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Understanding the US Response

 
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Cateagle
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 10:04 pm    Post subject: Understanding the US Response Reply with quote

I doubt I can explain it fully, but I think the majority support George W. Bush receives for his foreign policy, while his domestic policy gets far less, stems from the fact that a majority of Americans, to the horror of the monied and professorial classes, continue to hold Jacksonian political views.

What are these, what are the other schools of political thought, and how do they interact? I think this article gives a pretty good explanation: Jacksonians

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Cateagle
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:46 am    Post subject: A View From Abroad Reply with quote

Further, here's an article by Giles Whittell in the 9/11 edition of the London Times:

The legacy of 9/11 is anger; American anger with the world

In the country where I have spent the past nine months trying to blend
in, today is Patriot Day. By federal mandate there will be flag-waving
and pride, commemoration and sorrow, in every city across the United
States. Sounds a bit Soviet, doesnít it? Not over there, in the
country where it happened. Not for most people. For tens of millions
of Americans 9/11 remains raw in ways we can only imagine, and Patriot
Day sounds just about right.

Two years after the throat-slittersí apocalypse the rest of the world
may be debating the rights and wrongs of American foreign policy, but
America herself is debating how to win the war that began that day.

The country has been polarised, but over means, not ends. The
immediate issue is Iraq, not Afghanistan or even the twin towers, but
the reason for the war remains 9/11 and its insignia are everywhere.

On the street where we lived, two miles from Hollywood and ten from
the Pacific, yellow ribbons that went up in March were still there
four months later. The dominant bumper sticker was not shrill or
partisan - at least, not obviously. It said simply: "United We Stand".

Local shops displayed the Stars and Stripes in their front windows
because whatever their owners thought about Iraq they knew a flag
could not be bad for business. Each engine in the Burbank Fire
Departmentís fleet, which operates 2,500 miles from Manhattan, bore a
reminder to "Remember The Fallen", and each Burbank firefighter was a
hero.

At the local airport, busy with West Coast commuters but surely low on
al-Qaedaís target lists, we all did our bit. Minute searches of every
shoe and handbag may not catch the "bad guys" the Administration is
still chasing, but they bring the war to the people. To endure them
stoically and even cheerfully - as everyone does - is to show your
agreement that the war must still be won.

America lives with fears that two years ago were non-existent.
Twin-jets banking over built-up areas attract a special, silent upward
glance that jumbos donít. More rationally, every major fire, crash and
blackout raises the question, "terrorism?"

Such fears are moulding the way Americans live. They fly less, steer
clear of tunnels and think twice about visiting New York. But they are
not the most important legacy of 9/11. Anger is; anger of two sorts.

The first is with the wider world. France and Germany may not have
grasped it yet but their refusal to join Bushís coalition of the
willing has cost them real friends in real places; indignant American
spenders switching to Jeeps from BMWs and holidaying in Oregon instead
of Paris.

The United Nations is mocked as spineless and amoral by people who
gave it no thought at all until last year. Iraq and her neighbours are
guilty in many American eyes of an even graver sin - that of
ingratitude. Such anger mirrors the Administrationís and takes its
lead from right-wing talk radio, but it is no less real for that.

The second sort crackles over dinner tables and the airwaves between
Americans of different views on how to prosecute the war on terror.

Itís the anger that cost Bill Maher his show on ABC after he accused
the Pentagon of cowardice for aiming cruise missiles at the Middle
East from the security of high-flying B52s. Itís the anger that lost
the Dixie Chicks one audience and won them another from the dissident
Left after they announced that they were ashamed that George Bush was
Texan.

9/11 detrivialised American discourse. You have to feel your way
carefully into conversations with anyone whose views you donít already
know, and, as a foreigner in America, you have to be ready to be
shocked. I was, last month, when a friend called any discussion of
civilian deaths in Iraq unpatriotic as long as GIs were fighting and
dying there.

For someone brought up on the BBC, that kind of assertion triggers an
urge to lecture. But for outsiders in America itís still better to
listen and observe. And as the 2004 presidential race unfolds, and the
incumbent pulls ahead and wins on simple soundbites about terror and
security, we should remember: itís 9/11, stupid.

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Cateagle
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Location: Ft. Worth, TX

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 1:26 am    Post subject: From The Other Side... Reply with quote

I'd mentioned this in a reply on another thread, but here's the article:

Why They Hate Us

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Nameless
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked To be honest, that article on Jacksonian views was the most scary piece I read in a long time.
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Galadrion
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Politics 'n' sausage, m'man, politics 'n' sausage.
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