Vain person asks about higher education valuability.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sergio Morozov, Nov 25, 2011.

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  1. erkper

    erkper Bugbear Monk Supporter

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    Because, you know, the Germans weren't on the offensive in Russia until 1943 or anything... Didn't we already go over this?

    First I have ever heard of the Japanese initiating peace talks, conditional or other. But assuming for a minute that it might even be true, you lose all credibility with your next statement. Exactly how courageous was the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor? Exactly how courageous was the Bataan Death March? Exactly how courageous was the use of prison ships loaded with American and allied POWs as screening vessels in an attempt to prevent US submarines from torpedoing Japanese carriers and battleships?

    You do not care about how the Afghan women and children were treated... until the US showed up. Nice, good to see you have some objectivity. For the record, the US was quite content to allow the Taliban to murder their own people... until they allowed Al-Qaida to set up in their country and became a threat. It was exactly for reasons of (US) sovereignty and (US) security that we went it. And yeah, if Hitler had invaded a Jewish homeland after Jewish terrorists had blown up thousands of innocents in Berlin, that might have been somehow more acceptable. But he didn't - he simply gathered and murdered millions of them from all over Europe without provocation of any kind. If that is not the definition of evil, then what is?

    I'm done with this, have your last word if you wish.
     
  2. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Rocktoy, I need you to leave off with any further derogatory racial terms. "Jap," for instance, while seemingly very similar to the word "Japanese," is considered a derogatory term for Japanese. We don't want to inhibit discussion, but allowing the continued use of potentially offensive terms like that indicates our tacit endorsement of it, so you will have to stop.

    I understand that you may have cultural reasons or differences for not necessarily understanding the potential offensiveness to others of some of the terms you use, so what you will have to do in the future is employ your own filter across the board. Basically, whenever it enters your mind to label something or refer to an ethnic group or citizens of a country in generalities, you will have to refrain from doing that. e.g., you'll just have to settle for "Japanese" instead of "Jap," and "Americans, the bastard sons of Europe" will have to be left at "Americans" or "Americans, who do not have their roots in European soil." (Bastard is an insulting term.)

    Sorry, this is just the way it has to be.
     
  3. Rocktoy

    Rocktoy Established Member

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    Totally correct. Objectivity in its purest form is not achievable, but that does not make it any less worthy to thrive for. History will always be a collection of different opinions, those who come after us will have the advantage to combine many opinions of our time and mayhaps find some truth between the lines. But still their picture of the past will be a combination of their inherited attitudes and their interpretations of the past, just like ours is.

    A lesson I have clearly not learned. Then again it is sometimes rather difficult to predict whether one will or will not been seen in negative light, especially when one is communicating in a foreign language in a foreign cultural sphere. Not to mention those times when one is adamantly sure that one’s own opinion is the right one and all others are wrong. Truly, it never hurts to take a look on both sides of the coin.

    Thank you. Could not agree more.
    Ahem. No. Because according to any history book know to man, including Wikipedia, Finland and the Reich (and Romania and Slovakia) launched the operation Barbarossa, a wide full front blitzkrieg against the Soviets on 22 June 1941. (Reference ISBN 951-0-09749-7, History of the European Nations, by Carl Grimberg, part 21 page 372.)


    I read about the Japanese peace talks from a study from Cambridge University, UK. To me, it seems they have no agenda or reason to lie. On the other hand, it only serves the US agenda to deny any such talks; the nuking could lose its legitimacy. And no-one wants to be seen as a war criminal by one’s own citizens.

    What comes to the notion of Japanese courage and the path of the sword (bushido) you cannot judge it by the standards of European courage; chivalry. Both are warrior codes that emphases personal courage and fair fight between equals. The Japanese did not initially recognize the westerners as their equals but lesser than slaves. Honor needs to be earned in Japanese culture, just as in ours. The Samurai would never be captured alive, thus the western notion of “no shame to lose for a worthy opponent” was unknown to them. The captured Samurai would commit seppuku or would be granted the honorable assistance in doing so, by their opponents. In that sense, the Japanese treated the western POW’s far better (in our standards) than any other of their victims. And such notion of courage is not alien to the westerns neither; the Knight Templar had the same. The paragons of the paladins. It took time for the Samurai to see the westerners as worthy opponents, and that time was enough for the westerners to be blinded by the Nemesis.



    Exactly. The US cared even less about the Afghan women and children than I did. They only used their plight to legitimize their current actions, and that is hypocrisy. What comes to Hitler (according to his Mein Kamph), even when there was no Israel yet, he recognized the threat that the Zionist conspiracy posed and decided to take on a “preventive action”. A misdeed younger generations should have learned from. But then again, only the wise learn from the mistakes of the others, while the ignorant won’t learn even from their own mistakes.

