General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

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General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-27 12:55am

Because I am sick of any discussion of Putin or other non-Western-aligned dictators being immediately derailed with Whataboutism, and because I want to be consistent in criticizing human rights abuses and authoritarianism originating from my own country as well as others, I am creating this thread in the hopes of providing a separate thread in which to discuss and debate American/Western misdeeds both past and present:

Inspired by this post:
aerius wrote:
2018-11-27 12:00am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-11-26 11:45pm
We have two choices here: We can call out all acts of tyranny, whatever country commits them, and actually fucking stand for something... or we can conclude that everything is equally bad and always will be, stop trying to make the world better for fear of being "hypocritical", and pat ourselves on the back for being smarter than the sheeple who actually believe in things like "justice" or "truth". And that would still be better and more honest than what the Kremlin's dip shit internet lemmings do, because they're not actually trying to treat anyone as equal. They're trying to say "The US/the West is evil, therefore Putin/Assad/etc. are the good guys when they do the same thing."
So where were you when the US helped put the fucking Nazis in power in the Ukraine? Or when the US decided that siding with and supporting "moderate ISIS" fighters in Syria and other parts of the Middle East was a good thing? Or when you were "bringing freedom" to the Middle East and turning every country you touched into a shithole?
https://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic ... 2&t=167834

I declined to answer what I felt was a derail in that thread, but I will address it here:

First, I would request sources for the claims of the US putting Nazis in power in the Ukraine (not that I doubt the presence of Nazis in the Ukrainian government, but I would like more particulars on the full extent and how much awareness America had of this at the time), and for the "moderate ISIS" quote. That said:

Ukraine: Though my focus with regards to Ukraine has been on Russian aggression due to the greater threat it posed, and I was hesitant to believe allegations against the Ukrainian government (in part due to the history of Kremlin propagandists using such labels against all their opponents), at this point I would say that the US and other nations should sanction both the Ukrainian and Russian governments, seek to mediate a diplomatic solution and offer humanitarian aid to civilians on both sides if possible, but otherwise not intervene or take a side in this conflict. Fascistic governments and politicians should not receive any support, regardless of which flag they march under, and Poroshenko's declaration of martial law ahead of elections is not a justifiable act, or one which other nations should in any way support.

Syria: Though I would refute the Kremlin propagandists' argument that all opposition to Assad is comprised of jihadi terrorists, I would strongly question a number of America's actions in Syria. I believe that there was more of a moderate opposition in Syria initially, and that that opposition could perhaps have prevailed had it received more support early on, before large-scale Russian intervention occurred to secure Assad's position. However, the world dithered, and as a result the conflict deteriorated into one seemingly dominated by Jihadis vs Assad and Russia. I also feel that direct US military involvement of any kind was ill-advised, as it could not take place on a scale necessary to be effective without leading to war with Russia, and thus served only to prolong the war. I would consider Obama's ultimatum on chemical weapons and subsequent inevitable retreat, in particular, to be probably the biggest US foreign policy blunder between the invasion of Iraq and Trump's public cock-sucking of Kim Jong Un. Any real solution would have meant persuading Russia to throw Assad under the bus, and providing more support to the moderate opposition early on. That opportunity, regrettably, has long since passed, and the result is hundreds of thousands dead for essentially nothing, except the further expansion of Russian power and erosion of the taboo on the use of chemical weapons.

Assorted other Middle Eastern interventions:

Afghanistan: Initially justified by the September 11th. attacks, and any other nation with the means to respond to such an attack militarily would have done the same. However, the war was incompetently waged, with frequent disregard for civilian casualties, and far too much focus on Bush's corrupt sideshow in Iraq. The result was a great deal of largely unnecessary and pointless suffering, primarily for Afghani civilians.

Iraq 2003: Unnecessary, a costly distraction from Afghanistan, sold to the public by deceit, and incompetently executed, with numerous war crimes committed by coalition forces, waged at great cost to America and an even greater cost to Iraq, which contributed to subsequent disastrous conflicts in the Middle East. Arguably the biggest failure in US foreign policy history, though the long-term consequences of Trump's actions with regard to Russia and NK may surpass it.

