American "diplomat" Victoria Nuland and her not so diplomatic invitation to "copulate" with the EU ;-)
lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
I've always known that the US are not happy with the EU per se, but I have never heard a diplomat being so outspoken about it ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSxaa-67yGM&feat...

3:05 - that's where she talks about the "copulating" part ;-)

Kind of ironic that the US should complain about their phone conversations being bugged.....
February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Nothing surprises me except the use of the unsecured (at least I think it was unsecured) telephone line. People live in the real world -- just because they are government doesn't mean they don't have emotional outbursts or use vulgar language.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad spatterson: (...) ...emotional outbursts ....(...)

    Having listened to what she said before and after the "f..." part, I don't think she was anywhere near an emotional outburst.

    I'm pretty sure, however, that she wouldn't have used the same words in public.

    I'm not outraged at what she said, I just think it is funny especially in the light of the recent spying affair.

    European politicians probably say similar things about the US (I know I have ;-).

    As a guy from the NSA said in an interview: Don't be angry at us just because we are better at spying on you than you are at spying on us. Well, at least this time we beat them ;-)
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    I don't think she was emotional either. I said emotional OR vulgar language.

    Personally I'm more inclined to vote for politicians that act and talk like the common man... not a bunch of lawyers.

    "European politicians probably say similar things about the US (I know I have ;-). "
    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone is a US hater until the next natural disaster happens and we send in our aircraft carriers.

    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad spatterson: (...) Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone is a US hater until the next natural disaster happens and we send in our aircraft carriers.
    (...)

    With all the things you post on this site I'm surprised how thin-skinned you are. I remember your first response to one of my posts where you said something like "spoken like a true non-American....", as if only "true Americans" knew what's right or wrong.

    Assuming that I am a US hater just because I said that I sometimes say things one of your diplomats said about the EU is a bit far fetched. So, I guess she is an EU hater based on your line of argumentation.

    I'm certainly not one of those "Oh, the US is the greatest nation of all" believers as you seem to be (just jumping to conclusions as you did in your post).

    Besides, you make it sound as if the US were the only ones helping people out. That's kind of arrogant and simply not true.

    Any time the US are criticized, people like you turn the critics into "US haters". Black and white TV sets are long gone, people with black and white views obviously not.

    The US have done and keep doing a lot of good things (their involvement in WWI and WWII which saved lots of lives, the ERP or Marshall Plan, their involvement in the war on the Balkans, their relief efforts in many places of this world etc.), but they also have caused a lot of damage (arming the Taliban against the Soviets, attacking and destroying Iraq, supporting a mass-murderer like Pinochet, lending support to the regime in Saudi Arabia...).

    You are probably too "patriotic" to understand that being criticial does not equal being a hater.

    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    I'm not even going to read your last message. You obviously didn't get the joke. It's a joke. I was joking.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    Lame joke, lame excuse, whatever. I'll do the same with your future posts. That will save both of us lots of time.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Okay I couldn't resist. I read your message and I about died laughing. I don't think any of my friends or coworkers here in Switzerland would describe me as "patriotic". I usually spend a good 30 minutes a day badmouthing the US -- the president, foreign policy, the NSA, the idiotic Christrian right, pathetically demeaning rap music and that culture, redneck bible thumpers... and so on.

    Sarcasm. I know it's rare in Europe but it really is a fantastic thing.

    I had a conference call with Paris the other day. And a guy from our US office came out and gave a presentation to the French there... and the opened with: "I just want to say how NICE Paris is. The food is just sooo good here. And the people are SO friendly. It's just soo nice." The guy sounded like he's never left the US (I'm including Canada and Mexico here... because well, Canada is like the 51st state and Mexico -- everyone goes there at least once for Spring break) Everyone here looked at me and said "That's your countryman.." He has become the running joke at the office.

    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Okay... I'll be sure not to respond to your posts. No problem. People take things so serious here
    February 2014
  • cgreen0038 11218 225 0
    @lovelanguages - Didn't you know, that's 'mericas way of being friendly! ;-)

    But to be slightly more serious, the way she said it is pretty much the same thing as saying, "who cares what the EU thinks". Which is strange... wasn't all of this started when the Ukraine wouldn't sign some trade agreement with the EU?

    //edit for late night poor grammar
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad cgreen: (...) ...Which is strange... wasn't all of this started when the Ukraine wouldn't sign some trade agreement with the EU? (...)

    Yes, that's true. It is more of a power struggle between the EU and Russia. I guess the US don't look too favourably on the Ukraine possibly strengthening its ties with Russia again. This is why her statement doesn't really make much sense politically speaking.

    But maybe she thinks the US should send their troops there to settle things once and for all. After that they can send their relief teams to clean up the mess again.....;-)

    Seriously, I like the US and enjoyed my stays there. I just don't think I have to agree with everything they say and do. I don't think that makes me a US hater though.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "Seriously, I like the US and enjoyed my stays there. I just don't think I have to agree with everything they say and do. I don't think that makes me a US hater though."
    Trust me Bob, the only person reading this thread that thought I was serious... is you.
    February 2014
  • cgreen0038 11218 225 0
    "...why her statement doesn't really make much sense politically speaking"
    Exactly. The US prefers that the Ukraine gets friendly with the EU instead of Russia. The EU's opinions be damned on the matter. That's how much we like you guys. We're getting you friends even when you aren't all that emotionally involved.

    "...maybe she thinks the US should send their troops..."
    Hmm... our troops probably do need something to do after we pull (most of) them out of Afghanistan. When you account for about 40% of all military spending in the world you can't expect your troops to just stand around all the time. Plus all the new toys that money gets you. Gotta test those toys out somewhere, right?!?
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    I think Spatterson should be hunted down by a posse of good 'ole boys, tied by the feet to a crazy horse(!) and dragged through the dusty roads to the sheriff's office. That'd show him! :-D
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Don't be silly Jay. I carry a small emergency Bible in my back pocket for emergencies like that. I just whip it out and start thumping on it and they soon realize I'm "one of them"

    February 2014
  • Ozemite 100 3553 561
    @spatterson - "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone is a US hater until the next natural disaster happens and we send in our aircraft carriers. "

    Well, you had me going there for a sec! I thought you were serious.

    Pretty much most countries respond with emergency aid to help others, so the thought of the Amerocentric USA sending out the cavalry makes us roll our eyes...

    @Chris - speaking of testing out their toys - on human beings I might add - my blood still boils because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "Well, you had me going there for a sec! I thought you were serious."
    Look, no rational person would think that I seriously thought Robert was a US hater because he's said a few bad words about the US here and there.

    "Pretty much most countries respond with emergency aid to help others, so the thought of the Amerocentric USA sending out the cavalry makes us roll our eyes..."
    Yeah, except that well.. the US does send out the cavalry. And this is not my "patriotic" bias -- it's a statistical fact. So roll your eyes all you want.

    http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-...
    http://www.fundsforngos.org/article-contributio...
    http://www.statisticbrain.com/countries-that-gi...

    I'm almost hesitant to post these because everyone on this forum takes everything so god damn seriously. But don't worry, Australia and Austria made the top 15
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    @Julz: "...my blood still boils because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki..."
    ---

    It was a low point in world history for sure.

    But the alternative - a longterm complete naval blockade of Japan - could have costed many more civilian lives through starvation.

    In war there is no good option, really.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Oh, and I remember when this was the major headline in Switzerland
    http://www.20min.ch/ausland/news/story/26403550

    "Die Amerikaner sind angekommen" The Americans have arrived.

    You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts. The rest of the world helps out, but like I said, when the next natural disaster happens guess who's sending the aircraft carriers.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "speaking of testing out their toys - on human beings I might add - my blood still boils because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

    No, actually you just don't know history. Dropping the bomb here and halting the war was the best option. The Nash equilibrium. And don't forget we gave the Japanese 3 days to surrender after bombing Hiroshima. They refused. Also, the Japanese were months away from launching a long range bomber that could have reached the western US.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    LOL Paule. Funny video, thanks
    February 2014
  • cgreen0038 11218 225 0
    @Julie - "...my blood still boils because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki..."

    I don't know if anger makes a whole lot of sense. It was sad more than anything. Like Jay said, it was a war. I'm a bit torn on the subject to be honest. The focus that the two bombs always get seems a bit strange in light of the rather extensive firebombing that the US was delivering to Japanese cities by the end of the war. By the end of the war, Japan had more or less lost its ability to defend itself from air raids. I think you can argue that the atomic bombs just did the same thing that the US was already doing, only faster. It killed a lot of people but would the loss of life been more or less with a ground invasion? I don't know the answer to that but I feel that it did save lives of the Allied forces.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Exactly... I was going to wait til Julz responded.. But yeah, anger makes ZERO sense. We had already killed over 100,000 in Tokyo alone but no one ever cries for them. hell, we could have nuked Tokyo instead... But we choose smaller targets....

    Plus that line "test out our toys..." is extremely insulting. What, we woke up one day and decided to senselessly kill 230,000 people with our new toy?? If you believe that you are god damn insane.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Funny video. I'd vote for the guy. Although... His list includes "Bear attacks" as a positive
    February 2014
  • Ozemite 100 3553 561
    @spatterson - What, you don't think America used the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as human guinea pigs to test out their nuclear bombs?!!

    And why the hell did they drop the *second* bomb?!!

    My memory's a bit rusty, but I read copiously on the issue, including survivor stories, in my early twenties.

    Oh wait, there's more.....I read survivors' stories how Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission "hospitals" were set up in Japan, where the surviving sick and maimed flocked to, thinking they were going to finally receive treatment...

    But instead, the "doctors" did not treat the survivors; they just studied them over periods of time, endlessly questioning, filling out forms, and observing. They weren't treated with respect or compassion. They felt like guinea pigs.

    Also, who said I believed Robert or anyone else was a US hater? It was your seeming arrogance (my mistake), that you thought America was some kind of hero that the rest of the world sycophantically sucked up to when it suited.

    But...America's not called "Amerocentric" for nothing...(tongue in cheek). Even Aussie newsreaders echo our sentiment on air at times by saying "Bloody Yanks! Gotta love 'em!" every now and then... We do love the "Yanks" (a friendly Aussie term), but we also roll our eyes. Of course, Americans can't understand that. I just hear, "How come everyone hates us?!"
    February 2014
  • cgreen0038 11218 225 0
    @Shaun – Yeah, the “toy” thing is pretty insulting but I started that. To be fair, it was kind of intended to be. I don't particularly like that we spend so much money on things that the only good use for them is killing. The sarcasm and dark humor I used is hard to pick up sometimes when read in online discussions like this.
    February 2014
  • cgreen0038 11218 225 0
    @Will - “and we have the same problems as you do, with illiterate foreigners invading our southern borders to steal our jobs”

    Wow. That's hilarious.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "@spatterson - What, you don't think America used the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as human guinea pigs to test out their nuclear bombs?!!"
    Umm.. sure you can believe that if you want. It's wrong and flat out pathetic. The first bomb was U-235 enriched from U-238. We didn't have enough 235 to test... so yeah sure "human guinea pigs". Thank god we had a war going on so we could try out our new toys.... But the real reason was to end the war.

    "And why the hell did they drop the *second* bomb?!!"
    Because they didn't surrender?

    "Oh wait, there's more.....I read survivors' stories how Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission "hospitals" were set up in Japan, where the surviving sick and maimed flocked to, thinking they were going to finally receive treatment...
    But instead, the "doctors" did not treat the survivors; they just studied them over periods of time, endlessly questioning, filling out forms, and observing. They weren't treated with respect or compassion. They felt like guinea pigs."
    Oops, guess they shouldn't have attacked us and started that war eh? Really, this is terrible but that was NOT THE GOAL of the bombs. Personally, I would say that's one of the evils of war/post-war. But anyway, like we said, the bombs killed 237,000 people... and the US was already carpet bombing the rest of Japan. The war was over but Japan just didn't want to give up. What was our option? Ground assault? That little island of Iwo Jima cost 26000 Japanese lives and 20000 American lives. Upscale that to the whole country. Carpet bombing? The death toll would have been outrageous.

    "Of course, Americans can't understand that. I just hear, "How come everyone hates us?!""
    Ahh well that's because you non-Americans really pisses us off at times. This is my experience with some Europeans, Australians, and New Zealanders: We can say a bunch of bad things about the US (we start wars, we wiretap, etc, etc) and they all cheer with you "Yeah America needs to change". Ohh but my god, the second you say something good like "America comes to the rescue" (statistical fact...) suddenly you're the god damn "egotistical, patriotic" American and get the eye rolls and all that bullshit.

    And I love how everyone lumps Americans into one category. My coworkers will routinely say something like "You're not a real American" when I do/say something contrary to the stereotype. And I always respond "Well you're not a real Romanian" -- all Europeans are the same right? Right? I mean, the US is the size of Europe. We're all the same. Europeans must all be the same.

    Whatever Julz. Say, is your blood still boiling after what Cortez did to the Aztec?
    February 2014
  • Ozemite 100 3553 561
    @spatterson - I didn't even study the history of what Cortés did to the Aztecs.

    I was more concerned with why I was getting bashed by my father for studying Japanese in high school. I wanted to know why relatives whom fought the Japanese on the Kokoda track spat at even the mention of Japanese.

    I wanted to somehow understand the contrast of my wonderful, caring, gentle native Japanese teacher, with the known atrocities of the Japanese soldiers in the war (and with my father, for that matter!). When I read for countless hours about Allied civilian prisoner-of-war experiences, I hated the Japanese soldiers with a passion.

    But equally, I wept for the innocent Japanese civilians when I read their testimonies. And I admire the grace and the strength of several now elderly Japanese survivors who stated that they had forgiven America (as seen in a documentary a few years back). I identified with them as though they were my own grandparents. And bawled my eyes out at their great strength of character and wisdom.

