Debating whether or not America is a Force for Good

Captain America BG

Now that recent stories have come out about America’s widespread NSA tentacles, along with more news about how drones have been killing far more civilians than actual terrorist targets in countries, the world is asking an important question: Does America do more harm than good? This isn’t about Americans per se; this isn’t about discriminating against a people. This is about foreign policy, organizations, and administrators, such as overreaching spy agencies and the political leanings of President Barack Obama.

Russia Today’s popular debate show “Cross Talk” looked at this issue here:

To be honest, Bruce Stokes – the arguing on the side of America – did a horrible job defending the country in my opinion. Considering he is the Director of Global Economic Attitudes at the Pew Research Center, many of his answers consisted largely (if not mostly) of results from surveys that Pew has been responsible for. Therefore, I don’t think it was a particularly fair debate for the simple fact that the one defending America did such a poor job – not to mention the ease with which the host, Peter Lavell, an American himself, argued against America. However, it’s still interesting to hear the arguments on both sides of the debate.

A second debate of the same nature was held at the Oxford Union – a debating forum associated with Oxford University in England. This debate had one of America’s brightest minds defending America: Thomas Friedman. And it wasn’t a one-on-one (or should I say one-on-two?) debate like the RT had. This debate was with a room full of people from all over the world, and regular people asked hard questions about the US. But Friedman did a great job, and this is a very good debate, published on Al Jazeera:

I have become very interested in this debate now because I feel basically on the fence at this point. The American government is responsible for so much corruption and destruction in the world; but it also does so much good that isn’t being widely reported abroad, and they don’t get nearly enough recognition or appreciation for the positive contributions they have made. So I urge you to watch these debates and decide for yourself.

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2 Responses to Debating whether or not America is a Force for Good

  1. Usman says:

    It’s always a bit of a laugh when presumptuous, privileged white people like you can;t get the spelling of as simple a term as ‘per se’, right. (It isn’t English. It’s not ‘per say, you imbecile.)

    Until you go and live in the muck and death your shit America creates for the life-eking billions in the world who live with their heads down their entire lives trying to eat and survive – fuck you.

    Your ‘defense’ of America is a joke. There is no defending America. And whites like you will only understand that death, vitriol, and colonization cannot be defended only when the same happens to you.

    It was after all, Japan’s colonizing the white man’s colonies in Asia that made whites realize their position on justifying colonization was a joke. Still, even then, you lot were pretty brutal in trying your damnedest to get those colonies back through death and slaughter – weren’t you?

    Fuck you, whiteboy. America as a force for good? Live a day in America’s shit and let’s see you DARE fucking say that.

    • Ryo says:

      Thanks Usman, for your well-reasoned arguments and thoughtful criticism. Here’s mine:

      You don’t know anything about me, but you’re free to judge based on ignorance – that’s your prerogative as an angry commenter. And you’re right, I made an English mistake, writing “per say” instead of “per se.” That’s kind of embarrassing, because I don’t think I’ve ever written “per say;” but in this instance, it happened. Everyone makes mistakes – whatever. I mean… I can already spot three mistakes in your own first paragraph.
      can;t→can’t
      ‘per se’,→’per se,’
      ‘per say,→’per say,’

      …Who cares?

      As for my “defense of America…” huh? I literally wrote a single sentence in this post which was positive about America, and it was basically a recap of the videos which you obviously didn’t watch. You know, the ones I embedded so that you only needed to click once. Yes, those ones. How you somehow took that single sentence to be some sort of pro-US thesis is beyond me.

      By the way; I love the fact that you think I am American and defending the US. You are just projecting your prejudice onto me. I am neither American nor do I intend on defending the US. I think the US is horrendously corrupt and its foreign policy is deplorable, not to mention the idea of “American exceptionalism” is one of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever heard. But unlike you, I am not so blinded by prejudice as to say that there is nothing good that ever comes from the US. One recent example is the fact that the US gave $20 million to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. You can dismiss that fact if you want… but I think people in the Philippines sure appreciate it.

      But why am I here defending the US? I don’t even want to, as I said. I can make a lot better arguments against American than for it. I just wanted to point out the difference between you and I: I can have a strong opinion about something and yet still acknowledge things that are incongruent with said opinion, because I’m not so biased as to ignore them. You, on the other hand, resort to childish name-calling, because for you the world is obviously black and white, and this is the extent to the caliber of argument you can offer. “Fuck you.” Wow – consider me persuaded.

      Anyways, I’m glad the blogosphere has people like you to tell us who the real “good guys” and “bad guys” are. In fact, such black-and-white thinking is, dare I say, quite American of you. 😉

      Thanks for the comment!
      And here’s to hoping you never write another one. 😀
      Cheers!

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