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Flightfreak 03-10-2005 05:25 PM


Ashley 03-10-2005 06:19 PM

After some thought, I'll second my thoughts from the previous thread. That unlike you seem to think, even though you said "I am sure there are people who do that" there are patriots like myself who do not support everything with this country. Especially today, with this administration.
Sure, there are dark times in United States history (i.e. slavery, Vietnam) but I find that the pros out weigh those cons.
I'll stick to why I'm patriotic and then give more thought and probably come back with other reasons, because there's boodles.
To me, in my opinion..just to be clear... it's mine.... it's the people in United States History that make me patriotic. The soldiers who have fought. In specific the soldiers of World War I, II and the American Revolution. Especially, since I am related to some and have spoke to many, the soldiers of World War II. To be brief, and not ramble too much, I just say that standing at Normandy and seeing the 1,000's of American dead who fought and died not just for America but for the countries being invaded was something I'll never forget, as campy as that sounds, it's true.
I'm also patriotic because of my country's future. I believe that after this administration the country will change. My generation is a different breed from my grandparents and my parents. We see that we need to change and that we have flaws.
America is great because I have the right to bitch about the things I don't like, and praise the things I do. I have the right to vote and try and help change what happens. And people have the right to disagree with me. While other countries have those rights as well, for some it was with our help that they retained those rights.

Just my opinion though.

Mags 03-10-2005 07:24 PM


Originally Posted by Ashley
America is great because I have the right to bitch about the things I don't like, and praise the things I do. I have the right to vote and try and help change what happens. And people have the right to disagree with me.

This basically outlines how I feel too, but as usual, Aaron Sorkin said it better than I ever could.


I'm a citizen,
this is my president, and in this
country it is not only permissible to
question our leaders, it is our
So I don't think it's patriotism to blindly follow the orders of whoever is in charge. I think it's patriotism to stand up when you believe that your country is going in the wrong direction. It’s our job as citizens. It is our greatest responsibility. That’s the only way you can ensure that you’re living in a real democracy, by embracing issues and making sure that the one’s elected to govern you know how you feel, and that you’re willing tell them when they’ve done something wrong. It doesn’t matter one iota if I’m the only person in the country to feel that way. I’m a citizen, and I’m intended to have a voice.

I’m not wildly patriotic. I know that. There’s little about America that can make me feel patriotic any more. I love America. I do. I think we’re a country with amazing potential. But too often I think it’s assumed that we’ve already reached a pinnacle, and that’s not accurate. Because we’re a developed nation doesn’t mean we should stop developing. Clearly there are things wrong with America, and I’ll be the first to admit that. We’re domineering; we bully the rest of the world, without a thought to the consequences. We go to other countries to “install democracy” but are incapable of taking care of THOUSANDS of American citizens in New Orleans and Louisiana. But we should be able to take care of every American. When we can do that, maybe I’ll be more patriotic. But the way patriotism is running right now, I don’t think I want to be. We’ve reached a point of…patriotic propaganda. And it sickens me. I’m labeled un-American because I don’t agree with this administration and the way things have been handled in the last 5 years. And that’s bullshit. I’m a citizen and I want this country to be great, but I’m not idiotic enough to assume that it’s perfect. That’s blind patriotism, and that’s where it gets dangerous. My position right now is…optimistic for improvement.

Hazzle 03-10-2005 09:16 PM

Patriotism is a love for your country, not necessarily for its leaders. As Mags says, if you believe your leaders are actually betraying your country's values, doing what's in the worst interests of your nation, the patriotic thing to do is question it.

Patriotism relates to being proud to be from the nation you're from. I'm proud to be English, I was proud when we won the Ashes and sent the convicts packing, I am proud of my little quirks and odd phrases that Americans seem to I proud of every aspect of my country's history? No. Colonialism is just one example. Now I am aware of the benefits of colonialism, and I believe overall a positive impact has been felt on some countries (like India) but the policy was still flawed and some practices were just downright barbaric.

