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US v World Rant Site

A site sure to deplete Halfbakery of participants.
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,

I know I never get tired of being misrepresented as an USian by Usians and outlanders alike. So the idea is that the site is set up much like the halfbakers. Someone posts a generalization about the US and the Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis, Brits, Scots and Afghanis pile on like an All Blacks' Scrum. This is sure to open up communications between cultures that are basically the same anyway.

BTW: With the start of the NFL this weekend, I realize that I am glad to live in America, the only country in the world that has football.

Op, Sep 11 2001

NFL Europe http://www.nfleurope.com/
[The Military, Sep 11 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

FIFA - The World Football Federation http://www.fifa.com
Actually most countries in the world play football. [Aristotle, Sep 11 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

"islam is opposed to suicide" http://www.islam-usa.com/25ques.html
[mihali, Sep 11 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

for mihali --- bad news, I'm afraid http://www.jamiat.o...o/sui-bombings.html
[Susen, Sep 11 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Hmmmm. http://www.mwarrior.../WhyhateAmerica.htm
[mrthingy, May 20 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Australian Football http://afl.com.au/
Surely this is the real football [PiledHigherandDeeper, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       It's fine for people to not like us....but did they really have to blow up New York this morning?
Susen, Sep 11 2001

       It could be an internal act of terrorism, Susen, like the Oaklahoma bombing.   

       Whatever the case it is definitely a bad day to in the air over America.
Aristotle, Sep 11 2001

       September 11, 2001 Dear Halfbakery folks: Provided I can log in, I'll leave one further comment under "God that is real" and then stop for now. As you probably imagine, it's one aspect of a terrible aftermath -- a multiple attack that has killed a lot of people who did not deserve to die. I cannot imagine what their families feel, but the world is now clearly worse than it was, and for the time being I can't summon my sense of humor or whimsy or intellectual venture. I believe several (horrible and sad) truths about events like this one:   

       *- Whoever destroyed all those lives in the airliner and the WTC was looking to provoke a war. *- A lot of people in the U.S. are already calling it a war, not thinking about how they are thus agreeing with the attackers (and accomplishing their purpose). *- Things are about to get a lot uglier in a lot of places worldwide; this kind of fanaticism spreads like a forest fire and produces extreme chain reactions. The ugliest reactions will probably come from people who spend their lives in search of targets, vengeance, and vindication -- and find only targets, not caring whether innocent people die.   

       I mourn that my nation will probably see an even worse period of internal xenophobia, jingoism, reactionary raving, and knee-jerk hatred than it did during the "gulf war" of 1990-91. Nothing I can say is likely to change that, so I'm clearing my bit of the bandwidth here for awhile.   

       Thank you for your freedom of thought and your valuable online companionship.   

       Good luck all, and take care.   

       With hope, best intentions, and the knowledge that those aren't enough,   

whatsbruin, Sep 11 2001

       whatbruin: just to add to your well-worded annotation i just saw one report of "palestinians" dancing in the streets and celebrating. it made me sick, not because these 100 or so people were being so disrepectful, but because the news types decided to show that. how many people saw it i can't say, but i'm sure that many of the people who did see it will now have a much worse view of palestinians than they did before (based on the reactions i listened to at work as we watched it). it was a very irresponsible bit of reporting, and i hope, really hope that as many people as possible realise that these 100 or so people do not speak for the 3 million palestinians or indeed all arabs worldwide.
mihali, Sep 11 2001

Right or wrong, it's on now. And it won't end until we say it does.
phoenix, Sep 11 2001

       ..my heart goes out to everyone we've lost this morning..
iuvare, Sep 11 2001

       [iuvare]: I second that.
sdm, Sep 11 2001

       What's sad is that it took a huge terrorist act to bring out the patriot in me. Up until my brother woke me up this morning screaming that "all kinds of crazy shit's happening," I thought I hated my country. Oh, sure, I defend it on the bakery all the time, but that's because the snide "Americans r stoopid" comments are so damn annoying. After hearing of this tragedy, I felt sickened and suddenly patriotic. I felt a love for this country that I call "home" and realized that I would do whatever it takes to protect it, even if I have to go to war (I'm at the prime draft age, if there will be a draft). Of course, as Aristotle mentioned, it could be an internal act, but I must make mention the suicide bomb part is very non-American. An American would be more likely to try to plant a bomb rather than take himself out, that's just the way we are here.