Libya: Theoretically justified to prevent a slaughter of civilians, and conducted with broad international support. Incompetently carried out, without an adequate plan for the aftermath. This suggests a failure to learn the lessons from the occupation of Iraq.

War against ISIS: Intervention against ISIS in Iraq was absolutely necessary, both because of the genocide being waged, and because if ISIS had overrun Iraq, they would certainly have continued into other countries allied to the US (including Turkey, which could have triggered NATO treaty obligations). However, this is a conflict that will ultimately have to be solved by a long-term effort to address the root causes of terrorism, through improving relations with the Muslim world, strengthening the economies and governments of developing countries, and finding more effective ways to counter jihadi propaganda. It seems vanishingly unlikely that the US under Trump will be capable of taking any of these steps.

Syria: Intervention was theoretically justifiable, due to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons and the numerous times the war has spilled over other countries' borders. In practice... see above.

Yemen: We should have no part in this, and certainly not as allies to the Saudis.

Edit: I will add that I believe I have been quite consistent in my opposition both to American military intervention on Syria (albeit on practical rather than moral grounds), and to the 2003 Iraq invasion.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by aerius » 2018-11-27 11:08am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-11-27 12:55am
I declined to answer what I felt was a derail in that thread, but I will address it here:

First, I would request sources for the claims of the US putting Nazis in power in the Ukraine (not that I doubt the presence of Nazis in the Ukrainian government, but I would like more particulars on the full extent and how much awareness America had of this at the time), and for the "moderate ISIS" quote.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... 1G20140207

Summary: Victoria Nuland and other members of the US State department decided that they didn't want Klitschko (the moderate in the group and the one in favour of EU-Ukraine integration) as part of the government, and they wanted to take the other guys, get them together, and have them form the government. Note that Arseny Yatseniuk is a right wing member and Oleh Tyahnybok is a far right nationalist, and these are the guys the US wanted to put in power.
Syria: Though I would refute the Kremlin propagandists' argument that all opposition to Assad is comprised of jihadi terrorists, I would strongly question a number of America's actions in Syria. I believe that there was more of a moderate opposition in Syria initially, and that that opposition could perhaps have prevailed had it received more support early on, before large-scale Russian intervention occurred to secure Assad's position. However, the world dithered, and as a result the conflict deteriorated into one seemingly dominated by Jihadis vs Assad and Russia. I also feel that direct US military involvement of any kind was ill-advised, as it could not take place on a scale necessary to be effective without leading to war with Russia, and thus served only to prolong the war. I would consider Obama's ultimatum on chemical weapons and subsequent inevitable retreat, in particular, to be probably the biggest US foreign policy blunder between the invasion of Iraq and Trump's public cock-sucking of Kim Jong Un. Any real solution would have meant persuading Russia to throw Assad under the bus, and providing more support to the moderate opposition early on. That opportunity, regrettably, has long since passed, and the result is hundreds of thousands dead for essentially nothing, except the further expansion of Russian power and erosion of the taboo on the use of chemical weapons.
You believe there was a more moderate opposition which could've prevailed. I would like to see proof of this.
Assorted other Middle Eastern interventions:

Afghanistan: Initially justified by the September 11th. attacks, and any other nation with the means to respond to such an attack militarily would have done the same. However, the war was incompetently waged, with frequent disregard for civilian casualties, and far too much focus on Bush's corrupt sideshow in Iraq. The result was a great deal of largely unnecessary and pointless suffering, primarily for Afghani civilians.
So the response to attacks from a terrorist organization which is funded & supported by our good friends the Saudis (yes, that's sarcasm) is to wage a war in Afghanistan while leaving the Saudis alone. Yeah. Way to win over their hearts & minds.
Iraq 2003: Unnecessary, a costly distraction from Afghanistan, sold to the public by deceit, and incompetently executed, with numerous war crimes committed by coalition forces, waged at great cost to America and an even greater cost to Iraq, which contributed to subsequent disastrous conflicts in the Middle East. Arguably the biggest failure in US foreign policy history, though the long-term consequences of Trump's actions with regard to Russia and NK may surpass it.
Not even close. Read up on the post WW2 history of Iran some day. The US once had good relations with Iran and the country itself was a lot closer to what Kuwait is like than what it is now. But you assholes along the British decided to stage a coup to install a puppet government and made attempts to assassinate the Shah among other things which kinda fucked things over a bit and eventually led to the 1978 Iranian revolution where they went full fundamentalist.