I love England, I love everything it stands for, but I don't always love the way the politicians handle things. That's patriotism if you ask me.

Rob The BLack Douglas 04-10-2005 03:22 AM

Patriotism is very murky.

Take my family history for example, I had ancestor's and kin involved in every conflict of the US starting with the Revolution(One even recieved a government pension.

But that's not all. I can trace my scottish heritage all the way back to 1129 Ad. An ancestor was the first scottish noble to join with William Wallace and was Robert The Bruces second in command.

My family married with the scottish royal family 12 times and the English royal family once.

We faught in France as Generals under Joan of Arc.

I have family spread all over the world(And genetic testing has shown that members of a clan are related)

Oh and Keither Sutherland is a cousin :)

So what are your loyalties? Family? Nation of birth? Friends?


Hazzle 04-10-2005 05:53 AM


Originally Posted by Rob The BLack Douglas
Oh and Keither Sutherland is a cousin :)

It's Kiefer mate. Don't go mis-spelling it on any wedding invites ;)


So what are your loyalties? Family? Nation of birth? Friends?
Close family before country. Country before friends. Friends before distant family. Distant family before schmucks like you :p (just kidding!)

I think split loyalty is totally possible. I would kill a friend IF it was in my nation's best interests (not just because the government told me to, however). If I knew my best friend, for example, was a terrorist, and I knew for a fact that he was planning an attack, because he'd talked to me about it, and if reporting him to the police wasn't an option, if I absolutely had to kill him, I would, and my only regret would be the taking of a human life, not the fact he was my friend.

My family, however, that's a different story. Every social and religious edict throughout time has pretty much agreed on one point of consensus; honour and respect your parents. A younger sibling is almost like a ward in my custody, someone who it is my duty to protect, again, by social edict, so it's easy to put family first. Plus I love them to bits and they've always been there for me, whereas friends come and go.

hasselbrad 04-10-2005 03:06 PM

Flightfreak, your ability to focus on the negative never ceases to amaze me.
Is America perfect? No. We've had our share of black eyes in a little over 200 years, but to say...

All the good things are overshadowed by bad things. being a tad unfair.
If it weren't for the United States, you wouldn't have the choice of whether or not to be patriotic, since the German National Socialist Party (that's the Nazi party, for those of you with selective amnesia about history) would be cramming their version of patriotism down your throat on a daily basis. I can see your reluctance to have feelings of pride in the Belgian flag, since you can never be too sure if/when it will be taken down and replaced with whatever flag Germany is flying at the time. :p Sorry, I just couldn't resist.
Seriously, though, how is pride in one's country a bad thing? I understand that when it gets to the level of fanaticism that existed in the aforementioned Nazi Germany, it becomes a serious problem. However, that is a far cry from putting your country's flag in front of your house.
I am well aware of the seedy underbelly of my nation. And, in all honesty, most of it can be blamed on political dealing. That said, the things to be proud of far outweigh the things to be ashamed of.
Poverty? Well, under the current administration, the poverty rate has decreased a percent, but it's still a problem. Strangely enough, though, people from poverty stricken, war torn nations, all over the world continue streaming to these shores, often with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Stranger still, these same people don't just eke out some miserable existence, but tend to thrive. It gives me a real sense of pride to walk into Rosa's Market around the corner from work, not understand a word that's being said, and yet, see it thriving. If the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world would concern themselves with helping people take advantage of opportunities rather than seek another handout, this country would be greater still.
An unjustified war in Iraq? Maybe, but then women aren't being raped in rooms specifically designed for said purpose and nobody's being fed, alive, into plastic shredders, so I see it as a wash.
Don't like our policy toward Cuba? Well, who helped free Cuba from Spain in the first place?
Think the Cold War was a silly exercise in futility? Hundreds of millions of those who died at the hands of communist regimes probably would have welcomed our involvement sooner.
Our two party political system is counterproductive. Our tax system is punitive. Partisan politics are tearing the country apart. Money is being wasted.
Don't tell me I'm blind to these facts because of patriotism, when it's your blind hatred for my country that causes you to only see the negative.