You non-USians can say whatever you want about us, but we're in the same boat now.
AfroAssault, Sep 12 2001

       Congratulations on your turnabout Afro. It is a terrible reality to be awakened to such devastating news. I had turned in a mere 5 minutes before the attacks began - not knowing that planeloads of people were terrified at that very moment. I keep the TV on while doing many things on computer *just in case* an emergency occurs - though imagined, one cannot grasp such a reality being historical in its significance rather than a 'what if' proposition. I am glad I made it to bed when I did rather than 10 or 15 minutes later when News would have informed the viewers - and certainly, in my case - kept me sleepless.
My Girlfriend works in a building with many many many consul offices. She went to work after having seen the destruction on Televison, within minutes she received a call from an executive and returned home - was shaking when she woke and informed me - I had been having a dream that I was one of the smiley happy people in "Galaxy Quest" (disclaimer: abnormal behavior for myself) and was in character upon my awakening - voice and all. Last time I smiled today.
You are right about the surge of Patriotism - in our case - Americanism. There are those who automatically assume it was people of middle eastern descent - though it is possible it was an anarchist group. And you are correct in your thinking regarding the way people will take themselves out with it - as evidenced by past events. But time will tell.
The events may call for a moratorium on Exploding items for some time, though I realize this has been a niche category for you - just as you were awakened to a different way of looking at America, you may take a different approach in 1/2 bakery. You're a smart guy - otherwise I wouldn't give you the time of day. The time is now 5:58 p.m. PST.
thumbwax, Sep 12 2001

       Does that mean it would be in bad taste to post my "Exploding Pentagon" idea?   

       OK, it was an attack on the US specifically, but it does (though perhaps not to the extent some of the interviews I have heard imply) strike at the heart of civilisation itself. The graveness of the "bastardry" perpetrated this morning is obviously inexpressible, but the world now watches the response of the world's most powerful nation. Four jets are a drop in the ocean compared to the power the US has available for retribution.   

       I hope that the reaction of Bush and America does not simply mirror the senseless slaughter. If ten thousand innocent Americans died, would ten thousand innocent, dead Arabs represent justice? Now is not the time for jingoistic patriotism.
jabbers, Sep 12 2001

       I woke up, walked into the lounge room in my underwear and saw my entire family, pale faced, staring at the TV with their jaws somewhere in the vicinity of their ankles. My brother was the first to break the silence. He looked at me with that uneasy smile you get sometimes after you nearly have an auto collision: something bad has happened, but you don't want to look overly emotional. "Holy fuck" he said. I watched the news for ten minutes until I got the gist of what happened.   

       I went to work this morning sickened. I was sickened by the sheer carnage. Thankfully I went to sleep at around ten minutes to eleven last night, the first plane hit at eleven, Sydney time, so I managed to get a full night's sleep.   

       Today I was contracted out to a primary school full of kids ranging in age from about 5 to 12. At around midday there was a thunder storm. The majority of the children started screaming hysterically. I asked one of the older teachers if the kids normally do this. The answer was, no. I guess this only goes to prove what [Afro] was saying. This callous act signals a destruction of our well built insular security in the West. Well put [Afro], we're all in the same boat now...   

       (13:37 AEST)
sdm, Sep 12 2001

       AfroAssault: I'm sure that when Oklahoma happened people said that this kind of terrorism was very un-Amercian as well. All that I mean is that is very unwise to rule anyone out yet. As the Sherlock Holmes line goes: "Eliminate the impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable, is the truth."
Aristotle, Sep 12 2001

       //we're in the same boat now//   

       Tony Blair's stance - that this isn't just an attack on the US, but on the whole of the democratic world - seems appropriate to mention here. Another quote that sent a shudder down my spine was given by a Middle Eastern political analyst (I think)... along the lines of "I fear that for decades to come evil will wear a Middle Eastern face in our minds."   

       Internal or external? Usama bin Laden or some other lunatic? Oklahoma aside, and whether or not we think USans would go for this sort of suicide mission, had it been an act of internal terrorism (anti-NWO militia or such) I think the first target would have been the UN building. The symbolism of the targets, as the seats of military and economic power suggests, to me at least, that the theory of a coalition of Islamic sectarian terrorist groups sadly looks like being the most plausible hypothesis.   