I would argue that US actions in Iran during the 1950s along with its support for Saudi Arabia is responsible for the vast majority of the problems in the Middle East.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-11-27 05:59pm

While I don't have the time to go into this particular topic, one thing that could be brought up is that some consider the Vietnam War to be one such crime, and that most of the US servicemen who participated could as such be considered war criminals. Korea is marginally (IIRC) more clear-cut though damned if I can explain how at the moment with the pot going on the stove...

And given my wife's Hispanic heritage, it wouldn't do for me to forget all the various countries in Latin America that the US has screwed over since more or less the latter half of the 19th century, starting with the Mexican War. A thorough list is beyond me at the moment, but if that subject gets picked up, either I or someone else can probably supply it later.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-11-27 06:17pm

Perhaps for the sake of this thread we could restrict ourselves to, say, the 20th century onwards? Otherwise we may end up discussing Caeser's genocide of the Gauls if we decide to go back far enough.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Gandalf » 2018-11-27 08:07pm

Tribble wrote:
2018-11-27 06:17pm
Perhaps for the sake of this thread we could restrict ourselves to, say, the 20th century onwards? Otherwise we may end up discussing Caeser's genocide of the Gauls if we decide to go back far enough.
But it's also worth noting that a lot of countries still benefit from crimes committed before then, and have had solid continuity of government, so it's not particularly cut and dry.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-11-27 08:32pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-11-27 08:07pm
Tribble wrote:
2018-11-27 06:17pm
Perhaps for the sake of this thread we could restrict ourselves to, say, the 20th century onwards? Otherwise we may end up discussing Caeser's genocide of the Gauls if we decide to go back far enough.
But it's also worth noting that a lot of countries still benefit from crimes committed before then, and have had solid continuity of government, so it's not particularly cut and dry.
So I guess Trump's point that Canada is a national security risk since the British burned the white house in the War of 1812 (amongst various other crimes) should fall within the accepted time frame? :P
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Jub » 2018-11-27 08:40pm

Tribble wrote:
2018-11-27 06:17pm
Perhaps for the sake of this thread we could restrict ourselves to, say, the 20th century onwards? Otherwise we may end up discussing Caeser's genocide of the Gauls if we decide to go back far enough.
Has the US really made proper reparations for the trail of tears and the other crimes that happened as a part of the western expansion?

Have the African American people been properly integrated even after slavery was declared illegal and their rights restored?

I'd say no to both, so we should be able to go back at least that far when looking at the US history of crushing those they disagree with.

-----

More recently here's a quick Wikipedia article about US sponsored terrorism:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... _terrorism

Some highlights are:

Kidnapping attempt and assassination of General René Schneider and the support of the Viaux Rebels against leftist Salvador Allende

From 1979 to 1990, the United States provided financial, logistical and military support to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, who used terrorist tactics in their war against the Nicaraguan government.

Supporting Terrorist Cells in Cuba


US General William P. Yarborough was the head of a counterinsurgency team sent to Colombia in 1962 by the US Special Warfare Center. Yarborough was one of the earliest proponents of "paramilitary [ ... ] and/or terrorist activities against known communist proponents."

Funding and Training the KLA in Kosovo

These are some of their biggest hits, but hardly covers everything the US has done in the name of installing puppet governments across the globe.

-----

I would also point to the common knowledge meddling of the US in Central America with regards to drug cartels. The ATF gunwalking scandal and others which show just how corrupt and immoral the US is in just about every area they decide to police.

This without even covering the extensive list of military actions that the US has been involved in over her bloody history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_ ... %80%931959

Highlights:

Vietnam

The Bay of Pigs

Operation Power Pack

Laos & Cambodia: U.S. starts secret bombing campaign against targets along the Ho Chi Minh trail

Cambodian Campaign: U.S. troops were ordered into Cambodia to clean out Communist sanctuaries

North Vietnam: Christmas bombing Operation Linebacker II. It was a bombing of the cities Hanoi and Haiphong by B-52 bombers.

