America's Foreign Policy, 200+years? It seems to be working - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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America's Foreign Policy, 200+years? It seems to be working

This is just something I threw together, enjoy

America's Foreign Policy: 200 years on, has it worked?

As we look at the current situation of the United States in perspective to the rest of the world we are a superpower. There's no question about that. Militarily, no nation in it's right mind would want to fuck with us. Economically, we are still very powerful. However as good news begins to come out of Iraq, in the middle of the chaos, let's take a look at America's Foreign Policy, which is really no different than it was 200+years ago.

In 1785 Barbary Pirates took hostage the two American ships hostage and demanded $60,000 in ransom payments. America quickly paid it, and continued to pay $1 million annually for the safe passage of Americans. Things escalated, until in 1801, when President Thomas Jefferson sent a group of frigates to the Mediterranean to protect American interests. On Aug. 1st, 1801, the USS Enterprise captured the corsair Tripoli. The American Navy was almost unchallenged, as the Pirate States of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli and aided by their ally Morocco, and independent nation were unable to contest the American Navy.

In April 1805 US Marines attacked the Tripoltian city of Derna, ending the war. The Barbary Pirates no longer would attack US ships, although this still happened occasionally.

With the War of 1812, the Barbary Pirates again began taking Americans Hostage. By 1815, the US had had enough. Ten ships were deployed, and swiftly captured two Barbary Ships. A treaty was soon signed, granting Americans full shipping rights.

In 1821 Mexico became an independent nation. Spain ceded the provinces of Alta California, Neuvo Mexico, and Texas to Mexico. Mexico found it almost impossible to govern it's new territories, being as they were thousands of miles from Mexico City. The Mexican government allowed a few hundred American families to settle Texas, but the lack of border security made it impossible to control, and soon thousands of Americans were living in Texas.

The Mexican government banned slavery, but many of the American-Texans were slave-owners. The Texas Revolution began in 1836, and later that year, after inciting revolts after besieging the Alamo, the Texans defeated General Santa Anna, the Mexican general. In 1845, after a refusal by US president James Tyler, Texas was recognized as a territory of the US, agreed by President Polk.

The boundary Mexico recognized was the Nueces River, and the US recognized the Rio Grande. Several skirmishes broke out, and one battle, all begun by the Mexican Army. The US declared war on Mexico, and invaded it from two fronts. The flag of the Republic of California was raised, and brought down two weeks later when the American Army and settlers arrived. In 1848, the same year gold was discovered, Mexico signed a treaty ceding New Mexico and California to the US.

So this I ask you: America's Foreign Policy, is it really that bad? Look at where America is today, how powerful it is. We got where we are by defending ourselves from both Terrorist/Pirate States as well as legitimate countries. In all cases we were attacked first. Now I'm not saying we should annex Iraq, what I'm saying is that throughout American History we have defended ourselves from attack by attacking those who attacked us and their allies. Why is this any different?

First Barbary War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Second Barbary War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mexican-American War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-13-2007, 08:20 PM
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a reich to last 1000 years..NOT!!

Fuel economy!! whats that??
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 06:58 AM
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heh, heh......what a load of crap! heh, heh.......
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M44
This is just something I threw together, enjoy

America's Foreign Policy: 200 years on, has it worked?

As we look at the current situation of the United States in perspective to the rest of the world we are a superpower. There's no question about that. Militarily, no nation in it's right mind would want to fuck with us. Economically, we are still very powerful. However as good news begins to come out of Iraq, in the middle of the chaos, let's take a look at America's Foreign Policy, which is really no different than it was 200+years ago.

[...history...]


So this I ask you: America's Foreign Policy, is it really that bad? Look at where America is today, how powerful it is. We got where we are by defending ourselves from both Terrorist/Pirate States as well as legitimate countries. In all cases we were attacked first. Now I'm not saying we should annex Iraq, what I'm saying is that throughout American History we have defended ourselves from attack by attacking those who attacked us and their allies. Why is this any different?
You are basing your position on several assumptions that don't have basis. First you say "There's no question about that. Militarily, no nation in it's right mind would want to fuck with us. " yet we now have China who has postured that it will not take economic sanctions "at any costs", Russia which has talked about a remilitarization , mainly due to the foreign policies of the last six years and WE have not been able to build and keep a coalition for a police action in Iraq.

Speaking of Iraq, while we are a superpower, we have not, even at surge strength shown the ability to even take on and stop the insurgency that is at times killing our troops. Much of this is because our Military is set up to fight the big Contenintal war , not what we have in Iraq or Viet Nam. Problem is, Iraq is what we are in, much like Viet Nam.

As far as Economics you say "Economically, we are still very powerful".
In the past SIX years the Dollar has sustained record lows against both the Euro and Pound.
The Dollar was removed as the International trading currency.
New York City is no longer consider the Center of World Commerce - London is.
The US took a $4.5 Trillion National Debt that had been run up over 200 years [including debt from Civil War,WW1, WW2, Korea, Viet Nam, two Recessions and two Depressions] and DOUBLED IT in just SIX years to over $9Trillion.
Foreign Investors, including those with whom we need negotiating power own 15% of that $9Trillion in National Debt.
The US has built up a $5Trillion Trade Deficit in the past SIX years.
We have an underfunded infrastructure by $1Trillion
We have the largest bucket of taxpayers in the country's history [boomers] starting to retire, going from revenue generators to benefits collectors
We have started, as Corporate cost cutting, offshoring jobs of some of the highest paying job classes in the country, providing [longterm] revenue reduction.