       The fact that there may be no nation, no "rogue state", to retaliate against is one of the things that throws everything "up in the air" as another 1/2baker has remarked on another post. As much as this has been compared with Pearl Harbour, it's something entirely new and distinct. There may be no single "evil madman" behind this. And it may be that the target is as much the "Western" way of life as it is the US specifically.   

       Of the many chain reactions set off by this act, I wonder how they will all pan out. Jingoism and vengeance? Or patriotism and justice? Xenophobia and the further demonisation of Middle Eastern peoples? Bloody reprisals? Or will the stark shock of it push us past these automatic, understandable reactions to deeper realisations? Having come face-to-face with the brutal horror of the terrorist mindset - and what it is capable of - will those of us who may have been, until now, fairly complacent in our comfort zone of liberal capitalist democracy retreat behind easy rhetoric or will it (and I hope it does) force us to grimly, determinedly, take the bull by the horns and face up to our own responsibilities, as individuals and as larger communities - political, religious, social, international even?   

       Many have been saying that yesterday was a day that changed the shape of the world, and I agree. The new "enemies" are inchoate but global... coalitions and alliances like the power structures they are attacking. It's not America versus Iraq (or Libya). It's liberal capitalism versus sectarian terrorism, democracy versus totalitarianism, trade and industry versus environmentalism. I think we're all going to be walking the same razor's edge now between isolationism and interventionism, whether it's in Palestine, Northern Ireland or wherever. We can't afford to get involved; but we really can't afford not to. I hope we're up to it.
Guy Fox, Sep 12 2001

       xonophobia is a word, describing a sentiment. What occured yesterday was an action that took upwards of perhaps 10,000 lives. Innocent lives. Lives that had nothing to do with foriegn policy, politics, or the problems of the arabic worlds. The lives snuffed out were rescue workers... firemen, police officers (keepers of the civil peace), parents, husbands, and wives. Woe - woe be to the islamic fundamentalists that have just awoken the sleeping giant. This is not xenophobia - a word used by wishful philosophers, a word used by artists, a word used by those afraid to face the truth... this is war. The problem: there is no other force that can be understood by extremists - but extreme measures.
gorn_the_great, Sep 12 2001

       may i make a suggestion? rather than post this as a separate idea, i'd like to ask everyone here to stop using the term islamic fundamentalism in relation to terrorists. it is an insult to all believing muslims and it leads to a lot of hatred. by definition a fundamentalist believes in the basics of his religion. killing and suicide is not accepted in any of the monotheistic religions. tom clancy put it best yesterday in an interview when the reporter mentioned muslims. he said (paraphrasing) "the people that committed these acts were not muslims, they're fools. every muslim knows that suicide is a ticket to hell." the fundamentalist label is already over-used in the media, and it implies that anyone with a fervent belief in his religion is wrong. i may be a christian fundametalist (for the most part) but that does not mean i'm going to go against my religion for political gain, be it my own or someone else's. these are political terrorists, misguided as they are to believe that what they do will somehow please god. please, let's come up with another term to represent them. suggestions?
mihali, Sep 12 2001

       The media coverage here is just using the word "terrorist". When talking about suspects, they're using the suspects' names: Taliban, Usama bin Laden, Usama bin Laden, Usama bin Laden, the PLO, Usama bin Laden.
sdm, Sep 12 2001

       I think you're probably right, mihali, on the whole. Perhaps the sloppy use of a phrase like "Islamic fundamentalist" comes from a shift (or muddying) of what "fundamentalist" means - from someone who //believes in the basics of his religion// to someone for whom opposition to that belief is absolutely intolerable. Fanatics? Zealots? Extremists? Totalitarians? "Terrorists" describes the methodology, but not the underlying philosophy of absolute commitment to one ideology at the expense of all other avenues of ethical judgement.   

       And, yes, one of the big dangers here is in tarring all Muslims with the same brush. After yesterday, the hatemongerers have a lot more ammunition, and I'd bet that some of the first to feel the brunt of it will be Islamic refugees here in Britain. I only hope that we end up with more to be proud of than to be ashamed of, at the end of the day.   