Grenada: Operation Urgent Fury

United States invasion of Panama to remove Manuel Noriega from power; the US and H. W. Bush helped him gain power the first place stating in the 60's as an anti-communist measure

The War on Terror

Signature Drone Strikes

-----

I'll end things by dropping this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category: ... y_scandals

That should keep TRR busy for a little while if he bothers to read them.

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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-11-27 09:13pm

You forgot to mention US involvement in the Dirty War, particularly it support of the same Argentine government which invaded the sovereign soil of America's supposedly greatest ally.

(also Washington's tendency to side with the UK's enemies, such as Indonesia)

And then there's the United States' support of Ceaucescu. And Pol Pot. And Marcos. And, the Taliban. And...
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-11-29 03:36pm

Tribble wrote:
2018-11-27 08:32pm
Gandalf wrote:
2018-11-27 08:07pm
Tribble wrote:
2018-11-27 06:17pm
Perhaps for the sake of this thread we could restrict ourselves to, say, the 20th century onwards? Otherwise we may end up discussing Caeser's genocide of the Gauls if we decide to go back far enough.
But it's also worth noting that a lot of countries still benefit from crimes committed before then, and have had solid continuity of government, so it's not particularly cut and dry.
So I guess Trump's point that Canada is a national security risk since the British burned the white house in the War of 1812 (amongst various other crimes) should fall within the accepted time frame? :P
To be honest though, the US never really had much of a global presence until around the time of the Spanish-American War. The Mexican War and a few scuffles here and there were the extent of their activity until they started really getting interested in colonization towards the end of the 19th.

That said, one could consider the Perry expedition to Japan as a starting point. How does showing up to a medieval-ish tech level nation with early-19th-century naval ships and essentially intimidating them into opening up their ports for trade sound?
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-11-29 03:49pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-11-29 03:36pm
Tribble wrote:
2018-11-27 08:32pm
Gandalf wrote:
2018-11-27 08:07pm


But it's also worth noting that a lot of countries still benefit from crimes committed before then, and have had solid continuity of government, so it's not particularly cut and dry.
So I guess Trump's point that Canada is a national security risk since the British burned the white house in the War of 1812 (amongst various other crimes) should fall within the accepted time frame? :P
To be honest though, the US never really had much of a global presence until around the time of the Spanish-American War. The Mexican War and a few scuffles here and there were the extent of their activity until they started really getting interested in colonization towards the end of the 19th.

That said, one could consider the Perry expedition to Japan as a starting point. How does showing up to a medieval-ish tech level nation with early-19th-century naval ships and essentially intimidating them into opening up their ports for trade sound?
But Americans (amongst other groups) were still conquering vast tracts of land committing atrocities all along the way... perhaps we should go back to when western Europeans first started their conquests outside Europe?

Or perhaps a bit further back to when the Spainish finished off the Moors?
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Gandalf » 2018-11-29 03:57pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-11-29 03:36pm
To be honest though, the US never really had much of a global presence until around the time of the Spanish-American War. The Mexican War and a few scuffles here and there were the extent of their activity until they started really getting interested in colonization towards the end of the 19th.

That said, one could consider the Perry expedition to Japan as a starting point. How does showing up to a medieval-ish tech level nation with early-19th-century naval ships and essentially intimidating them into opening up their ports for trade sound?
Why are the Indigenous people of North America left out of this criteria? How much US primary industry extracts wealth from Indigenous people's land?
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-11-29 04:24pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-11-29 03:57pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-11-29 03:36pm
To be honest though, the US never really had much of a global presence until around the time of the Spanish-American War. The Mexican War and a few scuffles here and there were the extent of their activity until they started really getting interested in colonization towards the end of the 19th.

That said, one could consider the Perry expedition to Japan as a starting point. How does showing up to a medieval-ish tech level nation with early-19th-century naval ships and essentially intimidating them into opening up their ports for trade sound?
Why are the Indigenous people of North America left out of this criteria? How much US primary industry extracts wealth from Indigenous people's land?
A fair question.