We have elements of our economy that are doing well, many due to international investment and hedging against the US Dollar. But there are fundamental cracks that are appearing.

American Foreign Policy. The Iraq war was the first time the US has been unable to build a strong coalition for a world problem [real or perceived]. As we have moved through this past SIX years our normal world friends have been even more reluctant to partner with us on important issues as we have shown to many of them to be unreliable. Many see a new escalation of arms and the start of a new Cold War, others see our reluctance to join the rest of the world in Darfur or on Climate issues or health issues.

This is a great country. It has more potential than most but it is not the best, it is not the biggest Military any longer [China has that to deal with] nor is it the biggest Economic engine. But it does not have to be. It, like the people in it only have to be the most honorable and ethical that we can be and things will be fine.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M44
We got where we are by defending ourselves from both Terrorist/Pirate States as well as legitimate countries. In all cases we were attacked first. Now I'm not saying we should annex Iraq, what I'm saying is that throughout American History we have defended ourselves from attack by attacking those who attacked us and their allies. Why is this any different?
Could you please explain exactly how Iraq attacked the US? I would also like to know why your "analysis" conveniently ignores the 138 years between the Mexican War and the invasion of Iraq. Through that period of time there are examples of US foreign policy that will both support and discredit your argument. US foreign policy has gone through so many evolutions and wholesale changes over that period of time that you simply cannot argue that Iraq is just an extension of actions against the Barbary Pirates.

Although "it is, it is a glorious thing to be the Pirate King".
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 09:37 AM
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And, apparently, the young lad slept through History class when the Spanish-American War was being discussed.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jlomon
Could you please explain exactly how Iraq attacked the US? I would also like to know why your "analysis" conveniently ignores the 138 years between the Mexican War and the invasion of Iraq. Through that period of time there are examples of US foreign policy that will both support and discredit your argument. US foreign policy has gone through so many evolutions and wholesale changes over that period of time that you simply cannot argue that Iraq is just an extension of actions against the Barbary Pirates.

Although "it is, it is a glorious thing to be the Pirate King".
Iraq never attacked the US. And there isn't really evidence that he was supporting Al Qeada in any way. But he had chemical weapons. He launched Scuds against Israel and I believe Riyadh in '91. He was or had been actively seeking nuclear weapons. He was responsible for killing thousands of Kurds in the 80s and 90s. Over 400,000 bodies have been found in mass graves all over Iraq. That's quite the track record. So there was just cause to take him out. And I'm sorry I wasn;t able to cover the 138 years, I was a little hurried. I will talk about the Spanish American War in my response to GS. But in WW1. We were attacked, we responded. We didn't really gain anything from it, except a safer place to live. WW2. Almost everyone will agree there was quite obviously a very big threat. We were attacked at Pearl Harbor. We responded. We declared war on Germany. Now did Germany ever attack us? No. But in the treaty that Japan, Germany, and Italy has signed they agreed that if one of them would go to war then the others would as well. Hitler declared war on the US first if i remember correctly. We helped South Korea in the 50s. They were under the threat of being annihilated, and we stopped them.

Vietnam, of course, was bad. That is one of the places we really messed up on. It was basically a continuation of Korea, the same general idea, but one we just completely screwed up on.

And I'm not saying Iraq is an extension of the Barbary Pirates, I'm just saying that the general "idea" is the same. Different technology, different nation and world powers, but still basically the same kind of thing we're going through right now.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar
And, apparently, the young lad slept through History class when the Spanish-American War was being discussed.
He'll probably use the sinking of The Maine as proof of attack. Of course, its been proven recently that this is a fallacy. The Maine wasn't attacked. There was a bizarre accident where the heat from the boilers (?) actually bled through the steel plate wall into the armoury, where a stack of shells ignited from the heat transfer. It was a great episode of "History Detectives" on PBS recently.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GermanStar
And, apparently, the young lad slept through History class when the Spanish-American War was being discussed.
The Spanish American War was considered a legitimate conflict. It all really began from the USS Maine. Reportedly the Spanish blew it up with a mine, although a report done in the 70s points the cause at an internal combustion. However the US blamed Spain, and began supporting Cuban rebels. The situation boiled over into a war with Spain, and the US engaged Spain in the Philippines, Guam, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, After a number of battles Spain was finished, and in a treaty gave the US the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico. Now who in the US, at the start of that war, would have thought the US would control those territories at the end of the conflict?

At that time, with the best evidence from the US Navy pointing towards a mine explosion, we declared war on Spain. Note that war was not declared until AFTER the investigation was completed.

Spanish-American War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jlomon
He'll probably use the sinking of The Maine as proof of attack. Of course, its been proven recently that this is a fallacy. The Maine wasn't attacked. There was a bizarre accident where the heat from the boilers (?) actually bled through the steel plate wall into the armoury, where a stack of shells ignited from the heat transfer. It was a great episode of "History Detectives" on PBS recently.
If you read around, you'll find that a US Navy investigation had found that the explosion occurred from a mine, only in the 1970s was it declared an accident.

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