    And as for my blood boiling, as you quoted, frankly I have to limit what I read in the headlines even, let alone history, as I'm way too sensitive to the plight of others.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    Just a note on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I googled for wartime civilian casualties in WWII. I don't know if these numbers are accurate , but they are close.

    The top three countries are

    USSR 10,000 ,000 or more
    China 7,500,000 or more
    Poland 6,500,000
    Yugoslavia 1,500,000

    then somewhat down the list


    Germany 700,000
    Japan 350,000

    I am not sure it matters whether you are burned to death in a firebomb or bombing attack, randomly slaughtered by marauding troops, killed in an artillery attack or die in an atomic bomb attack.

    When we compare civilian death in China with that of Japan, it helps put things into perspective. I think that if the US had attacked the main islands of Japan, the military casualties on both sides, and the civilians casualties amongst the Japanese population would have greatly exceeded 350,000.

    None of this justifies massive killing of people, nor is a reflection of present generations in Japan or the US.
    February 2014
  • Sebastian_K 12465 820 5855
    Just for the record. 700.000 civilian casualties in Germany is not even close.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "And I admire the grace and the strength of several now elderly Japanese survivors who stated that they had forgiven America (as seen in a documentary a few years back). "
    What an interesting choice of words. Forgiven. You do know who started the war right?

    My family is half German (they live in Hamburg still... what's left of them after WWII). I called my cousin up this morning and asked if they have ever heard a German say "We forgive the Americans". The answer was, of course, never. We didn't nuke them... but we sure did destroy hundreds of towns and killed WAY more than 230,000 civilians.

    For the record, I'm not a Japanese, German, or Austrian hater. I'm one of those that believe the sins of the past have been paid for many times over. We're not still angry at Germany for roasting the jews, gypsies, and gays... are we?

    "And as for my blood boiling, as you quoted, frankly I have to limit what I read in the headlines even, let alone history, as I'm way too sensitive to the plight of others."
    I would focus that anger towards current events. Not 70 year old events.
    February 2014
  • TroisRoyaumes 7539 43142 49051
    Here is the French version of what Victoria Nuland says:

    "Que l'Union européenne aille se faire foutre !"

    It sounds really bad.
    February 2014
  • Ozemite 100 3553 561
    @spatterson - What can I say? I don't sit around festering with anger every day. I was trying to say that I'm oversensitive about the plight of others. But I was angry this morning when I woke up to read aussie headlines about the arrest of a Lebanese man in connection to the problem of secret child-brides in New South Wales, Australia. Like, what the hell, this is Australia?

    I want to mention that much of American literature about Hiroshima and Nagasaki for years after the war was propaganda. I imagine you're a lot younger than me. We were fed scenes of eerie, silent cold "statues" of buildings and remnants of people near the epicentre, and were given the impression most people died in seconds. They were the lucky ones. We never heard facts about tens of thousands of women and children still alive with their hair on fire, some running with empty eye sockets, flesh melted onto their chests, et cetera. And the terrible days and months following.

    As for those elderly Japanese who told horrific accounts of their loss and survival in the documentary: I'm in awe of their courage and strength to be able to forgive. It's similar to the attitude of Australian Bali Bomb victims: many are still living with disfigurement, pain and disability. Some have expressed their private battle to forgive, in what they see as necessary in order to triumph over what the extremist Moslems did to them and their loved ones.

    By the way, the Japanese dropped 457 bombs on Pearl Harbour. However, most of the world doesn't know the Japanese dropped 681 bombs on Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. (Though we had much less casualties due to sparser population).

    @Jay - you raised a good question: Do Americans and Germans forgive?
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Do Americans forgive?

    What a terribly racist question. Will respond later. Watching Arsenal get destroyed by Liverpool
    February 2014
  • Ozemite 100 3553 561
    @spatterson, I forgot to say...my maiden name is German. Yep, I'm of German ancestry (though 7th generation Australian).

    I'm "racist"?!! I was mostly thinking about Jay's link about Arthur Harris.

    Ah, you will misunderstand me, whatever I say, about anything at all.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    @sebastian You are probably right about the level of German civilian casualties but then all of these numbers are a little suspect. I have seen numbers between 30,000 and 300,00 both for the bombing of Dresden and the Rape of Nanking. I think it is important to talk about these things and allow historians to do their research and present their findings. Best if politicians stay out of it.

    The so-called Three All campaign of the Japanese Army in Northern China in 1941 is supposed to have caused the death of 2.7 million civilians according to research by one Japanese group of academics but this is challenged by others. After threats from right wing organizations in Japan, publication of this information was suspended. Note that the Japanese Prime Minister now goes around saying that depending on how we define the word "invasion", Japan did not invade China. Nice.

    The principle to me is that civilian casualties whether by nuclear bomb, or by the deliberate killing of every man, woman and child in a town, are equally tragic. Unfortunately this kind of behaviour has been going on since the beginning of history, it is just the means of destruction have escalated. The scale of this slaughter matters, of course, but so does the motivation.

    In my view, and with hindsight, and not being a strategist of any kind, the bombing of German cities was more an act of revenge than a useful military operation. The wanton slaughter perpetrated on Eastern European civilian populations on a large scale by the German Army served no strategic purpose, on the contrary. It was simply indicative of the arrogance and callousness of the German army, high command and ordinary soldiers. The same can be said of much of the brutality of the Japanese army in China and elsewhere. But then this kind of behaviour is very human, in Rwanda they used machetes, in Europe they used muskets, and Genghis Khan used swords or whatever, and on and on.

    The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki served a real strategic purpose. If we consider the fanatical "never surrender" attitude of the Japanese army, dying rather than being taken prisoner, civilians throwing themselves off cliffs rather than surrendering on Pacific islands, Japanese soldiers waving a white flag in order to entice American soldiers and then kill a few more of them, it was a fair assumption that resistance on the main islands would be ferocious. The two nuclear explosions and perhaps also the entrance of the Soviet Union into the Pacific War finally convinced the Japanese that resistance was futile.

    As for Pearl Harbour, what strikes me the most there is not the scale of destruction but the scale of arrogance and foolishness of the Japanese military, expecting that the US would not fight back. It only took 6 months, until Midway, before the writing was on the wall.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "Ah, you will misunderstand me, whatever I say, about anything at all."
    Well I see you changed it to "Do Americans and Germans forgive" from just "Do Americans forgive?" which was a really strange question.

    That's all I say. Too much beer today to care
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    @Steve: "...As for Pearl Harbour, what strikes me the most there is not the scale of destruction but the scale of arrogance and foolishness of the Japanese military, expecting that the US would not fight back. It only took 6 months, until Midway, before the writing was on the wall..."
    ---

    With the benefit of hindsight I guess you could say pretty much the same about Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union?

    That's the thing about mad military dictators - those bums just don't act rationally.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    As for Victoria Nuland, this is the same person who wanted to suppress information that the attack on the US Delegation and killing of the US Ambassador to Libya was a coordinated terrorist attack because this information didn't fit the State Department position that it was the result of a spontaneous uprising. She is quite typical of much of the "aren't I so clever" so-called educational elite in the US. using foul language, especially for a woman, is almost a badge of honour and identification for women of this category.

    In fact, if we remove the foul language, all she said was, "it is annoying that the EU does not agree with the US position on the Ukraine". My response is, why is the US meddling in the Ukraine? It is for the Ukraine and the EU to work out their relationship. Given the historic relationship between the Ukraine and Russia and geographic proximity, it is also normal that Russia is involved.

    I suspect most Ukrainians want to remain independent, want to maintain a strong relationship with Russia and want the standard of living and institutions of the EU, without Brussels meddling in their affairs. Unfortunately they seem unable to put in place a government that could bring this about. Thus the frustration.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    @ rider

    Agreed. Although the leadership in Tokyo was not as mad as the group in Germany, just delusional. Is there a difference?
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    "With the benefit of hindsight I guess you could say pretty much the same about Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union?
    That's the thing about mad military dictators - those bums just don't act rationally."

    I guess Germany was expecting to be attacked by the Soviet Union sooner or later. The only thing that´s worse than attacking the USSR is being attacked by the USSR. I don´t know what was going on between Japan and the USA, but they might have been in a similar situation.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    I'll stick with my generalization,although I agree that it is one. As for feeling threatened by women in positions of authority, where did that come from?
    February 2014
  • Tobinator 809 1417 1810
    "...Why is the U.S. meddling in Ukraine"

    Well..because it's the U.S. after all, we meddle.

    Meddling, I would go so far as to claim, is the goal in this situation. The U.S. has a goal to assert its dominance in world affairs, and through this American business giants can gain at least a very significant influence in the area.

    I actually like the term meddling to describe this, because it really is an excellent way to summarize what has been the foreign policy of the U.S. for the past 100 or so years, to meddle. I don't think I'll ramble on about that too much though, for now.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    Paule

    "I guess Germany was expecting to be attacked by the Soviet Union sooner or later. The only thing that´s worse than attacking the USSR is being attacked by the USSR. I don´t know what was going on between Japan and the USA, but they might have been in a similar situation."

    I don't know if Hitler was expecting to be attacked by Stalin. There is a theory to that effect out there. However if we look at Mein Kampf we see that Stalin should have expected to be invaded by Hitler. Just a few examples.

    [W]ithout consideration of "traditions" and prejudices, it [Germany] must find the courage to gather our people and their strength for an advance along the road that will lead this people from its present restricted living space to new land and soil, and hence also free it from the danger of vanishing from the earth or of serving others as a slave nation.
    --- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf 1

    For it is not in colonial acquisitions that we must see the solution of this problem, but exclusively in the acquisition of a territory for settlement, which will enhance the area of the mother country, and hence not only keep the new settlers in the most intimate community with the land of their origin, but secure for the total area those advantages which lie in its unified magnitude.
    --- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf 3

    For centuries Russia drew nourishment from this Germanic nucleus of its upper leading strata. Today it can be regarded as almost totally exterminated and extinguished. It has been replaced by the Jew. Impossible as it is for the Russian by himself to shake off the yoke of the Jew by his own resources, it is equally impossible for the Jew to maintain the mighty empire forever. He himself is no element of organization, but a ferment of decomposition. The Persian empire in the east is ripe for collapse. And the end of Jewish rule in Russia will also be the end of Russia as a state.
    --- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf 4

    Nor did the idea of Lebensraum start with Hitler. For more information see

    http://history1900s.about.com/library/holocaust...

    As for Japan, its imperialism also has deep roots. For a summary description check out

    http://www.japanvisitor.com/japanese-culture/hi...

    But then Germany and Japan were just playing catch up with the established Imperialist powers.
    February 2014
  • Sebastian_K 12465 820 5855
    Paule wrote:

    "I guess Germany was expecting to be attacked by the Soviet Union sooner or later. The only thing that´s worse than attacking the USSR is being attacked by the USSR. I don´t know what was going on between Japan and the USA, but they might have been in a similar situation."

    Yes, the "Präventivkriegsthese" came up just after the war. Today we know, that Stalin didn't want to attack the German Reich and that Hitler and his generals were certainly aware of that. Stalin even threatened generals and politicians who mentioned a possible first strike on Germany. In fact the USSR was still not prepared for a war at the beginning of the 1940s. Most experienced officers were murdered during Stalin's Great Purge and the army was still poorly equipped and trained.
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    @Steve @Sebastian

    Thanks for these interesting posts. You learn something new everyday.^^
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    Interesting information about the legal situation with regard to the possession and the sale of "Mein Kampf" in Germany and Austria on the one hand, and in anglo-american countries on the other hand:

    (...)

    Unvermeidbar ändert sich die Rechtslage jedoch am 30. April 2015, wenn die 70-jährige Schutzfrist nach dem Tod eines Autors, die auch für Hitler gilt, endet. Ab diesem Moment kollidiert der Nachdruck von "Mein Kampf" nur noch mit den Gesetzen gegen nationalsozialistische Propaganda respektive Wiederbetätigung.

    Nach gegenwärtiger Rechtslage darf "Mein Kampf" in Deutschland derzeit ohnedies verkauft werden, wenn es sich um Exemplare handelt, die vor dem 30. April 1945 gedruckt wurden. In Österreich ist der Privatbesitz legal, ebenso ist es erlaubt, dass Bibliotheken "Mein Kampf" zu Studienzwecken verleihen. Auch der Verkauf durch Antiquariate ist gesetzeskonform. Allerdings ist alles verboten, was der Verbreitung nationalsozialistischer Gesinnung dient. De facto müsste der Antiquar also sicherstellen, dass der Käufer "Mein Kampf" nicht zu Propagandazwecken benützt.

    Geringe Berührungsängste
    Im angloamerikanischen Raum sind die Berührungsängste mit dem Buch längst geschwunden. Selbst ein international agierender Händler wie "amazon.com" bietet "Mein Kampf" an, und zwar sowohl in englischen Übersetzungen als auch im deutschsprachigen Original. Viele der Leserkommentare weisen in die gleiche Richtung wie diese Meinung: "Wenn man verstehen will, weshalb der Holocaust geschah, kann man es nicht vermeiden, die Worte des Mannes zu lesen, der dafür verantwortlich war."

    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    I would say "Mein Kampf" is required reading for any serious student of Hitler and/or 1930s German National Socialism. I don't really see how it's possible to understand these things fully without seeing the literature?

    (Having said that, though, I think the copies printed now should be critical editions: i.e. they should contain footnotes to alert the reader to lies and disinformation, etc.)
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    I would love to read this book in its original German. Any idea where I can get a copy I. Austria Robert? Would I have to find a dealer in some dark alley in a seedy part of Vienna?
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad Colin: Because of our "Verbotsgesetz" (also called "Wiederbetätigungsverbot") it is very difficult to get a copy of that book. Personally, I never felt any more desire to read anything written by Hitler than anything written by any other psychopath. I do understand, however, that other people might be interested in the book for several reasons.