    I never intended to quarrel with you or upset you. On the contrary I do enjoy a good debate which follows the rules of the engagement. For this I would like t thank you and offer my apologies for any unintended insults. It is always beneficial to learn the other side of the coin. Should you find it appropriate, there is one final question I would like to hear you answer: did you understand what I meant when I said America is a bastard nation (no offence intended) and thus America is free? And do you agree?

    I get your point, even though the US notion of political correctness is an alien notion to me. I did realize that the term “bastard” was ambiguous, but I thought that in the context I used it, I made my point understandable. On the other hand I thought that the term “Jap” was just a short from “Japanese”. I may not be every time be able to tell apart which term is derogatory and which is not, but I will do my best. In the meanwhile some benefit of the doubt would be nice.
     
  4. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    I am giving you the benefit of the doubt as far as your intentions go Rocktoy, but your words, when taken literally, say something different. Being as most people will take what you say literally since we're just reading text on a screen, I can't give you anymore wiggle room on that.
     
  5. erkper

    erkper Bugbear Monk Supporter

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    Once more into the breach... I'll answer your question and make a final comment, then I promise I am done. (<-- sarcasm directed at myself, btw.)


    My statement was not clear. I meant the Nazis were on the offensive in Russia from the launch of Operation Barbarossa until mid-1943, which was long after the US had entered the war - thus disputing your claim the US didn't enter the war until after it was already decided.


    Whatever. The Japanese treated Allied POWs brutally in violation of the Geneva Convention clear to the end of the war. Regardless of cultural standards, violating accepted standards of behavior, combined with total Allies superiority by mid-1944, leaves them in a poor position to attempt a conditional surrender. Besides, surely the code of Bushido as you just described it leaves no room for a conditional surrender anyways, does it?

    Haha, you show me where I claimed the US invaded Afghanistan to help the Afghan women and children. Helping them was simply a byproduct of removal of the Taliban and the Al-Queda training camps, and it nicely contradicted your claim of their suffering under US occupation.

    As to the "Zionist conspiracy," show me some evidence (other than the ramblings of Adolf Hitler) that it did/does exist. Then explain to me how a rational (and non-evil) person could then come to the conclusion that exterminating 6 million human beings - many of whom were not Jews at all, but simply other groups or individuals who crossed the Nazi agenda - is an appropriate response.

    I understand your point I suppose, though I fail to see how it could be stated as written without insult intended. I would agree somewhat that the US is more "free" to act as it chooses than most European nations, but I would argue it is more a byproduct of American individualism. If European governments are too spineless to ignore historical ties that no longer apply or when circumstances demand, then they must face the consequences of their lack of foresight and courage to do the right thing. Is this attitude symptomatic with US arrogance? Probably - but true nonetheless.

    [edit] -

    An interesting statement to be used as the signature of one who denies the existence of good in war or evil in history.
     
  6. Rocktoy

    Rocktoy Established Member

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    Hehe. Isn’t that one of the voices from the Baldur’s Gate? : )

    I’ll be as brief as I can and you are always welcomed to comment anyway, should you see it fit.


    Hmm. I am not sure if the imperial Japanese government had ever joined in the Geneva treaties before the WWII. There are four different Geneva treaties and most of the 194 countries that have ratified the treaties (in whole or partially, like US) did so after the WWII.

    (according to the wiki.answers.com: “There has been lots of debate upon this one, but to fully understand this issue, you must understand Bushido, the warrior's code. This is the idea that the Japanese lived by. Fair and humane treatment of prisoners does not reconcile with Bushido. According to Bushido, you are a warrior and it is not only your right, but your duty to die for the Emperor. You never surrender. So when Allied troops surrendered, this went against everything the Japanese believed in. That is part of the reason they treated the POWs the way they did, they felt nothing but contempt for them, because they surrendered. Also, Japan never signed any agreement to abide by the terms of the Geneva Convention, which also included rules about the treatment of civilians as well as POWs”)

    Then again US has little moral high ground to condemn others for their vague interpretation of the GC treaties, since they themselves have an ongoing concentration camp in Gitmo and they refuse to recognize the POW status of their prisoners (enemy combatants) taken during their contemporary wars. Although, such actions by the US are equally justifiable as those taken by the Imperial Japan: both of the nations have/had ratified only a part of the GC treaties and not the whole thing. The pagan Wicca’s says “do what thou wilts, as long thou harm none” and the Satanist according to Anton la Vey say: do what thou wilts, shall be the whole of the law”. Take your pick.


