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Discussion Starter #1
Subject: View of the World:
Ramblings of an Old Man

By Joe Galloway

If you aren't interested in the ramblings of an old man, please delete

now. If you're still there, pull up a chair and listen.

Is there anyone else out there who's sick and tired of all the polls

being taken in foreign countries as to whether or not they" like" us?

The last time I looked, the word "like" had nothing to do with foreign

policy. I prefer 'respect' or 'fear.' They worked for Rome, which

civilized and kept the peace in the known world a hell of a lot longer

than our puny two centuries-plus.

I see a left-wing German got elected to office recently by campaigning

against the foreign policy of the United States. Yeah, that's what I

want, to be lectured about war and being a "good neighbor" by a German.

Their head honcho said they wouldn't take part in a war against Iraq.

Kind of nice to see them taking a pass on a war once in while. Perhaps

we needed to have the word "World" in front of War. I think it's time

to bring our boys home from Germany. Outside of the money we'd save,

we'd make the Germans "like" us a lot more, after they started paying

the bills for their own defense.

Last time I checked, France isn't too fond of us either. They sort of

liked us back on June 6th, 1944, though, didn't they? If you don't think

so, see how nicely they take care of the enormous American cemeteries up

above the Normandy beaches. For those of you who've studied history, we

also have a few cemeteries in places like Belleau Woods and Chateau

Thierry also.

For those of you who haven't studied it, that was from World War One the

first time Europe screwed up, and we bailed out the French. That's

where the US Marines got the title 'Devil Dogs' or, if you still care

about what the Germans think, Teufelhunde." I hope I spelled that

right; sure wouldn't want to offend anyone, least of all a German.

Come to think of it, when Europe couldn't take care of their Bosnian

problem recently, guess who had to help out there also. Last time I

checked, our kids are still there. I sort of remember they said they

would be out in a year. Gee, how time flies when you're having fun.

Now we hear that the South Koreans aren't too happy with us either. They

"liked" us a lot better, of course, in June 1950. It took more than

50,000 Americans killed in Korea to help give them the lifestyle they

currently enjoy, but then who's counting? I think it's also time to

bring the boys home from there. There are about 37,000 young Americans

on the DMZ separating the South Koreans from their "brothers" up north.

Maybe if we leave, they can begin to participate in the "good life" that

North Korea currently enjoys. Uh huh. Sure.

I also understand that a good portion of the Arab/Moslem world now

doesn't "like" us either. Did anyone ever sit down and determine what

we would have to do to get them to like us? Ask them what they would

like us to do. Die? Commit ritual suicide? Bend over? Maybe we should

follow the advice of our dimwitted, dullest knife in the drawer, Senator

Patty Murray, and build more roads, hospitals, day care centers, and

orphanages like Osama bin Laden does. What with all the orphans Osama

has created, the least he can do is build some places to put them.

Senator Stupid says if we would only "emulate" Osama, the Arab world

would love us.

Sorry Patty, in addition to the fact that we already do all of those

things around the world and have been doing them for over sixty years, I

don't take public transportation, and I certainly wouldn't take it with

a bomb strapped to the guy next to me. Don't get me wrong: I'm not in

favor of going to war. Been there, done that. Several times, in fact.

But I think we ought to have some polls in this country about other

countries, and see if we "like" THEM. Problem is, if you listed the

countries, not only wouldn't the average American know if he liked them

or not, he wouldn't be able to find them. If we're supposed to worry

about them, how about them worrying about us?

We were nice to the North Koreans in 1994, as we followed the policies

of Neville Clinton. And it seemed to work; they didn't restart nuclear

weapons program for a whole year or so. In the meantime, we fed them

when they were starving, and put oil in their stoves when they were


In a recent visit to Norway, I engaged in a really fun debate with my

cousin's son, a student at a Norwegian University.

I was lectured to by this thankless squirt about the American "Empire,"

and scolded about dropping the atomic bomb on the Japanese. I reminded

him that empires usually keep the stuff they take; we don't, and back in

1945 most Norwegians thought dropping ANY kind of bomb on Germany or

Japan was a good idea. I also reminded him that my uncle, his

grandfather, and others in our family spent a significant time in

Sachsenhausen concentration camp, courtesy of the Germans, and they

didn't all survive. I further reminded him that if it weren't for the

"American Empire" he would probably be speaking German or Russian.

Sorry about the rambling, but I just took an unofficial poll here at our

house, and we don't seem to like anyone.

Happy New Year.

Provided by Joe Galloway, author of We Were Soldiers.

1,544 Posts
As another old man who spent some time in Europe during the "cold" war I tend to agree. Nothing I've experienced to this day has chilled my soul like my first sight of the border between East and West Germany - a border fortifed with guard towers and fences not designed to defend but to imprison. I wonder if the Germans who lived under that regime and their families who were seperated from them for so long could have forgotten so quickly.... .

946 Posts
"prefer 'respect' or 'fear.' They worked for Rome, which

civilized and kept the peace in the known world a hell of a lot longer

than our puny two centuries-plus. "

We have to consider not only *our* foreign policy but the international policy that our world revolves around. I believe it is hypocritical to purport the image of support and abidance to the terms of the UN, being an avid "supporter" of its beliefs, only to turn around and do as we please without considering other nations we are joined with [in the UN]. I believe the Wilsonian concept still exists, only with a different name. Believe it or not, there is still a strong interdependence in our world today that we must not forget no matter how strong we become or how many countries "fear" us. Whether you are a Liberal or a Realist, you must still be aware that the current internation policy is still based on a multipolar system of alliances and co-existence. We must not forget that our allies are still important to us in the long run, and to not burn any bridges with crass foreign policy.

As for the allusion to Rome, I would hope that Pax Americana will last longer, but only if we continue to be aware of the limitations to both our foreign policy, and our peers'.
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