherwise if youīre exports are so cheap? Iīll stay with the reasoning of one very successfull american: Warren Buffett who has lots of different currencies, yeap, seems America is kinf of risky right now.

-The France theme: Fck!!!! Ok a little history class, and as I told you, Iīm not even european:
1.Your country historical basis is deeply influenced on the Ilustration (French) ideas!
2. France was a deifnitive factor for you guys to become independent. As I now you love links Iīll give you a quick clue:
http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/gahff/html/ff_005500_alliancewith.htm
3. Your major monument itīs a french gift!!!
4. As the french are neither the nicest guys in the world, but you two guys is pretty funny to watch from the outside the egos fight between two countries that have so deep historical ties.

-Your atheism theme: You use it as the typical atheist! For making the point that you are so fucking smart, not as a reflection about why you thing like that, but, oh oh, you canīt have a logical conversation and you know, your site, your rules, ok ok ok. Personally my image of an intelligent being is of one who can actually discuss things, not one who says that because he things heīs the supreme being heīs done. Your site, your rules, Up Amerikkka.

-Iīm not even discuss Irak, really, I think itīs one of the most stupid things that has happenned lately. Whatever, stupid things happens in history, whoever makes them.

-The UN: Ok, get out of the UN! you guys helped to create it! (as saddam, and osama, etc etc) Buy yeah, you know, like the little kid, if they donīt agree with you... mmmh, isnīt it just a waste of money??? Unity between nations, who needs it??? Letīs call captain america.

Let me make my point clear: Im not against the US, I actually feel a deep (DEEP) respect for those who can use their logic further than blind patriotism, another link:
www.sorryeverybody.com
And I do think that, if your dad of your grandad or your grandgrandgrand dad was a virtous man who helped building your nation, man, you have to get your honour by your own. I do think the ones who would be subject of the proudness of the past generations that build the country that now youīre enjoying, is not the ones of the Bush side, are the ones who are trying desperately to correct the wrong pad you the other half guys have chosen.

As I told you Im not so passionate as for answering after you censor this URL, so probably you wonīt ever listen from me again, so I just hope that this opinions, more than making you angry, make you think. Iīm open for discussions, but thatīs just me. Have a nice time in your trip man.

Posted by: little inner man on March 13, 2005 01:38 AM

grossman
I think you want to suck "slick willies" dick.
Baker hits the nail right on spot...
Don't like it? move to Nigeria

And to all you sorry liberal loosers, get OVER it,
it's a done deal! W is our leader, President of the free world....
I smile every day, HA! liberals! ha! haw haw....

Posted by: murry on March 13, 2005 02:37 AM

Inner Little Shit:

You really should do your homework better. Denny has laid out the rules for this site, but he's never disallowed opinions that are different from his (or is readers). What he has done is require those opinions to be supported by facts, and to be intelligible, as opposed to ramblings diatribes. You're not giving him proper credit.

And as for France, well where do we begin. They didnt just disagree with us about the Iraq war, they actively fought against us and our interest. Oil for Food anyone? But, its funny to hear folks like you, who complain when we point out how many times we saved France's ass during the 20th century, at high cost of blood & treasure. You want to ignore that. And yet you want to remind us of the role they played in our revolutionary war.

Then there's the SOL. We love it, but if you can arrange to have it dismantled and returned to France, I can assure you plenty of American's would chip in to cover the costs, and pay for its replacement. Small price to pay to get the French to STFU about that damned statue.

Posted by: daniel on March 13, 2005 03:05 PM

As I've said before little man, our BOT deficit benefits you guys. We buy more than we sell. We are the economic engine that drives the world. If we started running a surplus you guys would be in deep shit. As it is we have a higher GDP and a faster growing economy according to links provided by you. Thanks!

Posted by: denny on March 13, 2005 04:55 PM

Awesome freaking post. Love the anology with Monty Python. I think "Little" Inner Man has the appropriate first name in his moniker. France may have been influential in getting early American's to fight for independance and gave us the Statue of Libery (BFD), but what have they done for us lately? Daniel and Denny are spot on.

Posted by: Florida Bill on March 14, 2005 09:09 AM

Excellent post GOC. You fuggin' rock!

Posted by: DaneBramage on March 14, 2005 03:49 PM

Grossman, your conclusions are as warped as your facts. And your history is total bullshit.

"Not since 1865 has an American life been lost after a war was declared over. It's averaging three a day..."

WRONG.

Phillipenes: Spanish American war was over, Moro revolt continued, now fighting us, for three years.

After WWII, diehard fanatical Nazis launched attacks (that would be called 'terrorist' by any except the media) for *seven* years.

Korea: we've lost soldiers on several occasions at the DMZ.

Vietnam was declared over after our cowardly abandonment of an ally. So I'll give you that one.

Gulf War I: the largest tank battle of the war occured AFTER we ceased operations. If it's the battle I'm thinking of, one Bradley was destroyed, with several casualties.

Iraq War: This is the only thing I bothered Googling, for up to date figures (you're not worth any further effort)
From www.Antiwar.com:

American Deaths(first figure is total, second is combat)
Since....
War began (3/19/03): 1516 1171
"Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03) 1379 1061
Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 1049 865
Handover (6/29/04): 650 539
Election (1/31/05): 84 64

Not in a million years are you going to get 3 per day out of that. In fact, using the "total" figures (hey, I'm *giving* you all the accidents & crap), and todays date of 3/15/05, I get:

War began (3/19/03): 2.08
"Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03) 2.00
Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 2.29
Handover (6/29/04): 2.50
Election (1/31/05): 1.95

2.5 != 3.0 There's your "three per day" sir-- *if* you round favorably, heh. NOTE HOW THE DEATHS SPIKED IN THE RUN-UP TO THE AMERICAN AND IRAQI ELECTIONS. And now that they've passed, the terrorists have LOST. Their only hope was to terrorize the Iraqis into surrender, or make us give up and go home. And if that hadn't been their hope, then it would have been pointless to kill our soldiers, because they couldn't force us out by military means when the entire Iraqi military couldn't. Or if they were some kind of "minutemen" (gag, spit) just out to kill the infidel occupier, it would be at least as much point to kill them now as it was then--so we wouldn't see the deaths drop off so sharply.

In short, their plan was to kill our men and hope people like YOU hand them victory. The terrorists wanted YOU to do their job and humble the USA, they wanted YOU to force America to retreat and make nice to the dictators, Europe, and the rest of the scum.

How's it feel to be an islamo-facist dupe, you seditious f**kwad?

Posted by: ubu on March 15, 2005 04:22 PM

ubu - You left out the War of 1812. The Battle of New Orleans was fought after the end of the war.

Grossman is one of those dipsticks who has to spout the bullshit put out by the loony left. I always wonder why these guys hate America so much.

Posted by: denny on March 15, 2005 04:48 PM
Post a comment