DragonRat 04-10-2005 04:51 PM

There's a difference between patriotism and nationalism. Patriotism is love for one's country, which is what many soldiers and those football players in New England have. Nationalism is the belief that one's country deserves (and is) stronger and better than other nations. If one is talking Nazism, it was the giant surge of nationalism - not patriotism - that brought the German National Socialist Party to its peak. I doubt many Germans were carried up in the thought that they loved their country; I think more so, they were determined to prove to the rest of Europe that they were simply better. I mean, weren't they the Aryan race of superhumans?

I think everyone deserves to have a sense of patriotism to their country, whether it's their nation of birth or nation of citizenship. And love for one's own country is a different matter than for another person. I could love America just as hassel loves America, and just as FlightFreak loves Belgium (and it's Clijsters). It's hard not to question why anyone would love America, but I'd ask you the same thing: why would anyone love their country? I think, in all fairness, it really comes down to living the same life as ours. If you were born in America, you may come to dislike it, but in the deepest sense, your roots are from America, you grew up in America, most (if not, all) your friends and family are American. You may not have the greatest love for America the government, but I'm sure if you were American, you'd have a deep, abiding respect for America the country.

Foeni 04-10-2005 08:19 PM

I would rather say that it took a great deal of patriotism, love of your country if you like, to be able to keep these wars going. Those men are doing it for their country. If you do not teach them to love it, they won't fight for it. As you flightfreak, I am amazed with the amount of people being really patriotic in USA. But somehow I also admire it. I myself is, well not really patriotic - Danes can't really be, but I love my country. I got the flag standing in my room on my desk. The times I become most patriotic is when I think of how great we once were.

On the off-topic subtopic of the thread. Of course the US had their reasons to go fighting in Europe. They needed a stabile world to have a good economy. Every nation does. And they knew very well, what the Nazis were trying to build wasn't gonna be a great business partner. But that doesn't mean that we weren't saved. We are free, if not only then at least partially, because of the American suffering. There are many reasons to go to war, some better than others, but being in an alliance is one of them.

hasselbrad 04-10-2005 09:18 PM


Aaaaaaah, I HATE that. because its such a bad argument.
- Before ww2 the economy wasn’t doing great in the states,
- Europe was a huge consuming market and Hitler was destroying it for them.
- Europe also formed a convenient buffer between the USA and the USSR the communism
The USA had every reason to come and save Europe. It was a perfect opportunity to revive their economy and that’s exactly what happened. America’s economical state was a lot better after WW2 than it was before, so that is a pathetic argument.
If it was purely an economic move, why then didn't we jump in during the late 1930s? Why didn't we just stir something up with Germany in May 1937, when we had slumped back into a depression?
If we were so worried about the "huge consuming market", why did we cut off sales of raw materials and crude oil to the Japanese?
Truth is, our economy had weathered a second depression and was again on an upswing. America was doing fine economically. If we hadn't have been, we never could have met the increase in demand for manufacturing. American factories were already humming along, trying to meet increased demand.


And for the record you did not save Belgium from the Germans, the USSR did, the USA saved us from communism. The USA fought as much for their own cause as for ours.
Wow. Just wow. You're right in that the United States didn't liberate Belgium, alone. It was a co-ordinated effort between the United States, Great Britain and Canada.
You do realize which direction Germany is don't you? And you are aware that Russian forces came from the east, right? Furthermore, you are aware that the war ended when Allied forces met in Berlin...which is east of Belgium? :icon_jaw:

So, is it your opinion that a country should never, under any circumstances act in its own best interest? I'm well aware of the meddling that the United States government has done around the world. Ho Chi Minh was our ally against the Japanese during World War Two, and I can't exactly blame him for being upset at our defense of French colonial interests after the war. Guess what? That's world politics.
I have another question.
Does your lack of pride in your own country have anything to do with its colonial dealings in the Congo?
Just curious.