    You might be able to get a copy of the book at one of the university libraries. I'm not sure if you'll be allowed to take it home with you, though. Because of our somewhat complex legal situation with regards to "Mein Kampf" most bookstores will be reluctant to even offer the book.


    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Read it Colin. I hear it's quite a terrible book though. Boring
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad Colin: It might actually be easier to get a copy through amazon.de (I just checked). They actually sell it (as an annotated version; the content is the same).

    Just make sure you don't write a "favourable review" on the contents of the book and publish it on any Austrian site - you'll get into trouble for that. (I'm not kidding).

    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    I wouldn't pay for that nonsense anyway Colin.

    Google mein kampf german pdf yields lots of results... like

    http://www.google.ch/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&s...

    Not sure if it's a "legal" copy. Does Bavaria still own the copyright? Normally I would say buy the book... but hey, it's Hilter, who cares
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    Thanks for the link. I would only read it for interest. I don't expect it to be a classic piece of literature.
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @Spatterson :
    '' (b) that the dropping of atomic bombs as an act of hostilities was illegal under the rules of positive international law (taking both treaty law and customary law into consideration) then in force ... (c) that the dropping of atomic bombs also constituted a wrongful act on the plane of municipal law, ascribable to the United States and its President, Mr. Harry S. Truman; ... The aerial bombardment with atomic bombs of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an illegal act of hostilities according to the rules of international law. It must be regarded as indiscriminate aerial bombardment of undefended cities, even if it were directed at military objectives only, inasmuch as it resulted in damage comparable to that caused by indiscriminate bombardment.'' => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of...

    You said that you are not patriotic so how come do you agree with the genocide made by your government all these years ago ?

    Saying that it was only retribution for Pearl Harbor won't cut it .It's like heating a child with a sledge hammer in the head for spilling some ice cream on your new shoes .
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    It wasnt genocide, it ended the war. I guess you think a ground assualt and continual aerial bombings would have been the way to go? Idiotic

    Sent from my ipad with spelling and grammar mistakes - i know know much that concerns u madara
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    There isn't a reason in the world that allows anyone to massacre civilians . When the World Trade Center collapsed a whole religion was deemed as ''terrorist'' but if the US army kills over 200.000 people it's just a way of ending a war ?

    Of course that I find those who killed those people who were in the twin towers scum also .
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    You never answered my question. How was the war going to end? Whatever. We already pointed out over 100,000 people died in the Tokyo bombings... and we gave the Japanese a whole week before to surrender... and we waited 3 more days before nuking Nagasaki. The hell with you and your limited logic, I'm going to bed.

    One way or another, a bunch of Japanese were going to die. Carpet bombing, ground assault... nuking. Besides, we COULD have nuked Tokyo. 230,000 dead? I'd say they were lucky it wasn't more (I feel the need to stress the point here that I'm not a Japanese hater... for all you sickos out there that think I'm glad we killed 230,000 civilians)
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    The one with the limited logic is non other then you. It was a genocide no discussion so quit blabbering nonsense .
    ''The hell with you...'' you don't believe in hell so I guess this is the second weird thing you said.
    If 230.000 Americans would've died how would you react ?
    February 2014
  • Davidjvl 44608 46301
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/genocide...
    gen·o·cide [jen-uh-sahyd]
    noun
    the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.

    With emphasis on the "deliberate and systematic" part of it, I'm with Spatterson on this one.

    From Wikipedia -

    ...on 24 July President Harry S. Truman approved the use of atomic bombs against Japan, and the next day Spaatz received written orders to this effect. These orders specified that the first attack should be made after 3 August, and named Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata and Nagasaki as targets.[218] Kyoto, Japan's former imperial capital, had been included in an earlier version of the target list but Nagasaki was substituted on the direction of US Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson owing to Kyoto's cultural value...
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    230000 dead americans... And we were the agressors? Hmm maybe "wow maybe we shouldnt have started a war we couldnt win"

    Still ignoring my question. Nuking appears to be the nash equilibrium.

    Srroy bcak to ym iapd. Ingroe all seplilng msitkaes
    February 2014
  • cgreen0038 11218 225 0
    MADARA, it's pretty easy to say using the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a terrible event in human history. It was most assuredly just that. To call it genocide is something completely different. To me, that seems to imply that there was some other clearly better choice that could have been made. If genocide was the goal, wouldn't Tokyo or Osaka be the targets?
    February 2014
  • cgreen0038 11218 225 0
    To add to what David mentioned about Kyoto - I'm pretty sure Kyoto was left off the firebombing list for the same reason.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Well i guess we could have just surrendered to Japan. Thats one outcome. But... Then maybe Nintendo would have never been invented...thus changing the lives of a generation of mario worshipers

    I cant bare the thought of losing my childhood NES
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    It's not funny anymore if you spell wrong intentionally.Oh and you said that you were going to bed , have I troubled you with my correct reasoning ?

    @cgreen0038: Even if it was a war , civilians mustn't be put in danger . I admit that there are things that I don't know but I don't think the Japanese killed any American civilian.
    I mean even in my religion even if there is a war about , those who are not participating in the actual battles mustn't be harmed in any way .
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @David: Sorry I didn't know that(may they rest in peace ) . But even that can't explain the death of so many. It's like justifying
    the death of 1.5 million Iraqis for the 3000 at World Trade Center .
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    Who killed most of these Iraquis? Other Iraquis no?
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    The Japanese didn't kill more US civilians because they didn't have the opportunity. Where they had the opportunity, in China and elsewhere in Asia, they killed them by the millions.

    That was then and this is now. Nor is this specific to Japanese. Humans do awful things, and still do. Iraq in 2013 had the highest level of civilian deaths in 5 years, over 7,000,

    In my view, the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may well have prevented an even larger scale of military and civilian loss of life on the main islands of Japan. We simply don't know.


    BTW the range of estimates of civilian deaths in Iraq that I have seen is between 130,000 and 500,000. The latter number includes people who died from contaminated water, children who died from lack of access to maternity wards etc. which strikes me as questionable since these conditions also existed prior to invasion. I think the Syrian civil war has surpassed 100,000 dead according to estimates.

    All of these numbers are unreliable. It is of course terrible that people kill each other in wars. Let's hope that one day we will learn to settle our differences with words only, like on this forum.
    People do awful things.
    February 2014
  • cgreen0038 11218 225 0
    @MADARA - I'm guessing that the reason you are comparing death totals is you think the Atomic bombings were some sort of act of revenge? It wasn't revenge - that war had to end. I don't see how a land invasion Japan would have somehow been better than the Atomic bomb and I don't see any other options than a land invasion. Is there some option I'm missing here? Do you think Japan would have just stopped invading other nations?
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @Steve: So you're saying that even if the Americans and the coalition force didn't came to Iraq , the situation would've been the same ? I don't think so . I mean you're saying that they just came to see how Iraqis are killing one another for no reason ?
    The whole thing started with that fat lie concerning Sadam's weapons of mass destruction . If they really wanted to hunt him down , why didn't they sent some special forces like they to in all those Hollywood movies ?

    Don't get me wrong I don't have anything against the hard working Americans that had nothing to do with all these wars , it's just their leadership which is to blame. And the total deaths did reach 1.5 million like I said not between 130.000 and 500.000.
    But anyway it doesn't matter if a million and a half died or just 500.000 , even if they only killed 1 civilian it is still very wrong .
    I mean everyone knows that they only entered Iraq to steal their petrol not to enforce democracy .

    And yes I agree with you regarding your wish that some day people will sort out their problems by peaceful communication. But unfortunately there are so many factors that act like a wall against any reasonable solution . One of them is the lack of education , and especially moral education, which is more and more prevailing around the world.

    @cgreen0038: Yes in my view those atomic bombings were an act of revenge . I know that it was only a war but civilians must've been left out of it . If those stupids wanted to kill each other so badly they should've chosen a place where there were no civilians and kill each other until no one remained (I know that it doesn't sound so well but humans' lives are more precious than anything in this world ).Of course that it would've been perfect if there wasn't any war but we don't live in a perfect world after all :( .

    Like I told Steve , I don't blame the whole American nation so I hope you don't get insulted by my words .
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "Yes in my view those atomic bombing were an act of revenge ."
    Fortunately your opinion means absolutely nothing. I don't know what more you're trying to prove. You're not going to convince people that it was the wrong decision until you prove or cite studies/plans that say otherwise. I'm talking actual military studies -- landwar vs nuking, aerial bombings vs nuking.... starvation vs nuking.

    Good luck



    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @Spatterson : I've posted a fragment from an article but it would seem that you were to lazy to read it( I guess it's because of your age or something).

    All I want to prove is that it is wrong to kill innocent bystanders and no matter who does it they still are to blame .
    Starvation? You mean that Japan didn't have any agriculture of any kind and that they relied solely on others for nourishment ?
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    No, no actually you didn't post anything that remotely resembles what I'm asking for.

    "Starvation? You mean that Japan didn't have any agriculture of any kind and that they relied solely on others for nourishment ?"
    I mean... this comment proves you're an.. oh, Steve told me not to use that word. Well you know what I mean.

    Starvation. I'll give you at least ONE completely obvious scenario. If we could blow up their cities.. we could destroy their agricultural base

    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    Sorry I wasn't paying attention thoroughly to what you said (it can happen to anyone). Yes but even if there was a shipment blockade it would've been also bad ( though I think Japan had some resources to ensure it's citizens well-being ).

    'No, no actually you didn't post anything that remotely resembles what I'm asking for. ''
    What do you think I am , your personal jukebox for illogical articles that would concur with that massacre ?
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "What do you think I am"
    An idiot.
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    You do know that 10-20 million Chinese people (mostly civilians) died during WW2, right?
    In Nanking, 90,000 Chinese soldier´s surrendered....and the Japanese soldiers decided to kill all of them because they viewed these Chinese soldiers as cowards...

    I -----guess------ nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the "least bloody solution".
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    I thought that '' Idiot'' was your middle name .
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Nope. Here, I'll hold your hand on this one

    You said:
    "'No, no actually you didn't post anything that remotely resembles what I'm asking for. ''
    What do you think I am , your personal jukebox for illogical articles that would concur with that massacre ?"

    While I said:
    " You're not going to convince people that it was the wrong decision until you prove or cite studies/plans that say otherwise. I'm talking actual military studies -- landwar vs nuking, aerial bombings vs nuking.... starvation vs nuking. "

    You *completely* missed that one. I'm asking for proof of your position that there was a better way to win the war... and you say "I'm not finding data to support your point of view"

    Yeah, great job. Winner winner chicken dinner.
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    BTW Most muslims seem to be pretty anti-american (bombing several muslim countries didn´t really help when it comes to popularity I guess).This might be the real issue here.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    That's a fair statement.

    But yeah, yeah... everyone's a US hater until the next natural disaster and we sent out our aircraft carriers. LOL. Sorry Bob, I couldn't help myself
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @Paule: I'm not saying that the Japanese are spotless but even so no one agrees with murdering innocent civilians . If they killed so many it doesn't mean that someone had to make them taste some of their own medicine .
    ''BTW Most muslims seem to be pretty anti-american (bombing several muslim countries didn´t really help when it comes to popularity I guess).''
    This is stupid . What I mean is that you can't blame a whole nation because of its corrupt leadership and their mercenary soldiers.Only fanatics believe that the ordinary Joe or Jack is responsible for all the deaths occurred in Iraq ,Libya and Afghanistan.
    But still a lot of people believe that this is OK because of the media .



    Oh and Spatterson , I don't need any study to prove that murdering civilians is wrong.
    February 2014
  • Davidjvl 44608 46301
    "I'm not saying that the Japanese are spotless but even so no one agrees with murdering innocent civilians ."

    Right, so what are we arguing about?
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @David: I'm just saying in a way that that expression '' all is fair in war and love'' is not correct . The Japanese(their ex-leadership) are to blame for the atrocities they've committed and so is the American government .

    Of course me saying that it would've been better if the war(s) didn't took place but it's all water under the bridge now.
    February 2014
  • Davidjvl 44608 46301
    @Madara

    No one is saying that the US is not to blame. It's pretty widely known that those bombs were dropped by American planes.

    "Of course me saying that it would've been better if the war(s) didn't took place but it's all water under the bridge now."
    So are you siding with Ozzy here? Everyone should have surrendered at the start?

    ...no you're not. It's all "water under the bridge" apparently.
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    @Madara

    By "anti-american" I mean "anti-american-politics" not "anti american people in general".
    The first is much more common than the latter (at least I hope so).
    February 2014
  • cgreen0038 11218 225 0
    I honestly just don't understand your position Madara. You can critique the use of atomic bombs all you want but that critique is rather meaningless if you can't come up with any other feasible option.

    The way I see it, the US had two options once the atomic bomb was developed:
    1. Continue the war as is and eventually have a massive ground invasion of Japan.
    2. Use the atomic bomb in hopes that Japan immediately surrenders.

    The first option might have worked but I'm not sure less people would have died, civilian or otherwise. But you're not arguing for the first option are you? The US had a couple of admittedly terrible options and picked one. What option is it that you see that I do not that would have resulted in less loss of life? What would you have done differently?
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "Oh and Spatterson , I don't need any study to prove that murdering civilians is wrong."
    MADARA, you really are the dumbest person I've come across on the internet in a long time. I am asking you to prove your point that there was a better option -- not support my position. Why is that so hard for you to understand?
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad spatterson: (...) ...But yeah, yeah... everyone's a US hater until the next natural disaster and we sent out our aircraft carriers. LOL. Sorry Bob, I couldn't help myself (....)

    :-) It's ok now. But you really had me going there. Maybe I need some lessons in "sarcasm" (on second thought, don't try to teach me, I'm sure I'd suck at it and this would only cause more problems ;-)).