But if one is speaking of the United States specifically, one needs to date everything from at least the Articles of Confederation if not the Constitution. Prior to that point, you're talking about American colonies of whatever power controlled the region in question, though given the era in question they were effectively independent polities nominally loyal to the colonial power. So 'English Colony of Maryland' or whatever.

That said: the indigenous people vs. European colonists/American people is rather more vague than, say, the US Marines being sent in to support fruit company profits in Honduras. One was an fairly straightforward act of government policy; the other, more or less a consequence of one people group moving into another people group's territory, with occasional government policies supporting said movement. Would you want to go as far back as say the Migration Period, when Central Asian/Slavic tribes gradually moved westward throughout western Europe all the way to Spain and even northern Africa in the early AD's?
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-11-29 04:46pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-11-29 04:24pm
Gandalf wrote:
2018-11-29 03:57pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-11-29 03:36pm
To be honest though, the US never really had much of a global presence until around the time of the Spanish-American War. The Mexican War and a few scuffles here and there were the extent of their activity until they started really getting interested in colonization towards the end of the 19th.

That said, one could consider the Perry expedition to Japan as a starting point. How does showing up to a medieval-ish tech level nation with early-19th-century naval ships and essentially intimidating them into opening up their ports for trade sound?
Why are the Indigenous people of North America left out of this criteria? How much US primary industry extracts wealth from Indigenous people's land?
A fair question.

But if one is speaking of the United States specifically, one needs to date everything from at least the Articles of Confederation if not the Constitution. Prior to that point, you're talking about American colonies of whatever power controlled the region in question, though given the era in question they were effectively independent polities nominally loyal to the colonial power. So 'English Colony of Maryland' or whatever.

That said: the indigenous people vs. European colonists/American people is rather more vague than, say, the US Marines being sent in to support fruit company profits in Honduras. One was an fairly straightforward act of government policy; the other, more or less a consequence of one people group moving into another people group's territory, with occasional government policies supporting said movement. Would you want to go as far back as say the Migration Period, when Central Asian/Slavic tribes gradually moved westward throughout western Europe all the way to Spain and even northern Africa in the early AD's?
That would exclude things like the Roman conquests though, which were pretty atrocious. Or the empire building schemes of Alexander the Great, which were another series of wars of western expansionism.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-11-29 05:57pm

Tribble wrote:
2018-11-29 04:46pm
That would exclude things like the Roman conquests though, which were pretty atrocious. Or the empire building schemes of Alexander the Great, which were another series of wars of western expansionism.
Arguably though Alexander's Macedonia wasn't quite what one would consider the 'West'. In the interest of brevity and being more direct, we will necessarily need a cut-off point. Certainly there have been all kinds of historical atrocities throughout time; but the focus, for practical purposes, I think, should be post mid 1800s or so. At a maximum, perhaps the 1700s. And perhaps the focus should be on the 'modern' era, so from perhaps the early 20th century onward, though certainly discussion could cover older incidents that are linked or otherwise relevant.

I mean, if we are discussing like... global geopolitics and Western/US hegemony... it really doesn't make a ton of sense to discuss stuff from *before* that really became a thing with (relatively) rapid international travel and communications. Relevant or precedent-setting stuff, sure, but like... how related is King Philip's War in the 16-somethings to the Banana Wars of the 1920s?
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-11-29 06:12pm

Same intolerant mentality rationalizing oppression and slaughter. "The Injuns only helped us, cause Gawd made em."

1630s, if I'm not mistaken, concerning King Phillips War/The Great Barbecue.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-11-29 06:17pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-11-29 06:12pm
Same intolerant mentality rationalizing oppression and slaughter. "The Injuns only helped us, cause Gawd made em."

1630s, if I'm not mistaken, concerning King Phillips War/The Great Barbecue.
From the moment Western Europens started navigating the globe onwards could work as it has more or less been one long chain of Western European atrocities and oppression since then.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-11-29 06:26pm

Indeed. Columbus himself started the ball rolling as Governor of the Indies.