       But I'm not sure we should, or even _can_ distinguish extremist ideologies as "political" but not "religious". I'm not sure that with these sort of absolutist ideologies such distinctions are possible. Atheism was integral to Stalinism, whether or not most atheists abhor what happened under Stalin. Fascism was profoundly "anti-Christian" in a religious as well as political sense. Part of the truly horrifying nature of such mindsets, I believe, is that very often they _are_ "ethical", that the believer genuinely perceives themself as a righteous upholder of the cause. Don't forget that killing _is_ accepted in some sects of monotheist religion, including some Islamic ones, in the form of capital punishment or war. Do these people really see their deaths as "suicide" or do they see it as "martyrdom"?   

       I think that to truly understand what motivates these terrorists, the degree of their resolve, the cold ruthlessness of their certainty, we need to appreciate the religious dimension to their beliefs. Like the Phoenician city-states to the Biblical prophets, the West, I think, represents to them an abhorrent and, yes, _evil_ system of financial exploitation and cultural decadence. Yes, their aims are political. But they are also rooted in quite spiritual beliefs regarding our "greed" and "corruption", and I think we deny this at our own peril.   

       So, personally, I'm changing my previous annotation to substitute "sectarian" for "fundamentalist", as I think this may be a more fitting term (For me, such ideologies are marked less by their belief in the basics, more by their hostility to opposition).
Guy Fox, Sep 12 2001

       mihali, actually, for some Muslims, dying for a holy cause (even though it's a suicide) is considered a sure way to go to heaven.   

       Several reasons I don't believe this is internal terrorism.   

       1) While some Americans may like to "blow things up", they don't like to die while doing so...they like to stick around and see what they did on TV
2) In general, an American "terrorist" is soooo arrogant they believe that they will not get caught.
3) If they do get caught, they then get to make statements and tell the world why they did what they did
4) Finding one American who believes in something enough to "suicide" for the cause is tough enough....finding many who all believe in the same cause enough to "suicide" is probably impossible
Susen, Sep 12 2001

       susen: the "muslims" you speak of are actually misguided and, dare i say it, brainwashed young men, who are coaxed into their acts by other misguided men who need attention heaped onto them.   

       see the link for a brief introduction to islam, specifically question #24. there's a lot more out there on the net if you're inclined to educate yourself. a quick search for "islam" + "suicide" turned up many hits.
mihali, Sep 12 2001

       mihali, I wish you were right. Unfortunately, having taught religion at a University, I know that what you state is not completely accurate. Since I can't scan in my textbooks, I looked up some info. on the web for you...   

       From a link I shall provide above.... "However, if a community is oppressed of its basic human rights, it is permissible for them to fight against the oppressors and avail themselves from such oppression. It is permissible for them to engage in Jihaad - risking their lives in the hope of saving themselves from oppression. The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) has also praised a person whose army is defeated and bravely faces the enemy. It is obvious in such a situation that a person is walking directly toward the enemy - he is walking toward death. This act of his - despite him actually walking toward death - is praiseworthy according to the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). This is not done for personal grief and pain, but in the interest of the Muslim community.   

       Therefore, this is an act of merit and such a person will be a Shaheed. The plot by suicide bombers should be understood in the same light. Assuming the suicide bombing is evil but this evil is opposed by a greater evil for which there is no adequate substitute, therefore, their act will be justified as lesser of the two evils in terms of Islamic Law."
Susen, Sep 12 2001

       Tarred with the same brush... I woke up this morning to news of mosques (and even Coptic Orthodox, I think) churches being firebombed and vandalised here in Sydney overnight. At the school where my brother works (in the same neighborhood,) Muslim parents are keeping their kids at home for fear of reprisal.   

       The way I see it, this situation could go either way. Either the "allied strong in the face of terrorism" approach, or the derisive, "they look different, let's lynch 'em!" approach.   

       Adding to what [mihali] has been saying, I think it's in the hands of the media which approach the populace is inclined to take. Government intelligence is going to pinpoint specific groups and blame them for this atrocity. How well that intelligence is relayed to the public will be a different question. The cynic in me says implicitly targeting a group of people will sell more newspapers than blaming the small, splinter factions involved.   