    Keeping out of this discussion here......ich würde mich nur um Kopf und Kragen reden (I just know that as terrible as it is, sometimes you have to do horrific things to prevent something even worse from continuing).
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @Paule : You only said 'anti-american' so that's why I took it literally .

    @Spatterson:''you really are the dumbest person I've come across on the Internet in a long time.''

    Well sorry but I am person that considers that killing is without a doubt wrong , while for you apparently it isn't so I don't expect from you to know what good or wrong is . Only kids insult others when they don't agree with others opinions. No wander your fellow Americans told you to take a hike, not even they could've put up with a guy like you .

    @cgreen: Japan was already defeated and the atomic attack wasn't needed anymore (http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v16/v16n3p-4_Weber.html).
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    @ MADARA

    "Japan was already defeated and the atomic attack wasn't needed anymore"

    The question isn't whether or not Japan was defeated in August 1945. Everybody knows that they were. The question is whether or not the bombings were a better way to end the war than a bloody land invasion of Japan. To me, the answer is unclear. From what I know, it is not clear to what extent the bombings were responsible for Japan's surrender, and to what extent Japan's surrender was a result of the Soviet Union's deceleration of war against Japan and invasion of Manchukuo. Does anybody know which of these was more important?

    (edit: maybe you guys have already discussed this. I have not read all of this thread. I was at an intense work meeting in Graz this week.)
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "Well sorry but I am person that considers that killing is without a doubt wrong , while for you apparently it isn't so I don't expect from you to know what good or wrong is . Only kids insult others when they don't agree with others opinions. No wander your fellow Americans told you to take a hike, not even they could've put up with a guy like you . "
    I'm not insulting your opinions -- I'm insulting your actions. I said *PROVE/CITE A BETTER OPTION* and you give NOTHING. You just keep talking bullshit.

    If Japan was already defeated... they should have surrendered when we gave them a chance a week ahead of Hiroshima. Then we nuked them. Waited 3 days... and they still didn't surrender. Your idea of "defeated" is different than what I call defeated. Defeated enemies stop fighting and give up
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Just to be ultra-clear... I do not accept articles written by Holocaust deniers. You'll have to try harder
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    I don't intend to read the entire article about Mark Weber, but he did claim that the Americans did know that Japan was seeking a Soviet-negotiated peace quite a while before the bombings. I thought that this was completely unknown to the Americans at the time. I have no idea how reliable this is, but he did give a source for this information. His source was a book by the historian Gar Alperovitz, who at least is not an extreme-right holocaust denier, as far as I can tell. I have no idea how reliable this source is though.
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @Colin: Japan was already in pieces so why did they deliver the final blow anyway ? If they had patience they could've sorted things out peacefully .

    @Spatterson: I didn't know that he is a denier of the holocaust but even so it is irrelevant to this topic.I mean the Japanese were Germany's allies so if he denies the holocaust he can't be arguing for those who were hit by that dreadful atomic attack .
    I see that you used a 'pretty' word again , but don't be mad because maybe you will find out in the future what reason and what it means to behave like a decent person ( or not ).

    There's no point in asking for evidence if you'll just search for a illogical piece of information that may deem my evidence as useless.
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    "I mean the Japanese were Germany's allies so if he denies the holocaust he can't be arguing for those who were hit by that dreadful atomic attack"

    What do you mean?
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    I know you're new to this game... but in the real world you should investigate the sources you post BEFORE you post them.

    "There's no point in asking for evidence if you'll just search for a illogical piece of information that may deem my evidence as useless."
    Researching the author's history and discrediting him as a whack job is not "searching for an illogical piece of information to deem your evidence useless" The article was useless the second Weber wrote it.

    Sorry. You lost this round.

    Edit. Uggggh... spelling
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    The options for the end of the Pacific War:

    1.) Nukes - very high casualties albeit within a limited zone, potentially a very quick end to the war.

    2.) Conventional warfare (bombing, land invasion, etc ) - probably very long and drawn out with truly massive casualties on both sides.

    3.) Some kind of complete long term naval blockade of Japan - from what I've heard this could have caused more civilian deaths in Japan in the longer term than the nuclear bombs.

    Option 1, though horrible, was probably the only serious course of action from the American point of view. Let's not forget: If the Japanese leadership of the day had not been so fanatic, they would have came to the table after the first A-bomb - thereby saving the people of Nagasaki...

    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    Option 4) Wait for the Soviet Union to declare war on Japan and invade Japanese occupied territory, and see how Japan would react.

    I don't know if the Americans knew that was going happen though. Does anybody know what the Americans knew about this?
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    I'd have to research some Colin to give you an answer... and I've got my hands full with other research projects. But I think it's probably safe to say that the Japanese would not have enjoyed the Red Army's invasion.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    The Soviet-Japanese War of 1945 (Russian: Советско-японская война) (Japanese: ソビエト戦争), began on August 9, 1945, with the Soviet invasion of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. The Soviets terminated Japanese control of Manchukuo, Mengjiang (inner Mongolia), northern Korea, southern Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands. The rapid defeat of Japan's Kwantung Army was a significant factor in the Japanese surrender and the termination of World War II.[6][7]

    from Wkipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet%E2%80%93Jap...)

    The Japanese probably knew they were defeated by 1942 but would not surrender, and probably would not have surrendered their main islands without a fight until the a-bombs were dropped. It is possible to construe arguments today after the fact that the bomb was unnecessary. It is not possible to put oneself in the position of the US military leaders at the time.

    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    Wait a second...so the following things happened before Hiroshima and Nagasaki were attacked...

    -Germany, Italiy and the Axis minors in Europe surrendered
    -the Soviet Union DOW'd Japan, the U.S, the U.K. were now able to completely focus on fighting against Japan
    -the U.S. told them to surrender unless they want to be nuked
    - 650,000 Japanese soldiers surrendered to the Soviet Union after 3 weeks of fighting in Manchukou
    -...

    yet, the Japanese leadership refused to surrender and the US thought that they won´t change their mind unless they drop nukes on them?

    I don´t get it. Maybe I´m just misunderstanding something.^^
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    "and probably would not have surrendered their main islands without a fight until the a-bombs were dropped"

    ...or until the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. I guess we don't really know.

    It may be that the bombs had absolutely no influence on Japan's surrender, though this is a little hard to believe. Even if this is the case, the US military leaders would not have known that at the time.
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    @ Paule

    I don't understand your timeline. When was the three weeks of fighting in Manchukou?

    Here is the timeline from Wikipedia, which I assume is accurate.

    "On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. Late in the evening of August 8, 1945, in accordance with the Yalta agreements, but in violation of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and soon after midnight on August 9, 1945, the Soviet Union invaded the Imperial Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. Later that same day, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb, this time on the city of Nagasaki. The combined shock of these events caused Emperor Hirohito to intervene and order the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War to accept the terms the Allies had set down in the Potsdam Declaration for ending the war. After several more days of behind-the-scenes negotiations and a failed coup d'état, Emperor Hirohito gave a recorded radio address across the Empire on August 15. In the radio address, called the Gyokuon-hōsō ("Jewel Voice Broadcast"), he announced the surrender of Japan to the Allies."
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    "Option 4) Wait for the Soviet Union to declare war on Japan and invade Japanese occupied territory, and see how Japan would react. "

    "It is not possible to put oneself in the position of the US military leaders at the time. "

    The US was probably already anticipating the cold war. I wonder if "showing them commies that they shouldn´t mess with us" was a/the reason to nuke Japan.

    edit:

    @Colin

    Thanks for clearing that up.
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    @ spatterson

    Just a quick observation, since you have mentioned a few times on this thread that Japan did not surrender in the three days between the two bombs. The timeline I copied from Wikipedia shows that after the Soviet invasion and the second bomb, it still took six days for the surrender to be announced.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    'The US was probably already anticipating the cold war. I wonder if "showing them commies that they shouldn´t mess with us" was a/the reason to nuke Japan."

    Perhaps. I'm thinking out loud here. If the US didn't want the spread of communism... and were afraid of Russia controlling more land (ie, Japan) then maybe they dropped the bombs to end the war as soon a possible. We'll never know. Hmm, even considering this... still sounds like the Nash Equilibrium was dropping the bombs.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "The timeline I copied from Wikipedia shows that after the Soviet invasion and the second bomb, it still took six days for the surrender to be announced. "
    I would say the Japanese were lucky we didn't have 3 bombs then.
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    "I would say the Japanese were lucky we didn't have 3 bombs then."

    Good point.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    I am not going to rummage through my book shelves, but I think that in the minds of the Japanese there was a difference between abandoning their position in China, and allowing a foreign invasion of the main islands, and with that the full capitulation of the ruling government. Kind of like Hitler in the bunker after all of their conquered terrirotory had already been lost.

    There may also have been Cold War considerations. But I would think the biggest thing was to avoid losing up 100,000 American lives in conquest of the main islands, considering the tough fighting in Okinawa.

    The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg,[4] was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II.[5][6] The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were approaching Japan, and planned to use Okinawa, a large island only 340 mi (550 km) away from mainland Japan, as a base for air operations on the planned invasion of Japanese mainland (coded Operation Downfall). Four divisions of the U.S. 10th Army (the 7th, 27th, 77th, and 96th) and two Marine Divisions (the 1st and 6th) fought on the island. Their invasion was supported by naval, amphibious, and tactical air forces.
    The battle has been referred to as the "typhoon of steel" in English, and tetsu no ame ("rain of steel") or tetsu no bōfū ("violent wind of steel") in Japanese.[7][8][9] The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of kamikaze attacks from the Japanese defenders, and to the sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. The battle resulted in the highest number of casualties in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Based on Okinawan government sources,[10] mainland Japan lost 77,166 soldiers, who were either killed or committed suicide, and the Allies suffered 14,009 deaths (with an estimated total of more than 65,000 casualties of all kinds). Simultaneously, 42,000-150,000 local civilians were killed or committed suicide, a significant proportion of the local populaion.
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    100,000 US lives for the conquest of Japanese mainland territory would surely be a conservative estimate?
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @Paule : You're right that I didn't make sense with my statement ( it's the first and last time when Spatterson makes me trip because of his nonsense ).
    Well I wonder if the Japanese would've nuked America , then what would you say( just as a hypothetical scenario ).

    I'm amazed how you think that killing civilians was 'a means to an end' .It would seem that Machiavelli's saying can justify virtually anything .
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    MADARA you remind me a child plugging his ears screaming "la la la I can't hear you"

    The Care Bears weren't fighting in the war. Pink Unicorns and princesses weren't at war. Hippies and pacifists weren't fighting either. So how the hell was the US suppose to end the war? You keep saying I'm talking nonsense... but you're citing Holocaust deniers and just pretending "oh the war would have just wound down to an end" Like I said before, I've had better conversations with a table than with you
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    I really wanna see dat teybill ô-ô
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    You're talking with the table ? May God have mercy on your poor soul :)))
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    Well, at least there´s evidence that tables exist.^^
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    @Paule I spit out my wine that was so funny
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    "Your talking with the table ? May God have mercy on your poor soul :)))"
    First it's "you're" (First sentence, 2nd is correct). I'm just pointing this out because 90% of my generation can't figure out how to spell this word. As an English learner, watch out for this common mistake. I've made the mistake a few times -- but I always know it's wrong. I see people who make the same mistake for decades.

    And yes, so far the table has NOT said anything stupid. The table seems to be significantly ahead of you...

    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    Thanks for the advice .Well after talking with dogs I shouldn't be surprised that you can talk with tables . But I for one don't think that tables are animated so maybe in your case it is some kind of portal to another dimension or something.

    @Paule:''Well, at least there´s evidence that tables exist.^^''

    Well you exist too so wherever is a creation there must be a 'creator' . And since we've been talking about the atomic bombings in Japan , here's some food for thought : if you believe that everything is a result of big explosion how come nothing appeared out of nowhere after the nukes went BOOM ? I mean have you ever seen something appear after any kind of explosion ?

    I know that you are a relative reasonable guy so you won't mind if we reason a little bit on this subject .
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    Oh man, if only Fred Hoyle had known about Hiroshima and Nagasaki...
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Hoyle? We'd have another awesome card game? Oh FRED Hoyle.

    MADARA, I'm not even going to touch a argument about your stone age religion. I've read the Qu'ran (yup, multiple versions) and the Bible. Now you should read some stuff on our side.
    http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-So...

    Ehhh... we know you won't do that. That would take curiosity and an open mind
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    @Madara

    I was unable to stop myself from making that joke, sorry ^^

    "Well you exist too so wherever is a creation there must be a 'creator'"

    Who created the creator then? You can´t come up with a rule and make an exception for your god. Even if I would accept the "god ist eternal"-presupposition (I don´t, by the way^^), you´d still have to prove somehow that Allah is the creator and not one of the thousands of other gods that humanity believes/believed in.

    I´m an agnostic atheist, I don´t pretend to know the truth. I admit that I don´t know..

    "if you believe that everything is a result of big explosion how come nothing appeared out of nowhere after the nukes went BOOM ? I mean have you ever seen something appear after any kind of explosion ?

    It´s painfully obvious that you have no idea what you´re talking about. You should read a book about all that if you´re really interested. Someone told me that "A universe from nothing" is a pretty good book.
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    Great. Now Madara will think that "A universe from nothing" is part of "the atheist gospel" because we both recommended the same book.
    February 2014
  • Ozemite 100 3553 561
    Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed watching a long interview between Dawkins and the scientist, Father George Coyne (no, I'm not Catholic). It was great to hear Coyne's personal views (rather than just those of the Vatican) against the backdrop of his scientific knowledge and experience.

    Coyne's personal views would definitely rattle a lot of Christians, but I kept an open mind, and really enjoyed what he had to say. I agreed with most things when I understood the heart of what he was objecting to. Plus there were plenty of conclusions I had arrived at myself previously. Fascinating guy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZPxtGqdTrs
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    @Julz

    What about Dawkins?