AureaMediocritas 04-10-2005 10:35 PM


Originally Posted by hasselbrad
Does your lack of pride in your own country have anything to do with its colonial dealings in the Congo?
Just curious.

That´s nasty. :) And Congo had always been personal property of the
Belgian king before its national "liberation" , so don´t blame poor old Flightfreak.

As my dear Belgian friend pointed out before, despite hating the colonial
ambitions of its former occupants (England, France, Netherlands, Spain...) ,
America developed a certain appetite for strategically important bases
(Marshall Islands, Midway, Hawai maybe) and went through an interventionist
phase determing its foreign policy (Latin America especially ; Cuba, Dominican
Republic, Panama). After the well known isolationist phase (almost preventing president Roosevelt to assist the brits against Adolf the One and Only), they
actually united the pro-western countries to fight the evil communist ones.

Of course , the USSR implodated owing to American efforts and unprecedented internal difficulties, yet the U.S do seem to need another
enemy to justify their interventions all around the world. From nazism to
communism to terrorism. My point is : maybe U.S citizens love their country
so much because they consider it´s the incarnation of justice , democracy ,
equality... paradise as opposed to all these evil barbarian countries unwilling
to adopt that glorious model. Maybe they feel surrounded by a hostile world
and therefore need a certainty of strength and infallibility to compensate that
psychosis ? Or, seeing that it is a country of immigration, a common value
is needed to unite all cultures under a new morality, a better system ?

Undoubtedly , the less and less veiled American imperialism (call it despicable
or enlightening) is a sign of national self-confidence but in my opinion ,
most Americans do not care about what their government is actually doing
in the world, as long as they are not visibly affected by its consequences.
11 th September , the end of a false sense of security, and the wave of
patriotism/nationalism it produced, the interventions it seemed to justify and
the contagious anxiety it engendered; proofs of a shattered self-confidence
that needs to be regained by preemptive strikes, "War on Terror" , acting
as a Messiah of Democracy... resulting in lots of cadavers and a few
satisfied businessmen. Plus Mudjahedeen ,next to Allah, enjoying reproduction with stunning virgins for dying as martyrs against the "infidels".

How nice.

Rob The BLack Douglas 05-10-2005 01:52 AM

[quote=Hazzle]It's Kiefer mate. Don't go mis-spelling it on any wedding invites ;)

My neice continually pronounces it Keither, and here I go and spell it that way.

There are pics of him online in the Douglas tartan, he looks damn good all dressed up in the kilt. :)


Rob The BLack Douglas 05-10-2005 01:56 AM

Getting back on topic, here in the states I find that many confuse Nationalism as patriotism.

ALso I feel that the Us is turning more and more into a giant corporate state where the corporations have more control over our decisions than we do.


Hazzle 05-10-2005 05:56 AM


Originally Posted by Rob The BLack Douglas
My neice continually pronounces it Keither, and here I go and spell it that way.

A lot of people pronounce it that way. It's no biggie, I was just pulling your leg.

Back on topic: As DR said, patriotism and blind nationalism are two different things.

Liam 05-10-2005 07:00 AM

Whatever the argument, I find it more than a little ridiculous every time I'm told that the USA won the war in Europe. Flightfreak isnt wrong when he suggests that the USSR freed Belgium, but he isnt correct either. Soviet troops placed incredible pressure upon the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe due to their incredible rate of advance in 1944, forcing infantry, tanks, and fighter squadrons to be shifted to the Eastern Front. This amounts to a vast decrease in available defensive forces to counter the Allied invasion forces. The incredibly hard fought invasion would have been a whole lot more bloody, and would more than likely have been a failure in places, had the Russians not caused such a wide scale diversion of German military resources. The majority of Panzer V, VI, and VIb tanks, to which the western allies had no counter (aside from almost suidical flanking attacks by infantry - and contrary to popular belief, the much lauded bazooka rocket was nigh on useless against heavy tanks), went to fight the Russians, who had a counter in their upgunned T-34/85 and IS-1 or IS-2 heavy tanks. Imagine the destruction these tanks could have caused had they been in the west.

