American hedonism closes its eyes to death, and has been
incapable of exorcising the destructive power of the moment
with a wisdom like that of the Epicureans of antiquity.

- Octavio Paz
Death is un-American, and an affront to every citizen's inalienable
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Arnold Toynbee
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"As long as such self-serving hypocrisy
motivates America's response, Ukraine will
only sink further into needless bloodshed,
and that blood will be on America's head."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal
applies only upwards, not downwards.

― Bertrand Russell
Global Coke
Global Coke
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting
to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the
melting pot. Those who think America can thrive as a
'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Global Coke
Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman
Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman
"[Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea] struck
me as uncannily symbolic of, if I may speak
broadly and loosely, the best and worst
of the 'American character abroad.'"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"But where, I wonder, is Obama's hard choice, in this his
now sixth year of leadership? Where is his defining decision,
against the grain, made solely because it seemed right?
Drone strikes in Yemen?"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster,
in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe
have grown to appalling dimensions.

― Frantz Fanon
nsa-spy-cartoon-4
nsa-spy-cartoon-4
"We feel better living in a world with privacy, with intimate, unmonitored communication when desired. Those values mean something to us, and give our lives dignity and humanity."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
nsa-spy-cartoon-4
What the United States does best is understand itself.
What it does worst is understand others.

- Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God
and so close to the United States.

- Porfirio Diaz
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical
and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights
and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the
central role that music played in people’s everyday lives."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- Sigmund Freud
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
- Auguste Bartholdi
chimerica
chimerica
"This is the tone of the China Century, a subtle
mix of Nazi/Soviet bravado and 'oriental'
cunning -- easily misunderstood, and
never
heard before, in a real enemy, by the West."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
chimerica
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"And for the others who argued for English-only
patriotism, I note that there are more than
57 million Americans (about 20% of the nation)
whose first-language is not English...."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
predator-firing-missile4
predator-firing-missile4
"This is the behavior, and the fate, of paranoid
old-world tyrants like Hitler or Saddam, not liberal new-world democracies like America pretends to be."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
predator-firing-missile4
America is the only nation in history which
miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to
degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

- Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce.
- Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle,
and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

- Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.
- Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated
-- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause
taken so long to gain momentum?"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the
United States reactionaries use to scare people.
It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't.

- Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

- Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession,
in other parts of the world it is a fact.

- Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American,
than a snuff-box from an emperor.

- Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire.
But it didn’t know what an empire was.
It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations.

- Roberto Calasso
"For all the good things he did and tried to do, in a way, for me, Mandela's greatness lay more in what he did not do. And this, I think, is his greatest lesson for America."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather
be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- Alexis de Tocqueville
newtown
newtown
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
newtown
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams
then you must still regard America today with the same naive
enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.

- Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
- Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.

- Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?"
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
- Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by
posterity because he was the last to discover America.

- James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things
are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
It has been going on now for three hundred years.

- Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
When good Americans die they go to Paris;
when bad Americans die they go to America.

- Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
jobs drug dealer
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that
lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself.

- Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room.
Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
- Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans
is the way parents obey their children.

- Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering
what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

- John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history.
America was created by philosophy.

- Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of
Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.
He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.

- Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those
who have seen America only in their dreams.

- Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
- Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.
It has never yet melted.

― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America.
One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy.

― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror
of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis,
the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain.

― Roberto Bolaño

October 17, 2017

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Author Topic: The Quartet or the Drones?


mahmoud-
badawi
Experienced Their American
Posts: 10
mahmoud badawi
The Quartet or the Drones?
on: December 17, 2013, 13:48

Consider this voice against the backdrop of the drone attack discussion (speaking of the recent storm in the Gaza Strip):
“The impact of the storm has increased the urgency for immediate intervention in order to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in the Strip and has again illustrated the need for a more lasting solution to the problems facing the people there.”
(http://www.wafa.ps/english/index.php?action=detail&id=23844)
----
And consider this voice against the backdrop of the Mandela discussion:
"Leaders are decision makers and takers. Leadership is always about taking responsibility when others would shrink from it; about stepping out and not stepping back. It is about being prepared to take the criticism and the inevitable chorus of disapproval that is leadership’s noisy accompaniment.