    "I kept an open mind, and really enjoyed what he had to say"

    I think keeping an open mind is more useful when we listen to someone who disagrees with us.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    If the "almighty God" (one of them at least, since there seem to be quite a few around) had stopped people from slaughtering each other (the "free will" argument does not really work here because we all know what happens if people do things against "God's will" .....the Bible and Qu'ran will tell you quite explicitly...you just have to choose between stoning, hanging, a deluge....) the "monstrous" Americans would not have had to drop their bombs.

    If you are attacked, I think it is only fair for you to choose the kind of weapon that will help you stop the aggressor as soon as possible with as few casualties on your side as possible. I don't think the Americans dropped the bombs "just for the fun of it". If they had been in it for the "fun of killing and mutilating people", they would have acted differently, especially after the war had ended.

    They could have occupied Japan and turned the country into a slaughterhouse and we all know that that's exactly what nazi Germany (including many Austrians) and Japan, amongst others, did with the victims of their warfare.

    When it comes to creationist theories, I guess you just have to "believe" them, there is no way you can reasonably explain any part of it. I don't mind people believing in it and, who knows, maybe they are right, but I'd feel much better if they did not try to impose their beliefs on others. Fortunately, most believers don't do that anyway.

    I don't remember who I heard that from, but I really like this one: Before you talk to me about your God, let me see how you treat people.

    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    I have not read Lawrence Krauss' book, but I very much doubt he is able to explain why there is something rather than nothing. I went into physics thinking it would give the ultimate solution to all philosophical questions that could not be answered by our standard common sense view of reality. Instead, what I found is that the explanations in physics are basically the same as our standard common sense view of reality, just a lot more detailed and a lot more accurate. The same philosophical questions exist.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad Colin: (...) ....I have not read Lawrence Krauss' book, but I very much doubt he is able to explain why there is something rather than nothing. (...)

    And if he were, I'd probably not understand his (or anybody else's) explanations........

    Ein nettes Buch zu diesem Thema ist "Warum gibt es alles und nicht nichts?" von Richard David Precht. Das Buch ist vorrangig für Kinder geschrieben, ist aber auch für einen Erwachsenen sehr unterhaltsam.

    Einige der Fragen, die er in diesem Buch stellt, sind schon in seinem Bestseller "Wer bin ich - und wenn ja, wie viele?" vorgekommen.



    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    ""Wer bin ich - und wenn ja, wie viele?"

    For those of you who are studying German - yes, "who am I - and if yes, how many?" is the actual title of that book xD
    February 2014
  • maths 714 4165 23071
    @Paule
    I've not read the book "A Universe from Nothing" (so watch me make ill-informed statements about it :)) ) but I have watched Lawrence Krauss' lecture on the same subject.
    Now, believe it or not, I'm not a theoretical physicist ; P but from what I understood, the "nothing" he seems to be talking about is the 'empty' space of the existing universe, rather than some kind of "true-nothing-pre big bang-emptiness". Whatever that might be.

    Obviously all the observations show that at some point in the past all the matter in the universe was in one place, but it seems we still have an ever more complex mystery as to how that singularity came to be.




    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    Could you send a link to his lecture? I am a theoretical physicist, but my Fachgebiet is a lightyear (whatever that is) away from this stuff. I will wait to read Krauss' book before commenting on his speculation about the beginning of the universe. Oh man, I can get this Krauss book in German on the Kindle! Maybe this will be my next book.


    @ Robert
    A friend of mine just appeared in this show about Galileo.
    http://tvthek.orf.at/program/Kreuz-Quer/4204899...
    Insterestingish show.
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    @maths

    Maybe things like "nothing" or "emptiness" simply don´t exist? I´ve never seen "a nothing" and even an empty glass is full of air and whatnot.^^

    "but it seems we still have an ever more complex mystery as to how that singularity came to be. "

    It´s even more mysterious that A-bombs don´t create new universes in Japan, though.
    February 2014
  • maths 714 4165 23071
    @Paule
    For sure, terms like "nothing" and "empty" are pretty slippery, and I'm not saying such a thing can even exist, just that the Krauss lecture seems to show how you can get the existing laws of the universe to emerge out of.... the existing laws of the universe.


    Okay, those two times in Japan it didn't work, but everyone knows that big explosion = new universe, almost every single time.
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    @Colin

    That's an interesting film - thanks.

    (BTW is your friend die schöne Frau im Film? :-D)
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    @ Easy

    Can you watch it outside of Austria? Even if you can't, I guess it is easy enough to do. Yes. I think you have correctly identified my friend.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad Colin: Thanks for the link. I missed that episode and wanted to watch it this weekend. By the way, "Kreuz und quer" is one of my favourite programmes on Austrian TV. You seem to be working with really interesting people.
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    @Colin

    Yeah, I can see it on my laptop here in UK, no probs. Good film.

    @Robert

    Interesting people...und vor allen Dingen strahlend schöne Frauen! ;-)

    (Sorry, I can't help it - ich bin doch notgeil!)
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Well I hope you and your friend are going on a VDay date in 2 hours
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    @Easy_rider

    You deserve a rose for knowing the word "notgeil". Ich ziehe meinen Hut.^^

    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    @Paule

    I learned all kinds of crazy words from German girls: "notgeil", "nerviger Aufreizer"... Yeah, you get the picture!!

    (Only kidding...mostly... :-D)
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    @ spatterson

    Leider nicht.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Colin, better hurry up then. Optimal VDay date time is around 19:30. That gives you another 2 hours to ask her... maybe 1.5 hours. Go go go!
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    BTW

    Perhaps MADARA and Spatterson should go on a VJ-Day date? They could discuss the end of WW2 in the Pacific Theatre, iron out their differences over the Quran, and at the end of the evening they could, like, kiss and make up?

    EDIT
    I should point out that the above is intended as a light hearted joke - no kind of offense is intended to either person referred to.
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    I'd rather eat my dog's "deposits"
    February 2014
  • maths 714 4165 23071
    I think ironing anything over the Quran is probably prohibited
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @Paule: Since you gave me a civilized answer I will do the same.

    Now you said how came the God in which I believe is the only one . Well because there's no other logical explication that can deny it. As you can see the whole universe , Earth included , follows some strict physical processes that can't be the result of 'nothing' . Even human beings are created and their organisms work under some certain pattern which suggest clearly that there must be a 'Mastermind' behind it.

    I believe that there is only one truly God considering the fact , for example , if there were more ( as in the Greek and other mythologies ) there would've been a fight between them and also there being more than one suggests that there were more before and this doesn't make sense.

    I have to admit that the biggest problem here is that no one can see God while he/she is alive and that's why there are people who don't believe in Him . But we have received in the past the Holy Scriptures as a guidance for humanity under different circumstances and under different temporal settings .

    OK now you will argue that there are Scriptures that contain facts that are against any logic( this is for each to decide on his/her own) but I guarantee you that there must be one among them that doesn't because no matter what you say the truth lies between one of the three monotheistic religions .

    Of course me being a Muslim means that I believe that Islam is the only way(each one is free to follow what ever religion they want and no one is allowed to mock or slander others faith). I think you noticed how Spatterson keeps saying that there are multiple versions of the Qu'ran but let's say this is possible , how come then , there are 0 contradictions in its text ? The text of the Qu'ran couldn't have been written by a man ( let alone an illiterate one) that could've added in it scientific facts that were latter on discovered ( such as the development of the embryo => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC2_IMz9qcY, the fact that the Earth revolves around its own axis and much more).

    ''It´s painfully obvious that you have no idea what you´re talking about. You should read a book about all that if you´re really interested.'' Well, this does not answer my question . As we all know the Big Bang theory states that because of a massive explosion , the universe came to be and we humans as also. The nuke attack also produced an explosion so why didn't anything appear ? Or maybe the Big Bang was just a front for something else that happened ?

    Some say if there is God why does He let us suffer ? I'm asking you why are we going to die after we were born ? Was that all ? We live for a limited time and then we all will meet our end ?
    God is testing us that's why suffer sometimes in life and He wants to see how we react . That's why he bestowed upon as the power of reasoning , to distinguish what is good and useful from what is wrong and of no real gain.

    I know that I may not have convinced you with all I said but I'm not supposed to convince anyone with what I believe to be the truth but still if you asked me I should have the common sense to answer you in a manner that won't insult or confuse you .

    Peace :)
    February 2014
  • spatterson 3636
    Oh MADARA... You did it again. You really need to check your sources. Keith Moore is not a muslim and didn't convert like the video you posted states. I'll prove your nonsense wrong later... but this should do for now

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_L._Moore
    "Moore is not a Muslim[14] but his work with King Abdulaziz University's Embryology Committee has been rejected by some biologists such as PZ Myers. [15] In 2002, Moore declined to be interviewed by the Wall Street Journal on the subject of his work on Islam, stating that "it's been ten or eleven years since I was involved in the Qur'an." [16]"

    But we agree on at least one thing
    "The text of the Qu'ran couldn't have been written by a man ( let alone an illiterate one)"
    You're absolutely correct. It was not written by an illiterate man. It was written by many literate men

    EDIT
    BTW, can anyone track down the embryo verses Moore is talking about? I don't have time tongiht but I'm interested to see what nonsensical verses he's referring to

    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    @ MADARA

    There are very few similarities between the nuclear explosions in the two bombs dropped on Japan and the big bang. The only simularity that I can see is that they can both be described with the word 'bang'. The nuclear explosions were the result of energy released by the breaking up of the nuclei of uranium atoms. The big bang is a vague term that describes many different things that could have happened at the beginning of what we know as the universe, all of which involve the entire known universe being crushed into a small volume and expanding rapidly outwards. Whether this was the beginning of the universe, or just another phase of some cycle that has been going on in a much older universe, is unclear, and it is certainly unclear what caused it, if anything.
    February 2014
  • maths 714 4165 23071
    "no matter what you say the truth lies between one of the three monotheistic religions"

    Gonna need to see some evidence for that one.
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    @madara "God is testing us that's why suffer sometimes in life and He wants to see how we react . "

    So....when a 10 year old girl get´s raped god *could* interfere but he doesn´t because he wants to see how the girl reacts?
    God *could* have stopped the holocaust but he wanted to see how we react? Everything horrible that has ever happened could´ve been stopped by god but he wanted to see our reactions?

    "Was that all ? We live for a limited time and then we all will meet our end ?"

    I don´t know and I don´t think anyone know´s what happens after we die.

    "...no one is allowed to mock or slander others faith"

    You should check the definition of the word "allowed".

    " ...have to admit that the biggest problem here is that no one can see God "

    Not only that, there´s no evidence that god does anything. Let me give you just one example. Many people who overcame a disease (whether it´s a minor or major disease) thank god for saving them...but why does god only help those who have curable diseases? Why doesn´t belief make amputated limbs grow back? Why does god not cure HIV?

    " if there were more ( as in the Greek and other mythologies ) there would've been a fight between them "

    How do you know that they would fight each other? I still want to know why you believe that among thousands of religions, your religion is the true religion. I guess someone in your family just "happened" to believe in the one true religion? That´d be a huge coincidence.

    "Even human beings are created and their organisms work under some certain pattern which suggest clearly that there must be a 'Mastermind' behind it."

    Nope. If humans (and animals) were designed, "god" would be a pretty bad designer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_poor...
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    I have always wondered why the internet is so dominated by atheists? Does nobody else find it strange?
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    @Colin

    I recently did a translation exercise into German. One of the terms I had to look up was "lautstarke Minderheit"...
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    Dayum. I always forget that I belong to a minority.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad Colin: (...) I have always wondered why the internet is so dominated by atheists? Does nobody else find it strange? (...)

    What makes you think the Internet is "dominated" by atheists?

    You can find innumerable religious sites, youtube is full of videos made by religious zealots and there are many religious radio stations and online TV stations that spread "God's word".

    There are also many religious blogs. Religious people are very active on the Internet.

    The good thing is, not all believers are religious zealots. You have people like Jay and Julie who obviously believe in God but are open-minded, intelligent people who treat others with respect. Fortunately, this kind of believers are the majority, I think. Then you have people that are far less open, yet not (continuously) openly hostile towards non-believers or people who don't share their beliefs. I think MADARA falls into that category.

    Actually, I am not sure what to think of people like MADARA. They sometimes appear rather innocuous but their dogmatic approach could turn them into powder kegs quite easily, I'm afraid.

    And then you have the lunatics and really dangerous guys. Psychopaths who try to justify their cowardice and sickness with a rigid interpretation of supposedly holy scriptures. Those are the ones trying to kill little girls whose only "sin" is their wish to get a decent education.

    ad Jay: (...) ....lautstarke Minderheit ... (....)

    Das Pendant dazu wäre "die schweigende Mehrheit". I'm not sure if atheists are really that outspoken or more so than believers. I wish people started to understand that we only have this one life on earth and that we all should be given a fair chance to enjoy it.

    If people think their God wants them to abide by certain rules, by all means, let them go ahead and observe them, as long as these rules don't demand they mistreat others.

    In case God exists, believers will have to find a way to stay busy for the rest of "eternity" and I guess they'll just be fine in the presence of their God.

    If he does not exist, it does not really matter what you believed in during your short existence on this planet because you'll be gone.....forever. Whether you had a good or bad life, whether you loved or hated people, you'll simply be gone........game over. I think it is this prospect of being gone forever that scares so many people and makes them more susceptible to theories telling them that this short life of ours is not the end.

    People you leave behind will remember you - hopefully in a good way. But they, too, will have to die and one day they'll be forgotten too. I guess we simply have to face the fact (unless you actually believe in life after death) that we are just passing by and won't really leave a lasting impression in this universe.