Though some folks insist this country has always been a shining beacon of hope, and that all our problems begin and end with Trump.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Gandalf » 2018-11-30 12:01am

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-11-29 04:24pm
A fair question.

But if one is speaking of the United States specifically, one needs to date everything from at least the Articles of Confederation if not the Constitution. Prior to that point, you're talking about American colonies of whatever power controlled the region in question, though given the era in question they were effectively independent polities nominally loyal to the colonial power. So 'English Colony of Maryland' or whatever.
Interesting. Barring the obvious thing of no more taxes going to London, how continuous was the governance of the colonies before and after independence?
That said: the indigenous people vs. European colonists/American people is rather more vague than, say, the US Marines being sent in to support fruit company profits in Honduras. One was an fairly straightforward act of government policy; the other, more or less a consequence of one people group moving into another people group's territory, with occasional government policies supporting said movement. Would you want to go as far back as say the Migration Period, when Central Asian/Slavic tribes gradually moved westward throughout western Europe all the way to Spain and even northern Africa in the early AD's?
It's really not too vague. The US found people, engaged in genocide, and then built a rich country on the the recently "settled" land. The same state which slaughtered its way from sea to sea is still there today. Still profiting too.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by His Divine Shadow » 2018-11-30 05:39am

Tribble wrote:
2018-11-27 06:17pm
Perhaps for the sake of this thread we could restrict ourselves to, say, the 20th century onwards? Otherwise we may end up discussing Caeser's genocide of the Gauls if we decide to go back far enough.
But then the majority of the crimes of the british empire gets buried.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Tribble » 2018-11-30 08:24am

His Divine Shadow wrote:
2018-11-30 05:39am
Tribble wrote:
2018-11-27 06:17pm
Perhaps for the sake of this thread we could restrict ourselves to, say, the 20th century onwards? Otherwise we may end up discussing Caeser's genocide of the Gauls if we decide to go back far enough.
But then the majority of the crimes of the british empire gets buried.
You're kinda late to the party, I've been saying for awhile now that a better date for a cutoff is when Europeans started sailing around the world slaughtering things.

Of course that's not to say the rest of the world was blissfully holding hands singing kumbaya until those nasty Europeans showed up one day to kill them all, but the purpose of this thread is focusing on European (and perhaps explicitly British/American) atrocities over the years.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by NecronLord » 2018-11-30 12:41pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-11-27 12:55am
Because I am sick of any discussion of Putin or other non-Western-aligned dictators being immediately derailed with Whataboutism, and because I want to be consistent in criticizing human rights abuses and authoritarianism originating from my own country as well as others, I am creating this thread in the hopes of providing a separate thread in which to discuss and debate American/Western misdeeds both past and present.
While there is nothing wrong with a thread to discuss this topic, this is not IvP and you cannot use the existance of this thread to try and tell people to take such discussion to it in others. If you seek a 'containment' thread you will not get one, and if you start telling people it is supposed to work that way, that will be considered backseat moderation.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-11-30 01:12pm

Gandalf wrote:
2018-11-30 12:01am
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-11-29 04:24pm
A fair question.

But if one is speaking of the United States specifically, one needs to date everything from at least the Articles of Confederation if not the Constitution. Prior to that point, you're talking about American colonies of whatever power controlled the region in question, though given the era in question they were effectively independent polities nominally loyal to the colonial power. So 'English Colony of Maryland' or whatever.
Interesting. Barring the obvious thing of no more taxes going to London, how continuous was the governance of the colonies before and after independence?
That one's above my pay grade. The only thing I'm trying to make a point of here is that many acts of the American colonies prior to independence, if people want to go that far back in regard to acts against indigenous peoples, were not acts of official policy by the English (or Spanish, in the case of Florida, or France, in the case of Louisiana) government itself. Some of those acts may have been policy decisions by the colonial government; others (I suspect the majority) may have been independent actions by settlers versus natives. While nominally the colonies were under more or less direct control by the colonizing state, in practice as I noted, they were basically independent outside of taxation. At least until the soldiers showed up, anyway.