    Come to think of it: touché. According to Akira Kurosawa the “hundred million” were already prepared to “die in honor” so any attempt to land on and occupy Nippon soil would have caused casualty rates on both sides beyond comprehension. In that sense the nuking of thousands of lives may have spared other thousands from falling on the fields of war. Even if the Nippon ultimately failed to follow the path of the sword (bushido), the US equally failed to follow its European ancestor’s path of chivalry (“no shame to lose for a worthy opponent” since “the righteous victor shall always show mercy to the worthy”). In that sense the US only continued its merciless and brutal doctrine towards its enemies presented ever since the annihilation of the indigenous peoples of the continent.



    Well, I interpreted the following insinuated towards that one of the reasons that “legitimize” US actions in Afghanistan was the plight of women and children:

    but the English is not my mother tongue so misunderstanding is a possibility.



    I did not (or at least meant to) say that a “Zionist conspiracy” existed, only that Hitler (and surprisingly many others in Europe) believed in its existence to the point they saw a need for “a preemptive strike”. Just like the Bush Jr. regime were adamantly sure that Saddam had “weapons of mass destruction” and as current Israeli government is sure that Iran is building a nuke. Hearsay resulting war.

    When did exactly the extermination of the American indigenous peoples ended? (Honestly, I do not know). Half a century before WW, or later? You are aware that Hitler did not originate the idea of concentration camps, but his examples for those were the “reservations”. Just like he thought that the prime example of the superiority of the “white race (can I use the word “Aryan” in this context?)” and the right for the “lebensraum” was shown by the US expansion to the west in the expense of the indigenous peoples (according to the Mein Kampf. Before you label me “Nazi”, I have also read the “Das Kapital” and the “Communist manifesto”).

    I kinda like the alignment system in D&D. There is not just evil and good, but also the axel of neutrality. In your words: being “non-evil” does not automatically translate as “good”. I guess I am somewhat close to Chaotic Neutral. Whilst I am aware of the excess one can do on one side or the other, I thrive not to take sides, though in the meanwhile I am constantly following my own whim and not the rules of others. (Those with a deeper understanding of the PnP rules, please correct me if my interpretation is wrong!)



    I am aware that my ill-advised usage of the word ameribeeb has casted regrettable shadow on me, and duly so. But I hope you can understand me when I proudly proclaim that beside my native tongues, I do speak fluent bastard (hybrid?) English. I think I am quite fluent with the syntax at least, but the vocabulary and vernacular I use is a (bastard) combination I have picked up while residing Eire, UK and US during a time span of a decade, or learned from the movies/tv-shows. I have no formal education in English and certainly not in political correctness/sensitivity.

    I could proudly and historically correctly proclaim that the American notion of “individualism” was just one of the many notions Révolution française gave birth to. Even pointing out that the US founding fathers copied their draft of the US constitution from the révolutionnaire, but to invoke that today is just arrogance. The French, the UK, the Spain, etc. are empires of the past, still they rather cling on their past glory and past feuds than embrace reality. At least in their own sandbox they still can act like rulers of the globe. Arrogance worse than the one of the US, the latter at least has the muscle and will to show its strength. Sad thing being, that as united we could be a strong power to be recognized, but unlike those from the land of the free, we have chosen to live in past, instead of the future. Envy in my words.



    It is an almost correct quotation from the ToEE manual, to be correct. Ever since I read the book Schindler’s list (US (English) translation: Schindler's Ark ISBN 0340278382) I have been infatuated by that incarnated example of human dualism. Two men with German decent and fairly similar background end up in so opposite situations in the insanity of war:
    Amon Goeth drinks his morning cup of coffee while he snipes random Jews (derogatory? but I know no other word) from his balcony as the commandant of Plaszów's concentration camp and dies hanged by the Allies still whispering as his last words: “Heil Hitler”. Oscar Schindler on the other hand, regardless of his lack of common decency and lax sexual moral (so unlike for a typical hero) he was willing to jeopardize everything he had (and as a wealthy industrialist he had plenty), including his very life to save as many Jews as he could. And he did well. After the war he became a pariah, shunned by all except the Jews. Today he rests in Tel-Aviv, in the grove of the righteous. According to Talmud/Torah there are only seven righteous gentiles, Oscar is considered as one of them by the contemporary.

    You might judge Oscar to be the “good” and Amon to be the “evil” and rightfully so, but only because Amon’s side lost. Should it have been his side that won we would consider Oscar as the traitor. I see them as an example of the both sides of the coin. No matter from which side you gaze the coin, there is always the equal but opposite on the other side, the dualism of human existence. Which side is “good” and which side is “evil” is a matter of perspective. Even if the notions of “evil” and “good” are matters of perspective, the truly mesmerizing fact is that the potential for equal depth for both sides are embedded in our blood, ever since the first apple. The magnitude of a human possibility for any achievement one wills for is beyond comprehension. Hence the signature.