    I can see the appeal of religions where people are told their life has a "special meaning", that it won't be over once they are dead, that there is someone or something waiting for them and taking care of them.

    It might appear to be a comforting thought in light of the transitoriness of human existence, but it comes at a high price. You'll have to give up a good part of your capacity to reason in order to buy into the dream of "eternal life".

    But maybe reason is not the key here, who knows.

    If we had never been born, we wouldn't even have to think about these things. There is a certain attraction in this thought too....












    February 2014
  • nebulae 49
    My God is Mr. Putin.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad Colin: (...) The big bang is a vague term that describes ....the entire known universe being crushed into a small volume and expanding rapidly outwards. .(...)

    People like me seem to have drawn the short straw....I don't understand the "big bang theory" (honestly, this is beyond me) and I can't buy the stories of the holy scriptures. I guess I'll just have to try and lead a good life without causing too much harm to others ....

    I mean, does anybody REALLY UNDERSTAND the big bang theory?
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad nebulae: (...) .......My God is Mr. Putin. ...(...)

    Really? So, poor Paul was just your "earthly" flame? ;-)
    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    "I mean, does anybody REALLY UNDERSTAND the big bang theory?"

    I´m sure Sheldon does.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    (...) ...I´m sure Sheldon does. (...)

    Got to talk to him then ;-)
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    @Robert: "...If we had never been born, we wouldn't even have to think about these things. There is a certain attraction in this thought too..."
    ---

    Hast du dieses Gefühl, Robert? Findest du, es wäre vielleicht besser gewesen, gar nicht erst zu existieren?

    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad Jay: (...) ... Hast du dieses Gefühl, Robert? Findest du, es wäre vielleicht besser gewesen, gar nicht erst zu existieren? (...)

    Wenn man derartige Fragen aufwirft, ist die Gefahr, rasch in eine Schublade gesteckt zu werden, sehr groß. Nicht, dass ich befürchtete, du würdest das machen, aber solche Aussagen wie die, auf die du dich beziehst, sind oft eine emotionale Momentaufnahme.

    Grundsätzlich kann ich deine Frage mit einem "Ja" beantworten. So sehr ich mein Leben genieße, und ich gelte grundsätzlich eher als Frohnatur unter meinen Bekannten, so oft habe ich mir schon gedacht, dass es vielleicht besser gewesen wäre, wenn ich nie auf die Welt gekommen wäre.

    Für manch religiösen Menschen ist allein dieser Denkansatz schon ein Frevel. Letztendlich ist es ein mühseliges Unterfangen, weil ich an der Tatsache, dass ich geboren wurde, nichts ändern kann. Aber es gibt Augenblicke, da für mich der Gedanke, gar nie existiert zu haben, durchaus seinen Reiz hat.

    Das Leben ist an sich eine wunderbare Sache, aber ich kann Menschen, die davon sprechen, manchmal "lebensmüde" zu sein, sehr gut verstehen. Das Wort "lebensmüde" ist im Übrigen meiner Meinung nach ein wunderschönes Wort im Deutschen. Leider wird es oft falsch interpretiert und ebenso oft salopp einfach als Synonym für "wahnsinnig, verrückt" verwendet (Das mach ich nicht. Ich bin doch nicht lebensmüde!).

    Es ist genauso schön wie das Wort "lebensfroh". Beide Zustände wechseln sich bei den meisten Menschen in einem bestimmten Rhythmus ab.

    Wir können das gerne im Detail im deutschen Forum diskutieren, wenn dich diese Fragestellung interessiert.

    P.S. Don't worry, I'm mostly quite a cheerful person. But yeah, life sometimes makes you wonder what this is all about. While it is interesting to raise certain questions from time to time, I try not to think too much about it. I'm here and I am trying to make the best out of it :-)
    February 2014
  • maths 714 4165 23071
    @Lovelanguage:

    A very frank and honest text. I'm surprised to see that even ostensibly successful people such as yourself (I'd assume that making a career out of your interest in language goes someway to being "successful" ), can still occasionally wonder if this is all worth it.

    I think the gifts of an intellect and the will to live an examined life, can often regularly lead to some dark realisations.
    'L'absurde naît de la confrontation entre l'appel humain et le silence déraisonnable du monde.' - As my friend introduced me to Camus.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad maths: (...) ....A very frank and honest text. I'm surprised to see that even ostensibly successful people such as yourself (I'd assume that making a career out of your interest in language goes someway to being "successful" ), can still occasionally wonder if this is all worth it. (...)

    It probably is not always a good idea to be that frank, especially on the Internet, but then again, I think raising certain questions and admitting that you don't walk through life without questioning the very essence of your human existence from time to time is not a sign of weakness (although it is frequently viewed as such).

    I would not want to miss the times when I endeavour to plumb the depths of my soul....it is a powerful experience, the outcome of which is very uncertain more often than not.

    I am basically a very cheerful person, with a mostly positive outlook on life. But I'm afraid that I am also quite a sensitive person and this sensitiveness easily turns into vulnerability. But as long as you are aware of the "loopholes" in your "defence system" and can come up with a proper "cure" for the pain you may experience from time to time, you'll be fine.

    The best cure I can think of is, as corny as this may sound, the love and affection of and for another person. If I were to answer the question what it is that makes my life worth living, then I'd most likely respond that it is my ability to give and receive love.

    That's the pillar of my life, but there are many other shades and nuances to this concept. I just love to laugh, I enjoy learning languages, I love travelling, reading, hiking...... a lot of rather mundane pastimes. But that's what life is about too, just enjoying each instance you breathe in the power of life :-)

    Camus, by the way, is one of my favourite authors.

    I did not even know that you study German. If you ever feel like reading some really funny and upbeat books, try reading David Safier.

    I still remember the time when I read his first book "Mieses Karma". I was on a plane to Taiwan. I had to put away the book because I was laughing so loud the other passengers started giving me dirty looks :-). So I put it in the front pocket of my seat. When I arrived in my apartment in Taipei, I realized I had left the book on the plane: Talking about bad karma ;-)

    P.S. Thanks for your kind words :-)

    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    @Robert: "...es gibt Augenblicke, da für mich der Gedanke, gar nie existiert zu haben, durchaus seinen Reiz hat...(...)...Das Leben ist an sich eine wunderbare Sache, aber ich kann Menschen, die davon sprechen, manchmal "lebensmüde" zu sein, sehr gut verstehen...."
    ---

    Ja, ich weiß ganz genau, wovon du redest. Bei mir ist es auch nicht ohne konkreten Grund.

    Als Frevel würde ich es nicht bezeichnen - aber es ist schon als würde man an einem bodenlosen Abgrund vorbeilaufen, irgendwie. Was kann ich dir sagen? Die einzige Antwort, die ich gefunden habe, ist Jesus.

    Aber vielleicht ist es besser, nicht darüber zu reden.



    February 2014
  • Maria2 1208 25768 1209
    Jay: "Hast du dieses Gefühl, Robert? Findest du, es wäre vielleicht besser gewesen, gar nicht erst zu existieren?"

    Robert: "Grundsätzlich kann ich deine Frage mit einem "Ja" beantworten. So sehr ich mein Leben genieße, und ich gelte grundsätzlich eher als Frohnatur unter meinen Bekannten, so oft habe ich mir schon gedacht, dass es vielleicht besser gewesen wäre, wenn ich nie auf die Welt gekommen wäre."

    Jay: "Ja, ich weiß ganz genau, wovon du redest. Bei mir ist es auch nicht ohne konkreten Grund.

    Als Frevel würde ich es nicht bezeichnen - aber es ist schon als würde man an einem bodenlosen Abgrund vorbeilaufen, irgendwie. Was kann ich dir sagen? Die einzige Antwort, die ich gefunden habe, ist Jesus.

    Aber vielleicht ist es besser, nicht darüber zu reden."

    ********************************************************************

    Nachdem ich bisher in diesem Jahr auf einige extrem langweilige und kindische Themen auf dieser Seite gestoßen bin, ist es aufmunternd zu verfolgen, wie zwei Individuen vom Herzen sprechen.

    Ich wünschte Ihr beiden würdet einen neuen Thread zu starten, auch wenn ich mir darüber im klaren bin, dass macht sich im Internet damit exponiert - wahrscheinlich keine gute Sache.

    Ich danke Euch beiden für Eure Worte der Wahrheit, und kann ich nur, über die schmerzhaften Erfahrungen, die Ihr durchgemacht haben müsst, spekulieren.

    Wir alle haben natürlich unsere Höhen und Tiefen, aber einige von uns zu erreichen sehr große Höhen und leider auch tiefere Tiefs.

    Solltet Ihr einen neuen Thread starten, schickt mir bitte eine Message.

    PS Mein Text ist schon korrigiert worden ^^
    February 2014
  • jolanda 38178 23820 13845
    @maria

    "PS Mein Text ist schon korrigiert worden ^^" kaum zu glauben!

    j:-(
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @Paul: ''So....when a 10 year old girl get´s raped god *could* interfere but he doesn´t because he wants to see how the girl reacts?''

    We in Islam believe that a person before entering puberty is sinless .If someone dies before reaching puberty that person will enter paradise no matter what he/she has done .
    In your example the one who is being tested is in fact the rapist . There are people that have such vile tendencies but they most suppress them at all costs and if not , then they will pay for the consequences .

    ''You should check the definition of the word "allowed". '' Why ?

    ''Many people who overcame a disease (whether it´s a minor or major disease) thank god for saving them...but why does god only help those who have curable diseases? Why doesn´t belief make amputated limbs grow back? Why does god not cure HIV?''

    Just praying won't solve anything.That's why God gave us knowledge so as to help ourselves and praying alone won't cut it. I mean anyone can say :''Oh God give me a beautiful wife , a big house and a Mercedes '' but He will not answer this unless we reach out on our own .
    In fact the very first word reveled in Islam by God was :''READ''- Surat Al-`Alaq (surat means chapter).

    You agree with me that we have a limited time here in life so why would He help grow someone's limbs? God bestowed a fixed logic to this world and what you said falls in the category of 'miracles'.
    Of course that if He willed he could do so but who are we to impose our limited judgment upon our Creator?
    That to is a test( to see if that person improves or not after getting ill or having lost his/her limbs) that some can be subjected in order for God to see how they would react.

    ''How do you know that they would fight each other? I still want to know why you believe that among thousands of religions, your religion is the true religion. I guess someone in your family just "happened" to believe in the one true religion? That´d be a huge coincidence.''

    Well look at a country for example and how politicians act. The more they are the diverse the opinions and also that would mean that there were others before so then we will ask ourselves who created Zeus and the ones before .This would just result in an endless circle .

    Who would believe in a creator like Zeus that has a son , wife ( which is said that he cheated on her) that eats,sleeps etc. ? I sure wouldn't want to believe that our creator acts the way we do.

    And Islam isn't a religion like other thousands for a lot of reasons . One reason for this is that it is ( together with Christianity and Judaism) among the few that has a Holy Book that presents how we should behave in different situations .

    Now you will argue that there are issues that to some of us don't seem very logic. But let's take the veil for example . Why would anyone invent a Holy Book ( though non of the Holy Books were written by men) contain the fact that women should cover themselves when the nature of men tells us that the less clothes they have the more interesting they are ? This can't be the work of a man .
    That's why God said that they should dress accordingly so as to really respect them and not view them as some 'chunks of meat'.

    And I can go on and on( interest-less work is better ,alcohol -when we have a pinch we can just forget it by drinking etc.)

    ''Nope. If humans (and animals) were designed, "god" would be a pretty bad designer''

    We humans have a limit, and also the animals too . If we reside for a period of time that isn't unlimited why do we have to be perfect ? I say this because it would much more terrible to live with all the bad things that are in this world for eternity.

    This is why we are being tested for our demeanor because we are not PERFECT. If we were ,we would be in a Paradise were there's no disease , no fights ,no hatred etc.

    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    To be honest, I disagree with pretty much everything you just wrote. I disagree so much that it would take an hour to describe it in detail and I´m too tired for that right now.^^ Let´s "agree to differ" for now.

    Maybe someone else feels like answering.
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    The world would be a happier place, probably, if more people could just agree to differ ;-)

    (Especially on topics like politics and religion.)
    February 2014
  • Moderator
    ColinJohnstonov 52700 1 7605
    I don't agree with that. Pistols at dawn.
    February 2014
  • eugrus 17101 40961 3160
    I don't generally care who the US is gonna *uck with, but I am certainly not happy about the Ukraine being forced by a third party to run into an agreement which is going to destroy the Ukraine's industry and basically make it jobless in a few years.
    Just as it has already been with Rumania and Bolgaria, by the way, with the only difference that those ones actually voted for the politicians who did it, whereas here a bunch of populists and nationalists think they are more legitimate to do so than the democratically chosen government.
    So whoever the US is gonna copulate with I would prefer them to copulate somewhere else.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    I think there are a number of issues here.

    1) The Ukrainians who are demonstrating are not necessarily demonstrating in favour of union with the EU, bur rather against the quality of their institutions, quality of life, and what they see as the arbitrary nature of their government.

    2) It is not clear to me how widespread the sympathy for these demonstrators is, but it seems quite widespread at least in the area around Kiev and to the West, and probably to some extent in the east as well. To dismiss the demonstrators as a "bunch of populists and nationalists" is probably not very accurate.

    3) I agree that the US should not meddle, and probably has limited influence on the events there.

    4) I don't see any third party forcing anything on the Ukrainians, unless you are referring to pressure from Russia in the form of harassment of Ukrainian exports to Russia, etc..

    5) Whether association with the EC is good for the Ukraine, or other former Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe is for these people to decide, and the conditions of an eventual association are for them to negotiate with the EC as best they can.