But here, right now, in this region and around the world, leadership has become especially tough. Today we live in an era of what you might call uniquely low predictability, and in a context in which all the choices are ugly. In economic decision making, across the developed world, the debate rages between those advocating austerity and those going for growth. Massive quantitative easing has taken place in the USA; EU; and the UK. A huge experiment is underway in Japanese monetary policy. Recently I read two papers, both brilliantly written: one by a distinguished UK financial leader, which argued that the monetary boost was right and was the world’s salvation; the other by an equally distinguished OECD economist, who argued it is a disaster and the world’s financial Armageddon. Which is right? As a leader you’re expected to know. Except you can’t know. The cosy economic consensus of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries departed with the crisis. In its place is confusion. But the leader has to decide.

In this region, the ugly choices abound: to intervene in Syria or not; to compromise with the Muslim Brotherhood or not; did the West make a mistake in supporting the Arab upheavals or was such support inevitable? How do we stop the nuclear ambitions of Iran? Everywhere you look there is uncertainty, unpredictability and instability.

And the problem is: the best short-term politics will often pull in the opposite direction from the best long-term policy. So much of the sentiment in the Western political economy is anti-business and particularly anti- the banks. But the best long-term policy is almost certainly to encourage business and have the financial sector back on its feet and thriving. Undoubtedly the predominant emotion in the West today is to stay out of Syria; indeed to stay out of the region’s politics. But as every day that passes shows, the cost of staying out may be paid in a higher price later.

In unpredictable times calculation of risk and interest is hard; so, as a leader do what you believe to be right, even if unpopular. Stick with what you believe. Lead from a point of principle. Because the conventional wisdom of today may be the disposable folly of tomorrow."

And this, from the same speech:
"Peace here is most important for Israelis and Palestinians. But it is important for all of us. Why? Because peace would symbolise reconciliation and respect between not only two nations but two peoples. The great political divide of our time is less between traditional left and right and more between the open minded and the closed minded. The open minded see a world in which different faiths, races and cultures mix and mingle, as an opportunity; the closed mind sees it as a menace. Yet globalization, an unstoppable force driven by technology and people not Governments and laws, pushes us together. We live interconnected and interdependent. Such a world only works through respect for difference. You may have your faith and I mine but my faith does not make me superior to you or you to me. Those who use religion as a badge of identity in opposition to those of a different faith put our world at risk. My Faith Foundation is about to launch a programme that links up schools of different faiths across the world so that children can learn from an early age how to live with each other and from each other."
http://www.quartetrep.org/quartet/news-entry/tony-blair-addresses-the-5th-israeli-presidential-conference-in-jerusalem/
----
The speaker is Tony Blair, the Quartet Representative (http://www.quartetrep.org/quartet/).
This region has always been the flashpoint, the model of The Unsolvable. These early violent days of Iraqi democracy are just faint approximations of the decades of violence witnessed here. The terrorism of Al Qaeda is just a newly weaned infant compared to the generations of terror, of Jews for Palestinians, and Palestinians for Jews. The struggle here, between Jews and Arabs, 2,000 years in the making, has seemed like it will last for 2,000 years more.
Yet here he is, a former Prime Minister of England, like Jimmy Carter, a former President of the United States, living and working in the streets and businesses and homes of this traditional terrorist hotbed, caring for its people, as people like himself, fighting for reconciliation, peace, and justice for the dispossessed. He knows that if humanity can solve The Unsolvable, no problem, no hatred, no division, can truly stand in its way. And he is here, solving.



