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  1. #1
    Aikido is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Default American Foreign Policy, A crucial period

    So yeah, that sounded academic, but I'm trying to make sure the thread title actually has something to do with what this thread is about.
    What sparked this thread for me is this:
    http://blag.xkcd.com/2007/01/29/wash...he-vernacular/
    If you havent checked out that comic (even just as a comic) I recommend it. But thats not what this is about. The above is a link to the most recent entry in his blog, and I think its a really valuable and interesting work. I've been studying a lot of US Foreign policy recently, and I think its really crucial, as an American citizen or as a person who is trying to understand why the US is the way it is today/how it was originally conceived, to think a bit about that.
    Anyway, the link is basically Washingtons Farewell Address translated loosely into "modern" english. Though I also like the original, I think this version is really accessible (dont misunderstand, I'm not looking down, im just recognizing that the piece is not really short and its less likely to get a TLDR and generate more discussion if its presented like this) without sacrificing the inherent points of his address.
    I dont really expect this thread to get a lot of active participation, but thats okay. I think a few people will respond, and more people will read it than respond. 'sides, I hate threads that are over 8 pages. By the 4th, its never about the original topic anyway.
    As for why I called this a "crucial period" (other than being bombastic), is because I think there are points in history where a lot of truly fundamental change is made in a short time that strongly shapes the next century. I think that period for the US is the 2008 election. I think the stuff going on in Congress now has the opportunity to be pretty damn revolutionary, for better or for worse. And though its hard to see exactly what is better or worse, I think Washingtons address talks a lot about issues that are coming to the forefront in this time (especially the part about the Constitution, in light of the recent push by some politicians to pull back on free speech and other constitutional rights)(also the part about political parties. partisan politics are so fucking dumb sometimes, especially recently).

    Yeah. I dont usually give my opinion when I post shit like this, but I dont want this thread to just get breezed over. If you got this far, thanks. I hope you take the 10 minutes or so to read translated part of the link.

    ^_^

  2. #2
    be0wulf is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Default

    The part about the South getting crap from the North was funny.

    I'm not American myself, so I'm not all that familiar about U.S. history. It was rather...enlightening, reading Washington's farewell address in "modern vernacular", though.


    http://www.chunlikickedme.com

  3. #3
    Aikido is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Default

    glad you took the time to read it beowulf. I would be interested to see whether more non-US citizens read that as opposed to US citizens.

  4. #4
    ggonzo5 is offline Senior Member Frequent Poster
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    Interesting, do you really believe we are in a crucial period? In terms of time and social/political movements i dont see the same impact the 2008 election would have with past u.s. events. Yes, it could be quite significant if a minority or a woman was elected, but that would show more of a resemblence to the social equality movement. When i think of crucial periods in u.s. history, i think the civil war, the progressive era, and the 60's.

    Let us compare the 60's to the present. The demography of the U.S. was going through a substantial change, more people were getting an education and the life standard for the average american was increasing. The u.s. was becoming a middle class society, and today we are a middle class society and i personally dont see it changing.

    More importantly during the 60's there was the civil rights movement and vietnam(less emphasis on vietnam, my knowledge on this topic is limited). What's important was the involvment of thousands of people that forced changed, and it was done by showing the people of that time the brutality of segregation and inequality through the media. There isnt that same urgency to unite and bring to the forefront the problems in the u.s. And truth be told, the urgency isnt going on today because the situation isnt as dire as then.

    Yes there is partisan politics, but everyday life in the u.s. is quite good. It doesnt push people into participation. Even more so it seems like today's elections seem to focused on the "topic of the day." The 2004 election was about gay marriages, the 2006 election was about the failures in iraq. Who knows maybe the 2008 elections might be about taking God out of the pledge of allegiance (or taxes). People tend to be voting over certain issues instead of the overall views of a candidate. But for most americans life will go on, just look at voter turnout.

    About changing the constitution, yes its a topic but i dont see it happening, it's like the immigration topic lots of coverage, but nothings really happened about it. You're forgeting about the judiciary, they can suprise you, in the 60's it was made up of conservatives but they had several liberal opinions.

    hopefully my sources of information were right, i could be wrong in my interpretations of events. Oh and Washington's speech should have ended w/ "i would like to thank god for...yada, yada, yada, whatever"

  5. #5
    be0wulf is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Right now the U.S. are in deep sh!t in Iraq. How they're gonna pull out, whether they do pull out, and what happens after they pull out would be rather interesting to see.


    http://www.chunlikickedme.com

  6. #6
    ggonzo5 is offline Senior Member Frequent Poster
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    That's what i am trying to figure out, how bad is the Iraq situation? Trying to place it in terms of past events, where on the critical scale is it at? Will the iraq war still be a major issue by 2008? mostly likely it will. But there has been a powershift in congress and if teh president's own party is shifting away from his goals, iraq could change by then or be a secondary issue. I'm not trying to downplay iraq becuase the u.s. is in a huge hole. Dont forget the u.s. is still in afghanistan too. The iraq situation will be interesting. but i think it is the mindset of the american people that should be focused on. If terror still dominates the perception of americans, than the u.s. could be at a critical period.

  7. #7
    DBeRsErK is offline Senior Member Well Known
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    I think it will just be a normal shift over. i dont think the elections will make that big of an impact. it will be mostly the after elections which will make the difference but i doubt it will really have that drastic of an impact at least from the foreign point of view. Nice article though loved the speech makes it quite enjoyable to read. should be thought like this would make it much easier to grasp the true meaning of his words.

    I'm not trying to downplay iraq becuase the u.s. is in a huge hole. Dont forget the u.s. is still in afghanistan too. The iraq situation will be interesting. but i think it is the mindset of the american people that should be focused on.
    well the us is in most other places like korea/swa/djibouti/japan and god knows how many other places. thats like around 350,000 around the world. I think everything will downplay. iraq is just a normal peak like afghanistan was or like kosov was. kosovo was more downright offensive since the number of "illegal" weapons used. yet it all died into nothing. same is happening as regards iraq at least from a european point of view. i doubt it will be much of an issue within a couple of year.. maybe even months.
    Last edited by DBeRsErK; 02-06-2007 at 02:53 AM.

 

 

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