However, it was the American, British and Canadian (and dont forget the smaller groups - Australians, Free French/Dutch/Poles/Norwegians etc) who shed the blood in the west. As a citizen of one of these nations its easy for me to jump the gun and proclaim that the western allies won the battles in France, Belgium and Holland, but realistically, and rationally - we didnt do it on our own. Whether we like to admit it or not, the Soviet contribution and sacrifice of the Russian people played a very important role in the allied victory. Without them, I estimate the war would have dragged on for 2-3 more years, at a minimum. The invasion just would not have been possible with full German military resources pointed at England. The fate of the daylight B-17 raids would have been much different with the full force of the Fw-190 staffeln hacking away at them. The fate of the P-38, P-47, and P-51 pilots escorting the bombers would have been much different with the full force of the Bf-109 (and later, Me-262) staffeln bearing down on them. The 109 was shit? Tell that to the countless pilots who were shot down by it. Right up until wars end, the Bf-109 was faster, could climb quicker, and had heavier firepower than contemporary allied fighters - the only fighter to see wide service and outclass the 109 in every respect was the Spitfire F.MkXIV. And the Fw-190 was even more of a nightmare. As victors, we tend to forget just how deadly our former enemy's weapons of war were.

I'm available by PM if anyone wants to discuss the war further :)


On topic:

There is a very fine line between patriotism and nationalism. One is great, one is overbearing. Often, patriotism is used by unscrupulous people as a veil for nationalism. Everyone knows this. Yes, some Americans are guilty of it. And yes, most of them arent. Its a bit rude and presumptuous to draw a stereotype based upon the actions of a minority.

Its just that its the borderline nationalistic Americans that tend to get the most airplay. I personally have no problem with what the Americans are doing, militarily, around the world. Its a noble goal that they are fighting for, and they deserve to be supported for it. Why should the people of the world wait sitting on their hands for something to get blown up in their homeland before they pull their heads out of the sand and realise that this is a global problem that needs global resources to combat?

hasselbrad 05-10-2005 06:18 PM


Yes, some Americans are guilty of it. And yes, most of them arent. Its a bit rude and presumptuous to draw a stereotype based upon the actions of a minority.
Thank you. It's nice to see someone understands this. Just because I am proud to be an American, doesn't mean I'm some right wing, jingoistic nut-ball who wants to paint the globe red, white and blue. Honestly, I'd like to see us tell a whole bunch of folks around the world to fuck off and fix their own problems. I'm sick of seeing out troops trying to perform humanitarian operations and winding up in the middle of some warlords' turf dispute.

So, I'm not allowed to bring up World War II in regard to the question of why I feel proud of my country? Tell you what, I'll stop bringing it up when you post a thread about politics that doesn't take a direct shot at my country. Deal? But for you to suggest that we only got involved in World War II to protect our business interests and whatever other selfish motive you can concoct is a joke. Is helping to liberate millions of people from Nazi oppression selfish?
Liam, I never said we won the war on our own. I am fully aware that the Russians occupied a great deal of Germany's resources. I'm also aware that the Japanese occupied a great deal of ours. I, for one, would have like to have seen a F6F/FW190 duel above the coast of France. But alas, the F6F was busy winning the airwar in the Pacific. Additionally, our involvement in the Pacific kept the Russians from needing to defend their Eastern front from Japan.

Does the United States of America act in its own best interests? You're fuckin' A right we do...or at least in the best interests of the wealthy industrialists who own the lobbyists who pull the pursestrings that control the senators and representatives. I have never once claimed that we are some paragon of virtue.
However, to suggest we are alone in these sorts of dealings is ridiculous. This is how government works in every corner of the world, not just mine. If you think otherwise, you are completely out of touch with reality.