    6) As to whether Romania and Bulgaria, or other Eastern European countries have benefited from their association with the EC, and are happy with it, I suspect that is a complex question and the answers will vary depending on whom you talk to in each country. It also begs the question of what the alternatives were. Belarus and the Ukraine are the only Eastern European countries who have not gone the EC route, other than Russia of course.

    That said I can't see these two countries turning their back on their main trading partner, largest export market and energy supplier, a country with which they have close cultural and historical ties. I guess they would like to play both cards, which seems to me should be possible with a modicum of good will all around.
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    @Steve: "...should be possible with a modicum of good will all around..."
    ---

    I remain to be convinced that the EU is anything to do with "good will". In my opinion they have shown themselves again and again to be a crude outdated and inflexible organization. Above all they seem to have absolute contempt for the clear democratic will of the majority of citizens in member states (something which they sneeringly call "populism".)

    Fortunately there is now a real hope that the UK will free itself from this band.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad Jay: (...) ....I remain to be convinced that the EU is anything to do with "good will". In my opinion they have shown themselves again and again to be a crude outdated and inflexible organization. (...)

    I still think the EU is generally a good "project" but many, maybe too many, bad decisions have been taken. If I had any say in it, I'd dissolve the EU commission rather sooner than later. What they just did with regards to the approval of genetically modified food crops AGAINST the clear will of the people in the member states AND the vast majority of the EU parliament is anything but democratic.

    I see hope only if the EU parliament is further and SIGNIFICANTLY strengthened and if certain sovereignty rights go back to the member states. I must admit, however, that I have no idea what will happen if the EU disappears.

    I am curious to see how the EU will actually react after the vote in Switzerland. If they are consistent, they have to terminate all agreements with Switzerland but I somehow doubt they will.

    If they don't, I don't see why other countries should observe bilateral and/or multilateral agreements or provide for the implementation of EU directives, guidelines etc.

    As for Switzerland, I think it is ridiculous to try and paint the whole nation as "anti-foreign". The media, including many papers and TV stations here in Austria, have sometimes grossly distorted the actual matter at hand. I share quite a few of the arguments brought forward by those in favour of "controlled immigration" (that's what it actually is about and not about driving foreigners out of the country).

    On the other hand, the Swiss need to understand that you can't just breach a contract and think you can carry on business as usual. They will have to face the consequences but I guess they know what they are in for and it is up to them to decide which way to go.

    Some of the things said by those opposing the outcome of the referendum were quite revealing as to how they would like everything in life to be subjected to the supposed primate of market forces.

    There is more to life than some budgetary figures. Just because your economy allegedly keeps growing, this does not mean that people like the direction their country is going. The labour market, infrastructures, the health system etc. have not only benefited from the treaties signed with the EU.

    Most importantly, people have a right to free themselves from policies dictated by proponents of a philosophy where the "shareholder value" seems to be the new golden calf to be worshipped.

    P.S. I would not like to see our nations governed by any of the nationalistic movements either. If the EU should really break up, I hope we'll find some sort of a happy medium.

    February 2014
  • Paule89 6744 3519 27
    "There is more to life than some budgetary figures. Just because your economy allegedly keeps growing, this does not mean that people like the direction their country is going. The labour market, infrastructures, the health system etc. have not only benefited from the treaties signed with the EU.

    Most importantly, people have a right to free themselves from policies dictated by proponents of a philosophy where the "shareholder value" seems to be the new golden calf to be worshipped."

    That´s not a EU-specific problem though, it´s a democracy problem. Those who are rich use their power to influence politics, which leads to policies that make the gap between the rich and the poor even bigger and so on and so forth.

    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    @Robert: "...those in favour of "controlled immigration" (that's what it actually is about and not about driving foreigners out of the country)...."
    ---

    I think that's exactly right. Immigration is, per se, basically a good thing. But it has to be sensibly controlled. What we have at the moment is basically a mad free-for-all where people can just move en masse to a country and overwhelm schools, public services, housing, etc - not to mention driving down wages at the lower end of society. (This is what has been happening in the UK over the last 15 years or so.)

    And of course, the wealthy governing elite are normally NOT the ones who suffer as a result of this...
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad Jay: (...) ...not to mention driving down wages at the lower end of society. (This is what has been happening in the UK over the last 15 years or so.) ....(...)

    I'm not anti-immigration either. But I certainly don't see why controlling immigration should be such a terrible thing (as is suggested by some people whenever you talk about this topic). It is good for the people coming to the country and those already there.

    As for wages being driven down. It is interesting that so many of the opponents of the referendum said that this supposedly never occurred, while once the outcome had been announced many "economic experts" said that Switzerland would now suffer a serious setback because after all it was said to have built its wealth on "cheap foreign labour".

    That is a clear contradiction of what they had said before the referendum.

    Besides, and I know this is a delicate matter, I do believe that it is important to make sure that the people you let into the country share some basic democratic values.

    I don't want a massive influx of people who consider women second-class citizens, who want to hang gay people or who hold other views that would take us back to the dark ages. It has taken our societies long enough to ensure certain rights for all citizens and I don't want this to be jeopardized. Every time I see how salafists for example, who are clearly against our democratic system and have a world view that is based on a stone-age mentality, try to recruit new followers in our cities I wonder why we would allow them to do so. There should be no tolerance towards the intolerant (and calling salafists intolerant is un understatement already).

    I do understand that people wish to improve their living conditions and immigration has always been one of the means to do so. Immigration has also done a lot of good to many countries who welcomed immigrants.

    The best way to keep migratory movements at a level that neither causes a major burden on existing infrastructures in the host countries nor a dangerous brain drain on the part of the countries of origin of the immigrants is to try and bring living standards in line with each other.

    There is a reason why there was relatively little migration between EU member states before the enlargement to the east. As I said, I completely understand that people try to improve their lot by going from one place to another. I most definitely would do the same if I felt the need to. But we need a set of clear rules for that and we need to distinguish between immigrants and refugees. While I think it is only fair to expect a certain level of education, professional training, linguistic capabilities etc. from potential immigrants, I don't think you can ask the same from people who flee their country because they fear for their lives.

    February 2014
  • eugrus 17101 40961 3160
    @steve

    > I don't see any third party forcing anything on the Ukrainians

    Yeap: Americans telling foreign "oppositionners" who of them is going to take which post in a sovereign state's government is nothing about forcing anything on the Ukrainians. Just a normal democratic procedure ^_^

    What about American sanctions on the Ukranian officials for the dispersal of what the US had enough imprudence to call peaceful demonstrations?

    > Whether association with the EC is good ... is for these people to decide, and the conditions ... are for them to negotiate

    This is quite right. However using men of straw to force through the conditions the legitimate representatives had good economical reasons not to agree on is nothing about the way decision making works in a sovereign state.

    Postponing the signing till 2015 when the Ukraine would choose a new EU-oriented President, if that's what the Ukranians want, but choose him in a way of normal procedure and not under the fear of a civil war, wouldn't be a problem for the USA if it experienced no need to force the signing on the sly. "On the sly" is not the best expression here: Russian "под шумок" would do much better.

    > As to whether Romania and Bulgaria, or other Eastern European countries have benefited from their association with the EC, and are happy with it, I suspect that is a complex question and the answers will vary depending on whom you talk to in each country.

    No industry any more, no working places any more, even no affordable electric power. Someone who was born in an industrial state, but always hoped to become a gastarbeiter may be quite happy with all of that.

    The most ridiculous part is how obvious it's that the process is going to develop quite the same way in the Ukraine.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad eugrus: (...) .... No industry any more, no working places any more. Someone who was born in an industrial state, but always hoped to become a gastarbeiter may be quite happy with all of that. (...)

    http://de.kushnirs.org/makrookonomie/gdp/gdp_ro...

    If you have a look at how the GDP developed in Romania after its accession to the EU as compared to the time before its accession, I don't really see any factual proof of your statement. Even during one of the most difficult economic times after WWII Romania's GDP is way above what it was before the country joined the EU.

    The situation in Bulgaria is similar: http://de.kushnirs.org/makrookonomie/gdp/gdp_bu...

    People tend to blame the EU for almost all problems in their countries (Austrians are no exception to this). But as for Romania and Bulgaria, I think many of the most striking problems are deeply rooted in their own administrative and political systems. While you have corruption in all countries (Austria being anything but an example to follow in this respect), Romania and Bulgaria seem to have an extremely high level of corruption.

    Personally, I think the EU enlargement towards the East came too early, was ill-prepared and went way too far. I don't see, however, that the new member states fare worse than they did before. If they do, I don't see a direct relationship with the fact that they joined the EU. Do you really think Romania and Bulgaria would have thrived economically without joining the EU?

    Maybe you have more detailed information about this, but when I visited both countries in the late 1990s they did not strike me as economically flourishing nations which were then crushed by the EU.

    As for the Ukraine, I find it indeed strange that Americans, Europeans seem to think they know what's best for the Ukraine. This, however, also includes Putin, who without any doubt is not really an impartial observer of events either.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    My reading of the situation is that the US, and some members of the EC , such as the Czechs, feel that sanctions should be used against the Ukrainian government for what they perceive as human rights violations. Undoubtedly the US is also being a busy body in trying to influence the government in the Ukraine, but I see no evidence of anyone "forcing" them into an agreement with the EU.

    I also don't think most Ukrainians want a hard association with the EU. They are probably aware of the risks to their vulnerable industry. They just want the institutions of the EU, the life style, respect for human rights etc. They also probably want to maintain their independence from Russia while enjoying the economic benefits of a market for their products and, they hope, cheaper energy.

    I have no opinion on whether the Ukraine should sign an agreement with the EU. However, I have the impression that the government of the Ukraine was going to sign until the Russians started harassing their exports to Russia and put other kinds of pressure on them.

    When I was in Romania in June, I gat varied responses on the pros and cons of EU membership. They resent being considered lower class Europeans for sure. Joining the EU was a risk, for sure, and yet Croatia voted to join, and Serbia wants in. I wonder if Greece and Portugal even benefited. There are mixed feelings elsewhere in Eastern Europe as well. But that is for the Ukrainians to decide, not you and not me.
    February 2014
  • eugrus 17101 40961 3160
    @lovelanguagesIII

    The GDP growth you are referring to is mostly not formed by the surplus exchange value: it's just making Bulgaria into an M&A market with foreign companies massively doing asset stripping. In other words you can get money from working, but if can't get a job you just sell your kidney, which makes your chances even worth and then another one.
    As as a result, the North of the country, which once has been the industrial center now has 60% unemployment. Two million from what had altogether been just a nine million country now migrated to Western Europe to get the worst kinds of jobs there.

    The Козлодуй electric station was closed and the electric station in development "Белене" was banned from being put into service. Both to comply with the association agreement in the preparational stage to become an EU-member. Now Bulgaria is buying the electric power from other EU countries paying as much as 5 times what it would be when produced in Bulgaria. Bulgarian retirees get bills for electricity which are several times higher than their pensions.

    An important preporational stage for Bulgaria to become a part of the European family has been liberalizing its market in the course of Richard W. Rahn's shock terapy, who made the country into a modern experiential field for 19th century classical economic liberalism. So I am glad you have an idea what it looked like during that stage.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad eugrus (...) ....to Western Europe to get the worst kinds of jobs there (...)

    The Romanians I know here in Austria are mostly well-paid professionals. And those who work in the service sector say they earn many times what they earned back home and the money they earn here helps them to not only live a decent life here but also send money back home.


    If their situation were that terrible here, they would not stay here and many of them do.

    I don't know where you got your information from. What makes you believe people "get the worst jobs here"? I don't see Romanians and Bulgarians starving in the streets here. Quite on the contrary. In addition to those finding jobs, I see people ask for and receiving financial support their own governments obviously deny them back home.

    Brain drain, however, is a serious problem. I don't think it is fair for the West to take in all the highly-qualified people such as doctors, engineers etc. It leaves their countries of origin without the people they need. On the other hand, I don't see Western European countries forcing people to come here, quite on the contrary (as you surely know if you followed recent discussions about Bulgarian and Romanian citizens looking for jobs in the West; btw, I think since they are EU citizens they have to be granted the same rights as anybody else).



    (...) ....In other words you can get money from working, but if can't get a job you just sell your kidney, which makes your chances even worth and then another one. (...)

    And you think this - if it was really true - is exclusively due to the fact that the country joined the EU? No responsibility whatsoever on the part of the national political and social elites?


    (...) ....So I am glad you have an idea what it looked like during that stage. (....)

    You make it sound as if these countries were paradise before they joined the EU. I bet many of the people living there would question your conclusions. I know my friends would.

    I see massive unemployment in countries that have not joined the EU too. The things you described, unemployment, impoverished people (especially in rural areas), an enormous gap between social groups etc. can obviously be found in Russia as well. Is the EU responsible for that too?

    Russia is not part of the EU and I think that is a good thing for both, the EU and Russia. Russia is a big, powerful, rich country - rich both in natural resources and highly-qualified people. It does not need to join the EU nor does the EU need Russia as a member (even though some people would like this to happen). I hope that both will cooperate better for the benefit of all involved.

    (...) ....Bulgarian retirees get bills for electricity which are several times higher than their pensions. ...

    And how exactly is this the fault of the EU?

    You seem to think these countries were all thriving until some devious guys from the West talked them into joining this horrible club of neo-liberal crooks who seized the first chance they had to fill their pockets at the expense of the local people.

    Have you any idea how much money was poured into the economies of Bulgaria and Romania? It is not Brussel's fault if the money doesn't end up where it is supposed to. There is responsibility on the part of the individual member states as well. But as I said before, I think the accession of some countries came too early. If corruption is rampant, the money will only serve to make some people richer while others will suffer.

    The EU has gotten many things wrong but if it were the monster you describe it, people would not vote and take to the streets to join it.