       When the time comes for retribution, I would like to see the United States (and it's international allies) take the high ground and be very specific in their targeting of these groups. As many of the commentators have been saying, this event is so significant because it rams home the reality that wars are no longer fought on national boundaries but from belief structure to belief structure (in this case the major suspect being extreme Muslim seperatist groups.) We will need much more precision in targeting enemies and will involve a concerted global effort.
sdm, Sep 13 2001

       The same people who will be so willing to eschew precision in this case will be surprised how useful it will (/would?) have been to develop it when subsequent attacks are made by internal terrorists.
beauxeault, Sep 13 2001

       It shows the way things are when Vinnie Jones, an English footballer, becomes Hollywood's favourite hard man. He didn't get to look that mean by hiding in some kevlar ... :-)
Aristotle, Sep 13 2001

       Absolutely correct - I'm a Yank who has been to 5 Professional 'Football' Games in US. I can assure you the scantily clad cheerleaders were fantastic - I think either the home team or the other team won sometimes, maybe - I'm not for sure. But Rugby is a whole different ball of wax - that is a Sport.
thumbwax, Sep 13 2001

       [Still OT]:
Something that has occurred to me:
As the hijackers apparently only had blade weapons when they were taking over the planes, it seems reasonable to assume that the passengers did not know they were being hijacked for a suicide mission. Otherwise one would expect the passengers to have put up more of a fight (as appears to be the case on the plane that went down in PA).

       Does anyone else think that this makes American planes hijack-proof now? I mean, these people probably thought they were going to Cuba or Canada or Mexico and that - in the end - they would be inconvenienced but otherwise unhurt. Who'd believe that anymore? I suspect that the next person who attempts to hijack a plane will meet a surprising amount of resistance.
phoenix, Sep 13 2001

       (OT) phoenix, your thoughts echo those I posted in another annotation somewhere. I think the next person/team to try a hijacking will have to be extremely well-armed, especially if they approach the cockpit. Even "I've got a bomb." doesn't seem like it would be a very effective deterrant.   

       Even if a collective sense of security is difficult to muster, many people *are* able to summon a sense of heroism.
beauxeault, Sep 14 2001

       [beauxeault] My point exactly. If I'm going to die anyway (and I can no longer assume I won't) why not die while thwarting the hijacker's plans?
phoenix, Sep 14 2001

       before, just before.
po, Oct 15 2003

       I think the thread died because.. well, use your imagination.
po, Oct 15 2003

       It was not too great a coincidence. Before September the 11th a lot of people outside of America knew that America was dangerously unpopular.   

       Besides [Op] was largely commenting on the sentiments of English-speaking commonwealth countries that are traditional allies of Ameria. The American public had not funded much terrorism in those countries ... except for the UK of course.   

       Afghanistan, probably included in the list as a contrast, was just one of many countries that had been used as a Cold War battlefield only to be neglected at the end of the Cold War. The people that were later vilified for the attacks, such as Osama Ben Laden and Saddam, tend to have in common the fact that they had been recruited by America to act for them during the Cold War.
Aristotle, Oct 23 2003

       I think that there is an opertunity here to make use of alot of the worlds anti americanism. being white and british I didnt really understand the effects of racism on an individual until i was living in another country and was required to speak a different language. This i did but it was obvious that i wasnt from there,this drew inevitable racism from a few people i encountered. I was outraged that some people could see me any differently purely based on the fact i hadnt finished learning the language. I would imagine the same sort of feelings happen when huge generalisations about the us are made. this is what inequality feels like. it causes outrage and violent feeling. (this isnt meant to be some kind of veiled lecture about halfbakery people winding each other up by the way)
colour, Oct 26 2003

       WikdWaze: "US vs the World" ideas, and discussions that are sparked off from many such ideas, were and remain common on the Halfbakery. Any large homogenous culture is going to attract comments from people outside of that culture if insular assumptions are made. Search for discussions on football for an illustration of this - America calls American Football football while the rest of the world tends to be passionate about the older, unarmoured sport with with the same name. See also comments from people who don't "get" cricket-related ideas!   

       This increases the chance that any such thread would have been posted on the same day as a certain multi-millionare's terrorist attack.
Aristotle, Oct 27 2003


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