Hazzle 06-10-2005 06:12 AM

I love how Liam made some great points that seemingly were ignored whilst Hassel and FF engaged in their own personal war :p

Maybe we should rename the thread Hasselbrad v Flightfreak? ;)

Edit: Meh, Hassel did make a few minor references to be fair...

Liam 06-10-2005 06:35 AM


Originally Posted by hasselbrad
Liam, I never said we won the war on our own. I am fully aware that the Russians occupied a great deal of Germany's resources. I'm also aware that the Japanese occupied a great deal of ours. I, for one, would have like to have seen a F6F/FW190 duel above the coast of France. But alas, the F6F was busy winning the airwar in the Pacific. Additionally, our involvement in the Pacific kept the Russians from needing to defend their Eastern front from Japan.

Never said you did - I could just feel a less mature member would come along and get a bit carried away :)

An F6F v. Fw-190 duel would have been interesting but I fear the 190 would have held all the cards. If we talk contemporary models - an F6F-5 vs. Fw-190A9 or D9, the 190 would have held a 40-50mph speed advantage, been able to outdive the F6F, and the 190's firepower was lethal in the extreme. A more interesting fight would have been a big, gull wing F4U Corsair, or F8F Bearcat against the 190D and 109K. Much more closely matched. :)

Still...we all have our respective lucky stars to thank for Hitler interfering with the Me-262 program. Nothing the allies developed could have touched it until 1946. So, in this case....cheers Hitler!

hasselbrad 06-10-2005 01:54 PM

It's funny, but I thought about the F4U after I'd posted that. Still, it would have interesting to see the look on a FW190 pilot's face when the F6F absorbed a volley and kept on fighting.

Anyway...back into the breach.

The comment I made originally wasn't even meant to infer that we "saved" you. I was merely suggesting that it would seem difficult (to me, at least) to have a lot of pride in your country if it's been occupied several times throughout history.
You're right about our "backyard". We haven't had much to deal with since Mexico in the 1840s and Spain (Cuba) in the 1890s. Geographic isolation for the win, although, during World War II, citzens along the east coast had to turn off their lights at night so the German U-Boats couldn't get a solid fix on their own wherabouts. My dad used to sit in the second story porch at night in Brunswick, GA watching the lights move back and forth a few hundred yards from shore.
Luckily, Canadians are a peaceful lot, whose days are spent wrestling grizzly bears and smoking pot. The only time they get restless is during the hockey playoffs. :) And as for Mexico, well they're content to take over through illegal immigration.
What I think you fail to recognize is the fact that America has been called upon to shoulder the load in most wars. Your perspective has been skewed by this latest conflict in Iraq. We went into this one without UN support, so you assume that we've always taken the stance of aggressor. However, we've generally been involved in conflicts that have arisen due to involvement in UN operations. Somalia. The First Gulf War. Korea.
Hell, it took the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor to get us into World War II. Churchill pleaded with Roosevelt to get involved, but until we were attacked, public sentiment was against it.
I have a book, whose title I can't remember, but it is a fascinating timeline of the history of war. It dates back to the dawn of civilization and chronicles each war up until a few years ago. You'll be surprised to find that people around the world are capable of, and have been, fighting their own wars without us. ;)
As for things to be proud of, I have many.
This is the land of opportunity. If you can get beyond the racial demagogues, you'll find that people from all over the world are able to come here with very little and find success. While I am ashamed of the governments' response (federal, state and local) to hurricane Katrina, I am awed by the generosity shown to its victims by the American people.
We were the first to fly, powered as well as non-stop across the Atlantic and to the moon. The world would be a pretty boring place without Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, not to mention Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Coyote and Roadrunner. We invented the blues, jazz and rock & roll.
Robert Johnson, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Americans.
Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin. Americans.
Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Madonna. Americans.
The Super Bowl and the Rose, Bowl and Parade.
Disneyland and DisneyWorld.
Sue me. I'm proud of my country.

AureaMediocritas 06-10-2005 07:04 PM

As long as "Old Europe" is not going to be attcked for critizising the U.S. , it is
all fine with me. :)

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