Simon_Jester wrote:To the US, by a reasonable standard of "major," those were no more "major" than the Boer War was to the British. It was all in the papers at the time, it had some impact on the course of British history, but it didn't require a true mass mobilization, and it didn't cause enough casualties on the British side to engrave itself in the national psyche the way that World War One did a decade later.
From the point of view of American history, the indisputable major wars are the Revolution, the Civil War, and the World Wars. The Mexican-American War probably qualifies and that should have been your counter-argument. The Spanish-American War, Korea, Vietnam, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan... none of those were nearly as large in scale.
The Spanish American war qualifies as a major war. It caused the end of a colonial power - the power that even started colonialism - and it was fought on two oceans, major occupations to follow.
The point is that in the American national consciousness, expressions of patriotism simply aren't tied to bad things happening.
Then that is a problem of ignorance. I suppose in the national consciousness the extinction of the native americans also did not happen due to ignorance.
Most of the bad things in American history happened for reasons that had little to do with nationalism, or that are so easily shrugged off by the average citizen as "no one's fault" or "someone else's fault" that they do not make an impact on the collective sense of history.
There are scars from American jingoism, but they mostly aren't located on America, and so they are not remembered in the same way because it's harder to go look at the bomb craters.
Indian reservations must be so hard to look at.
To the casual eye, history looks different in the eyes of someone whose most recent memory of a flag-waving political party didn't end in six years of grinding, annihilating warfare.
The most recent memory should be a ten-year guerilla war due to flag-waving political parties in Iraq. Or is the ignorance still so strong that the US gave them freedom and democracy?
Is that because the US is uncritical and heedless? Partly. I'd argue it's also because the US has different history than Europe, being on an entirely different continent. This results in even basically similar historical events (like a war of imperialism that killed thousands of people, mostly innocent foreigners) getting interpreted differently.
So, ignorance and arrogance. A potent combination.
Do you disagree with me, or are you taking the opportunity to repeat the litany of American crimes?
I get that it's a long litany and should be repeated at every opportunity just in case there's one of the real jingoists lurking around where they might read it. But I want to be clear: are you arguing with me, or with someone else?
Dude, if I wanted to list American crimes this thread would not suffice. What I am arguing with is that not recognizing the acts of the past either takes a combination of wilfull ignorance or just plain "don't care bout them others", which makes it a fascist thing.
With the possible exception of the Mexican-American War, no other war in American history had anything like the same scope relative to the size of the country at the time. I'll admit that the Mexican-American War is a counterexample to "major American wars weren't triggered by American nationalism." But you didn't think to use it- you shot straight to the wars of imperialism that I had tried to exclude in the first place by using the word "major." Because I was actually trying to analyze American culture instead of launching off into the hundredth repetition of the litany of American crimes.
I actually shot straight to colonial wars because they are the very epitome of flag-waving "we can rule them better than themselves" attitudes. The Mexican-American war in part was sold as "our citizens are oppressed by a foreign power" so I wanted to avoid a discussion about the legality of it.
Orders from the General-Governour to shoot every male on sight or invasions in the name of Big Fruit however are quite easy to discuss, so I used them.
Does that mean I can't even talk about American culture in a neutral tone without getting yelled at on behalf of my birth nation? Do I have to insert an extra side-order of contemptuous adjectives into every sentence in which I use the word "United States," just so people don't forget my opinion of the Spanish-American War while I'm trying to figure out why the hell Americans wave flags in ways that Britons apparently don't?
This is getting ridiculous.
No, what is getting ridiculous is your hilarious attempt to justify things that portray American fallen as good clean heroes on the basis of "well, we just do not know about these things" when even the news about the last war were heavily filtered with reports about wrongdoings. So here goes - are Americans just wilfully ignorant about their past or do they not care?