Malcom-
White
Veteran Their American
Posts: 21
Malcom White
Re: The Quartet or the Drones?
on: January 6, 2014, 20:54

"In unpredictable times calculation of risk and interest is hard; so, as a leader do what you believe to be right, even if unpopular. Stick with what you believe. Lead from a point of principle. Because the conventional wisdom of today may be the disposable folly of tomorrow."
This line of Blair's reminded me of his hugely unpopular decision to support Bush's invasion of Iraq. No tower had fallen in Britain, it was years before the London bus bombings, and Blair's soft liberal political stance was far removed from Bush's born-again zealotry; yet, in the teeth of the greatest social opposition in modern memory, in he went, intimating as clearly as he could, without violating the explicit charter of the alliance, that for him it was fundamentally about regime change, about planting the standard of liberal democracy in the heart of the Middle East. And his post-prime-ministerial life has been in perfect consonance with this aim, striving for the same goals, in the same troubled region, against the same formidable odds.
Even Bush, for all his glaring faults, would seem to've satisfied this rather lofty demand of leadership.
But where, I wonder, is Obama's hard choice, in this his now sixth year of leadership? Where is his defining decision, against the grain, made solely because it seemed right?
Drone strikes in Yemen?



George-
Stephenson
New Member
Posts: 2
George Stephenson
Re: The Quartet or the Drones?
on: January 8, 2014, 19:37

Obama has, in fact, distinguished himself by going against his own grain during his presidency: dragging his feet on Guantanomo (which he promised to close), looking the other way on NSA spying (for which he condemned Bush), and even ramping up the drone program (which everyone figured would be anathema to a Nobel Peace Prize winner). That's gotta count for something!
Increasingly, I see Obama as akin to Clinton in his second term -- battered but still popular among his base, though more or less hamstrung on important issues. And like Clinton, it may be that he'll only begin to do real good in the world after he's out of office, using his charisma to mobilize the will and the money of philanthropists.



Malcom-
White
Veteran Their American
Posts: 21
Malcom White
Re: The Quartet or the Drones?
on: January 9, 2014, 03:19

Quote from George Stephenson on January 8, 2014, 19:37
Obama has, in fact, distinguished himself by going against his own grain.

Oh, so he has one!
And the evidence for this would be?



George-
Stephenson
New Member
Posts: 2
George Stephenson
Re: The Quartet or the Drones?
on: January 9, 2014, 13:41

That was simply my little joke: Obama's 'grain' is his brilliance with optimistic, feel-good rhetoric about a kinder, gentler, more inclusive and globally-aware America (his sometimes vapid optimism itself seems very American), and he's betrayed that rhetoric, doing little to follow through with his grander promises or actually working against them. Again like Clinton, Obama is perhaps too skilled in diplomacy and rhetoric (and too lacking in core principles, or 'grain'), and I'd venture that their similar backgrounds (as children born into 'broken' homes, who learned the value of making peace and bridging divides at whatever cost) contribute to their "all sail and no anchor" instincts as leaders.
But again: I see a better future for Obama after he leaves office, in a role similar to Clinton's (who is undeniably doing excellent charitable work now, at least as significant as Blair's), when his inspirational abilities won't have to compete with the shifting winds of the ultimate political office.



Malcom-
White
Veteran Their American
Posts: 21
Malcom White
Re: The Quartet or the Drones?
on: January 10, 2014, 01:15

Then I will confess that that was simply my little joke, as well.
I do believe that Obama has a grain, very much of one, just of that peculiar, liberal, compromising sort, the kind that that French professor had in Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being, who followed his great sympathy for the dispossessed all the way to a field (or something), across from a fence (or something), somewhere in Southeast Asia, and was shot (by someone).
The world is not changed by such men, merely leavened, slightly.



GBakkal
New Member
Posts: 4
GBakkal
Re: The Quartet or the Drones?
on: February 3, 2014, 03:59

No, Malcom, it is not leavened, though they may be leavening, because men with that much power cannot be trivial, even if they wish to be. It is Hamlet, not Claudius, who is responsible for the innocent deaths in Denmark.

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