It should be noted that as a matter of official policy, in the 1700s at least, the English government wanted to restrict westward migration of its colonial population, in compliance with agreements with the native populations. How well this was enforced is obviously another matter... but the US government post independence did, to its marginal credit, attempt to enforce similar policies on a few occasions, such as expelling settlers from "Indian Territory" (more or less modern Oklahoma) in the mid-late 1800s.
That said: the indigenous people vs. European colonists/American people is rather more vague than, say, the US Marines being sent in to support fruit company profits in Honduras. One was an fairly straightforward act of government policy; the other, more or less a consequence of one people group moving into another people group's territory, with occasional government policies supporting said movement. Would you want to go as far back as say the Migration Period, when Central Asian/Slavic tribes gradually moved westward throughout western Europe all the way to Spain and even northern Africa in the early AD's?
It's really not too vague. The US found people, engaged in genocide, and then built a rich country on the the recently "settled" land. The same state which slaughtered its way from sea to sea is still there today. Still profiting too.
The issue I draw with this is that you aren't making any distinction between acts actually committed as matters of policy (either officially or unofficially) by the US government and its organs, and acts committed outside that aegis by settlers. If Joe Buck got together some of his buddies, drank a little moonshine, and went down and burned some Native dwellings one moonlit night in 1867, is the US culpable for that? Perhaps for not *preventing* it; otherwise I'm not sure the US would bear responsibility for such occurrences. However, I'm not certain of the proportion of such unofficial acts versus officially government ordered and/or endorsed acts, so I can't take any stand on that.

Bear in mind that I am not that certain of how MUCH Westward expansion from the original colonies was US government policy throughout the 1800s-early 1900s (bearing in mind that some states in the West didn't become states until after the turn of the century), and how much was just post-facto incorporation of already settled areas. Certainly there was SOME government encouragement to move west at various points; I don't know how much.

If one wants to get into the nitty-gritty of it, one could debate the morality of migrating populations, as that's part of the equation as well. But I have neither the knowledge nor the time to get into that, and I suspect it's somewhat outside the scope of this thread apart from the specific case of the US population migrating westward.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-11-30 01:17pm

NecronLord wrote:
2018-11-30 12:41pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-11-27 12:55am
Because I am sick of any discussion of Putin or other non-Western-aligned dictators being immediately derailed with Whataboutism, and because I want to be consistent in criticizing human rights abuses and authoritarianism originating from my own country as well as others, I am creating this thread in the hopes of providing a separate thread in which to discuss and debate American/Western misdeeds both past and present.
While there is nothing wrong with a thread to discuss this topic, this is not IvP and you cannot use the existance of this thread to try and tell people to take such discussion to it in others. If you seek a 'containment' thread you will not get one, and if you start telling people it is supposed to work that way, that will be considered backseat moderation.
If I may interject a comment from the peanut gallery: I have noticed that there are a -lot- of remarks along the lines of 'because the US/Europe/whatever was SO awesome about this' when discussing international events. Occasionally these remarks are even relevant, but I do think it might be time to get it out of people's systems.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-30 01:33pm

Quite.

While well aware that I have no power of enforcement on the issue, my personal feeling is that its better for these topics to be discussed on their own merits, rather than only raised in the context of deflecting or refuting criticisms of a non-Western dictator. When they're used in that context, the result is both to deflect from the topic at hand, and to inhibit any useful critique of the failings of the American/Western system, because the manner in which those critiques are being used forces me to either refute or ignore them as attempts at obfuscation, rather than to engage with them in the manner that they deserve. The quality of both discussions, I feel, suffer from people trying to use the one to refute the other.

So while those who like to use Whataboutism as a debating tool will doubtless continue to do so, I hope that this thread will provide a place for those who actually want to discuss these issues to do so separately- to address the weaknesses of the American/Western systems squarely on their own merits.
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Re: General American/Western Crimes, Blunders, and Atrocities Discussion Thread.

Post by NecronLord » 2018-11-30 02:52pm

I also suggest that you confine discussion to at the most everything post WW2, we have a history forum for a reason and a mirror thread there would be suitable for prior atrocities, even though history informs the present.
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