    Some have regretted this decision, no doubt about it, but many of them, at least that's been my experience, prefer being a member of a union they joined voluntarily than going back to times when they were not given a choice and found themselves in a union nevertheless.
    February 2014
  • eugrus 17101 40961 3160
    > If their situation were that terrible here, they would not stay here and many of them do.

    I didn't mean they are treated badly. What I meant is there are no jobs for them back in Bolgaria/Romania.

    > And you think this - if it was really true - is exclusively due to the fact that the country joined the EU? No responsibility whatsoever on the part of the national political and social elites?

    It definitely is: going into a foolish treaty doesn't make one a good government. Having oligarchic elites and corrupted governments also makes it easy for foreign powers to influence one's inland policy.

    > The things you described, unemployment, impoverished people (especially in rural areas), an enormous gap between social groups etc. can obviously be found in Russia as well.

    They can be. What now helps greatly, however, is that there are no more oligarchic elites and though the government is quite corrupt there are some measures restraining it from moving its Mittelpunkt der Lebensinteresse to other countries. That is why it became more or less resistant to foreign pressure which would interfere into national economic interests.

    > Is the EU responsible for that too?

    So therefor by no means.

    (...) ....Bulgarian retirees get bills for electricity which are several times higher than their pensions. ...
    > And how exactly is this the fault of the EU?

    I've wrote you a story about the former Bulgarian electric stations and how Bulgaria gets its electric power now, and for what prices and why in my former post.
    The agreement with the EU stipulated industrial standards. But what it clearly meant for a country which was not gonna meet them is that certain industries should be slaughtered. It included any energy production as well.

    I didn't ever use the term "fault", aber wäre das ein deutsches Zivilvertrag, wäre es i.S.v. § 138 II BGB sittenwidrig und damit nichtig. Ist aber kein, instead it's an international treaty and bondager treaties simply happen in international politics for a wide range of reasons.

    > Have you any idea how much money was poured into the economies of Bulgaria and Romania?

    9,5 billion levs for Bulgaria if the estimation I found is correct. But the estimated Bulgarian payments to the EU and lost profits because of the obligations to the EU make 14,5 billion levs.
    I know you are good at Slavic languages and will probably understand this even better than I could: http://fakti.bg/mnenia/53682-zashto-da-izlezem-...

    > The EU has gotten many things wrong but if it were the monster you describe it

    I don't describe it as and I don't find it to be a monster. It's a great type of Union for equal partners. However it was more than once instrumentalised to do other things as well. For instance it was instrumentalised by the US to block Russian regain of influence in former Eastern Block countries. It worked quite effective and I know many would find it an important task, but when instrumentalising no one looked at the costs neither for old, nor for new EU members. Once it happened everyone who could profit from it naturally tried to do so. Now we naturally have what we have.
    I don't like some stories repeating themselves, however.

    p.s.
    The US is also not a monster: it's a nice country, but just sometimes quite successful at pursuing its national interests, though not necessarily looking at consequences.

    p.s.s.

    > It is not Brussel's fault if the money doesn't end up where it is supposed to.

    Hmm... I think local officials may have honestly thought that this what they were selling the country's economy for: this relationship is full of miscommunications ^_^
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    "For instance it was instrumentalised by the US to block Russian regain of influence in former Eastern Block countries"

    You are joking right? Have you visited these countries. Putin's politics is the surest guarantee that these countries want to get as far away from Russia as possible.
    February 2014
  • Tobinator 809 1417 1810
    This is actually an interesting topic to discuss as the Olympics are happening in Sochi, because you can make some interesting observations about how it's being portrayed in the media here in the U.S. To put things in perspective, instead of showing sporting events yesterday.. we showed Andy Griffith Show reruns for a few hours during the day....how many millions of dollars did you spend to get the rights to show the games, and then air reruns from a 50 year old show?

    You can't deny that there's something dodgy going on here....there's constant anti-Russian rhetoric on American media, not just about justifiable things like anti-gay laws, but it seems any tone about Russia has to be pejorative.

    To me this is a result of America's frustration at how little control they have in Western Europe, it all fits together this way.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    Which channel are you talking about? All of them? We get plenty of Olympic coverage here and most of the coverage on Sochi, including from US channels has been quite positive. The press has done their usual muck raking which is par for the course. The Guardian called Vancouver the words Olympics ever two days into the event back in 2010.

    There has been some coverage on corruption, the cost of the Olympics, and some of the arbitrary nature of the regime such as a three year jail sentence for an environmentalist who spray painted the fence surrounding some illegal mansion built on national park land. But on balance lots of oohing and aahing about the venue, the scenery with vignettes about some of the Russian athletes.

    Are you suggesting that the person who wrote the following article for the National Post in Canada was influenced by "America's frustration at how little control they have in Western Europe, it all fits together this way." I would imagine that similar articles are being written in Western Europe. These articles may be inaccurate or unfair, but journalists should be allowed to do their jobs.

    http://www.canada.com/olympics/columns/arthur-c...

    I really don's see a problem. You want someone telling the TV stations what to broadcast? You think Sochi is associated with Western Europe in some way? I am not in the US and don't watch a lot of TV but really don't get what you are driving at.
    February 2014
  • Prinz_Skogsvin 6511 13 2004
    I agree with will_tobin1. Certainly I think there has been a subtle anti-Russian tone to the coverage of Sochi by the BBC. It's there right enough, but (like all tendentious propaganda) it's quite hard to put your finger on it exactly; would the snickering about one of the rings at the opening ceremony not opening have been quite so loud if this event had taken place elsewhere, for example??

    @Steve: "...I really don's see a problem. You want someone telling the TV stations what to broadcast?..."

    If it's a private station which people can choose to subscribe to, then no.

    But the BBC over here is publicly funded through a compulsory license fee - that's why it makes my teeth grate to see how they are allowed to push their own poisonous agenda the whole time (pro-euthanasia, pro-EU, anti-Christian, anti-family, anti-Putin, anti-Israel, etc...)
    February 2014
  • Jorgis 77 6044
    Romania and Bulgaria have at least gotten rid of their 'Roma problem' thanks to the EU. They should pay us a lot for that! ^^

    Croatia and Serbia will send us their mafia and their ak-47s. That's what we call free trade...
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    Jay, journalists snicker. They did the same in Vancouver's Olympics, as I pointed out. In Canada the public broadcaster, CBC, has the same biases as the BBC. It also has 10% of the audience and most people I know don't trust its reporting. Many would like it shut down.Everyone has a bias. That is why it is good to have as many news sources as possible.
    February 2014
  • MADARA 3590
    @Jorgis: Believe me we haven't gotten ridden of that problem . Maybe the only way to resolve that issue is to somehow try to create some special funds for troubled minorities and to help them get decent jobs, put their children in schools etc..
    We should also make propaganda so as to encourage people to treat them as humanly as possible .
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad eugrus: First of all, though we obviously disagree on quite a few issues I really appreciate that you are trying to make your point in a level-headed way and without resorting to foul language (the last couple of threads I read here almost made me fear that we'd see another discussion where personal attacks and insults get center stage).

    I'll have a closer look at the link you posted tomorrow.

    Generally, I'd say I'm not nearly as anti-EU as Jay (which does not mean that I don't respect his opinion on the EU) but not a fully fledged supporter either. I grew up at a time when Austria was not yet a member of the EU and I see how our country has changed. In many ways for the better in some ways for the worse (and I'm aware that labels such as "better" and "worse" are mostly very subjective).

    Some of these changes are due to the fact that we are a member of the EU, others probably have been caused by different circumstances.

    As to the question whether a country benefited from its accession to the EU or not, I think we all need much more detailed data to answer that question somewhat conclusively (if that is at all possible from the outside). Austrians who are against the EU frequently argue that we are one of the so-called "net payers", meaning that we pay more to the EU than we get back as direct payments.

    This does not automatically mean, however, that we don't benefit from our membership financially. You also have to take into account factors such as the abolition of customs duties, access to larger markets etc.

    While I also think that there are way too many loopholes for large corporations taking advantage of a system that sometimes seems to favour capital over people (no, I'm not a communist and I enjoy living in a "capitalist" country, but I am very critical of policies that seem to exclusively center around the "shareholder value"; companies that actually make profit are closed down and thousands of people lose their job because it is "more profitable" for the shareholders etc.), many ordinary citizens have also benefited from the EU.

    I am convinced that the EU needs a complete and thorough overhaul of its institutions (especially the Commission) if it wants to survive.

    And it needs to listen more to the people living in Europe, that's why we need to strengthen the European Parliament.

    Austria has been a member of the EU since 1995. I voted in favour of an accession and I did so enthusiastically. A lot, really a lot, of this enthusiasm has gone. For it to come back, the EU would need to change in many respects. Despite a considerable degree of disillusionment, I would not say that the EU has only caused us trouble. And things do change. If these changes will be enough for people to regain trust (there is widespread scepticism in many EU member states), is something that the future will tell us.

    I still believe that the "European project" is an amazing enterprise, especially in the light of our history. But we need to turn "corporate Europe" into a Europe of the people. The biggest problem is the Commission. In German we say "Der Fisch beginnt am Kopf zu stinken" (a fish rots from the head down).

    If you look at the sheer number of lobby groups in Brussels sponsored by big corporations you get a feeling of what is going wrong.
    February 2014
  • lovelanguagesIII 40 2 137
    ad Jorgis: (...) ...Romania and Bulgaria have at least gotten rid of their 'Roma problem' thanks to the EU. (...)

    This is one of the topics where I regularly get mad at the decision-makers in Brussels. It is obvious that Roma are treated like second-class citizens (and in many cases even that is probably already an understatement) in Romania and Bulgaria. Entire villages are without water, electricity, their children are not sent to school, they are regularly subjected to verbal and physical attacks etc.

    This is not to say that the Roma (and Sinti) are not to blame for some of the things going wrong. But it appears as if a fair amount of people in Romania and Bulgaria think that the "freedom of movement" will "solve the problem". Why should they start treating Roma and other minorities respectfully and award them the same rights if "these minorities can just leave if they don't like it"? Let others take care of them seems to be the motto.

    If you make life for people as unbearable as possible and if they have a chance to leave the country, they will. I don't know if the people in Brussels are just too stupid to understand this "logic" or if they are even part of it. If Bulgaria and Romania fail to observe budgetary directives, Brussels will immediately institute proceedings against them. I have yet to see Brussels take a similar initiative when human rights are violated on such a big scale.....
    February 2014
  • Tobinator 809 1417 1810
    Olympic coverage in the U.S. is pretty much confined to one channel, NBC, sometimes it's shown on MSNBC and CNBC (who are NBC affiliates), but it's really only NBC. It should be mentioned that they spent 4.38 billion dollars (4.8 billion CAD, 2.6 billion GBP) to secure rights to the games through 2020.

    I think how Canadian and British outlets publish these things about gay rights and journalist prosecutions and etc. is similar to what happens here, but I think, as Steve said, they can basically be taken as a bitter pill or seen as justified. But I really don't think it's the same situation here: like easyrider said, it's pretty hard to pinpoint examples of cases where the U.S. openly puts out propaganda about Russia, but there's a constant subtle undertone, which is probably more effective anyway. There sure are a lot of embarrassing pictures of world leaders, but whenever they talk about Putin they show one of those embarrassing pictures of him slouching next to President Obama or something. This is probably as blatant of an example as you'll find.

    This is a theme for pretty much anywhere but even still, everything on the news is always so irrelevant!! Why not talk about Russia's growing economy and how it's finally starting to emerge from the shadows of the Iron Block? The importance of the BRIC's in the next century? Why do 74% of Russians believe homosexuality is unacceptable, a reverse trend from 60% who said the same thing in 2002? How can the U.S. improve relations and still maintain our values? Sure, let the journalists complain about their double-toilets, but don't let it dominate the rhetoric.

    It seems that Canadian outlets have a more progressive undertone, like the one in the article.
    February 2014
  • eugrus 17101 40961 3160
    @lovelanguagesIII

    Bulgaria is probably one of the worst samples of EU-integration "successes". Though there were many other successes - those without inverted commas. Even I, though not from an EU-member country, have great personal reasons to be thankful to the Union and above all one of its countries.

    However why I wanted to stick to this sample and especially the industrial side of it is that the starting points on the East-South of the Ukraine are somewhat similar to what they were in the North of Bolgaria before the integration started. The association agreement is not such a win-win for the Ukraine as it's sometimes presented.

    As Steve fairly noted it's not for me to decide for the Ukraine, but as I pointed out earlier there are also other actors who have even lesser rights to involve - those we could hear on the tape - I find the f-word to be the least outrageous part of this tape.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    will, I can't really comment since I do not watch a lot of TV. However, if NBC spent 4 billion dollars for the rights to the Sochi Olympics, I would tend to doubt that they do a lot bad mouthing of the Olympics. It just wouldn't make sense.

    The Olympics is a time when double toilets, murky water and athletes exploits dominate. I am sure there is lots of serious coverage of the difficulties of the US-Russia relationship at other times.
    February 2014
  • Administrator
    steve 7243 161 55542
    I think that what sticks in the craw of Russians, and messes up relations, with Russia and other countries, is the American self-perception that they are some kind of special place, a "unique force for good in the world" was the way I remember Hilary Clinton describing it at a Democratic convention, a place with a lot of wisdom to share on any problem. In fact, it is just another country, among many. Bigger than most, richer than most, but with no special wisdom, and that includes the famous US universities, which really provide no better education than hundreds of other institutions, since education is up to the learner, not the buildings where the classes are held.

    That is what makes Ms. Nuland's pretentious comments about the EU and the Ukraine so irksome.

    The US is just another country pursuing policies that strive to protect and further what it perceives as its interests, whatever high flying verbiage is used to cloak these policies.

    Many countries think they are unique, their culture unique, their morality unique, their spirit unique. In fact they are unique only the sense that all are unique, in other words not very unique at all.
    February 2014