Inside Every _____________There is an American Trying to Get Out

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    • #448581
      Passionate Progressive
      • Total Posts: 3,664


      Several times during the hearings the question arose of what went wrong, not in Biden misjudgments at the end, but rather in the overall conduct of the 20 year campaign. Promises were made to do intense studies of the road to failure, and I am sure that the studies will be made. It is our way to study such things when they go wrong, but it is seldom true that the study produces valid answers, answers that are valid, accepted and/or implemented. IMO this case will follow that pattern.

      In the course of the two days of hearings the word “culture” was occasionally mentioned in passing. The word was mentioned in what seemed to me to be a furtive, slightly embarrassed way. This is typical of Americans, who are in my experience incapable of sustaining the notion in their collective minds that there are other world views that for other peoples are as valid and motivating as the “melting pot” hybrid that has emerged among us as something like a people.

      I have dealt with that cultural blindness for all my rather lengthy life. I have met it in both military and civil life. I was a member of the executive board of a rather famous foundation that dealt with questions of war, peace, violence, that sort of thing. Large amounts of money grants were bestowed on academics judged worthy. After serving on this board for a number of years, it became clear that the professional staff who served the foundation were deeply opposed to grants that stressed study of “culture;” folkways, customs, group identity, etc., and most especially RELIGION as motivating the course of history. No. What was desired by the staff as members of the group-thinkery that is the academy were studies concerned with the “REAL” factors in any situation, in other words, the economic factors hidden beneath a smoke screen of all this “culture nonsense.”

      Link to article

      The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.....Martin Luther King '63

      It takes all the technical proficiency our system can provide to make up for the woeful lack of popular support and political savvy of most of the regimes that the West has thus far sought to prop up.........Bernard Fall

    • #448587
      Utopian Leftist
      • Total Posts: 718

      Personally I would believe you could find an Amerikan as a booby prize in one of those boxes. That’s about all we seem to be capable of: sticky crap that will rot your brain, destroy your teeth and still make you think you’re getting something for nothing.

      At the luncheon thereafter the head of the Social Studies lash-up asked if I really believed that the majority of Pashtuns, Zulu, Apaches, etc. did not want to be like us. When I replied that I did, he said that if he accepted that he would have to re-evaluate the value of our “culture.”

      Re-evaluate, indeed. Perhaps he’d be more effective if he could IDENTIFY ANY SIGNIFICANT ASPECT of American “culture” that extends beyond mindless consumerism and selfishness.

      "All fascism is a result of a failure of the left to provide a viable alternative." ~ Trotsky
      “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Krishnamurti

    • #448590
      retired liberal
      • Total Posts: 4,363

      If we can’t personally gain, or profit, it is to be ignored, downplayed.

      We are an arrogant species, believing our fantasy based "facts" are better than the other person's fake facts.
      The older we get, the less "Life in Prison" is a deterrent.
      Always wear a proper mask when out and about. The life you save could be both yours and mine.
      Don't forget that the S in IoT stands for Security.

    • #448597
      Jan Boehmerman
      • Total Posts: 4,573



    • #448613
      • Total Posts: 1,861

      After the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, I went back and re-read the chapter titled “Afghanistan” from Amy Chua’s book called “Political Tribes”. The book now seems very timely. It was published in 2018.
      There are other chapters in the book titled “Vietnam”, “Iraq”, “Venezuela” and finishing with “Democracy and Political Tribalism in America”.

      A brief discription…

      Humans are tribal. In many parts of the world, the group identities that matter most — the one that people will die for — are ethnic, religious, sectarian, or clan-based. And yet, to disastrous effect, Washington’s foreign policy establishment has been blind to the power of tribal politics outside the country, just as political elites have been oblivious to the group identities that matter most to ordinary Americans — and that are now tearing the United States apart. — Amy Chua, author

      Book Reviews:


    • #448616
      • Total Posts: 2,688


      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #449335
      • Total Posts: 2,688

      from the oped posted in the neo-orientalism thread:

      This is in fact a nice liberal-sounding version of the famous statement of the U.S. Marine general in Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket: “Inside every Gook there is an American waiting to get out.”

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #449511
      • Total Posts: 1,570

      “The argument, when reduced to its simplest form, was
      clear, it was precise, it was easy to grasp. There are Westerners, and there are Orientals. The
      former dominate; the latter must be dominated, which usually means having their land occupied,
      their internal affairs rigidly controlled, their blood and treasure put at the disposal of one or
      another Western power.” Edward W. Said

    • #449514
      • Total Posts: 1,569

      Great comments, plus a book I will have to get! It will go on the top of the stack that is building on my beside table lol.  I don’t get why we are like this? But I know very few people who don’t buy that our lives culture(or Lack there of) are better then everyone else’s in the world. When I lived in Asia the corporate or diplomatic expats were disgusting. They were a drunkin lot who partied and went to the america club totally isolated from the culture of Taiwan. I could not stand to have anything to do with these people who had their Philippino help raise their kids. Their drivers hall them back and forth to the American club. I worked teaching art at the American school and taking art classes from a local artist. The teachers were amazing most had been abroad for 8 or more years in different schools around the world. They new where to go and what to see. So we saw a lot. From staying in the jungle in the Philippines to going on some hair raising bus ride through the mountains of Taiwan and exploring villages and eating with families in the South Pacific. These people like our stuff but value family far more then we do in America. In both Taiwan and China family is everything!  We seem to have walked away from family life in the US I know very few people who spend time live near or care much about there extended families. I know I am guilty of this.

      If we have walked away from the very bases of community our families, what is culture?


    • #449524
      • Total Posts: 5,831

      who loved the US in the late 80s and very early 90s. Now, no, after years of Russiagate and sanctions.

      My fiancee isn’t sure if she wants to come to the US seeing our violence (school shootings, street shootings, violent protests) and healthcare delays and costs, for example.

      I expect we will end up living in Ukraine with its own issues.

    • #449550
      • Total Posts: 1,569

      Wow jbnw. Maybe we just hear about the issues in Ukraine that are negative,but it seems like the 2 countries have a lot of the same issues? I had some old college buddies who lived there a totally loved it, but that was 25 years ago.  Hope you tell us more!


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