    Fair enough. And I appreciate the leeway you have given me so far. I admit that I have used controversial words in the past which derogatoriness I cannot blame on cultural differences, only ill-advised intent. All I hope is that I will not be stigmatized by my past indiscretions. For my defense I have to say that the term “bastard nation” was not of my invention, I copied from an Overkill song (an American band). My goddaughter (niece) and my nephew are both bastards (born outside the wedlock?), a common word to refer on ambiguous heritage? What comes to the Japs, I honestly thought that it was similar short form as the Finns are from the Finnish. I can know only so much.
     
  7. erkper

    erkper Bugbear Monk Supporter

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    Actually it's Shakespeare, from Henry VIII I believe. But when I write or read that, I always think of one Walter Slovotzky in the Joel Rosenburg novel "The Warrior Lives."

    OK, there's so many things wrong with these statements that I am going to point them out in many different ways. Bear with me.

    First of all, are we really going to go into the whole "unrelated third-party prior bad acts justify anything" defense? I really doubt Hitler modeled Auschwitz after anything, and even if the US treatment of the indiginous Native Americans was terribly, terribly wrong (it was, but that is irrelevant,) it in no way justifies the way the Nazis exterminated millions of Jews, Gypsies, Poles, homosexuals, pacifists, and anyone else they didn't like. Certainly it is rediculous to justify millions of murders with the detainment of a few hundred or a thousand 60 years later.

    Seriously, would you allow your kids to use that defense? "Well, Joey used drugs so I should be allowed to beat up Sally." Does that really work for you?

    Or, to put it another way, would it be acceptable for someone to walk into a child daycare center in Helsinki and start shooting, since someone did something similar in Sweden?

    If you want to talk about US treatment of detainees in Gitmo - which may or may not be legal under international law since AFAIK no international court has ruled it illegal - or the historical US treatment of Native Americans - which surely was not legally, ethically or morally acceptable - that is fine, you may be suprised at how little we disagree on the subjects. But those subjects have nothing to do with the topics at hand. I have never used some supposed American moral superiority, current or historical, to condemn Nazi Germany and it's allies in World War II. In my opinion, every action needs to be judged on it's own merits. The US had, and has, skeletons in it's closet - things I and most Americans are not proud of. Irrelevant. The Holocaust was wrong, was evil, because it is an evil act to murder millions of people. Period. Nothing that has ever happened in history, before or after WW II, can justify that.

    Um, no. I judge Oscar to be the "good" and Amon to be the "evil" because murder is evil and saving the innocent is good. If the Allies had lost WWII we would indeed probably be taught Oscar was a traitor but that would not change the fact that he was a good man and Amon was evil.

    (And just in case anyone is wondering, no I am not, nor is any of my family, Jewish.)

    Now, on to other things:

    Oh no you don't. YOU brought the Afghan women and children into this debate, falsely stating they are suffering due to US occupation of their country. I never made any claim whatsoever that the US went into that country for any reason other than to put an end to the training of international terrorists there. We didn't go in to help them, but our being there HAS helped them. Consider it a bonus.

    You mean the French Revolution that started 8 years after the American Revolution ended? That Révolution française? Silly me, I kinda thought the colonies had already expressed some individualism by then.
     
  8. Rocktoy

    Rocktoy Established Member

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    Have to admit, I have never read more that few pages of Shakespeare. Old English is hard to read and translations are always a bit crappy. Warrior Lives rings no bells either. Could still swear that it is one of the male voices in BG or BG2.



    No, that was not my intention. I guess I made my point rather poorly here. What I meant to say was that I see no difference between the genocide of the natives by the Americans and the holocaust committed by the Reich. I never meant to justify either one, and I do not think either of them CAN be justified. Both were atrocities beyond any notion of human decency and both happened almost during a lifespan of single (and same) generation. The genocide of the natives in America begun centuries ago, but since the massacre at the Wounded Knee was in 1890 and the holocaust ended in 1945; a generation born between the years 1870 – 1880 would have witnessed the worst of both.

    My point being: if I understood your logic correctly the Reich was an “evil empire” because of its genocidal actions during the Holocaust? Given that, doesn’t the similarly gruesome genocide committed by the Americans grant them equal status of an “evil empire”?

    Even if the (and I do believe they were) expansion to the west and the reservations were an inspiration to Hitler, I never (meant to) say that they were a justification.

    (On the other hand what comes to the justification I see the Nuremberg trials hypocritical. As a grunt I sympathize with the lowly guards, their defense: “I only did what I was ordered to do” should have been accepted. We grunts have only one choice; either we follow our orders or face the court-martial and execution squad. The officers and the generals are the ones with the choices and they should be the ones who bear the responsibility.)

    See the above.

    Actually I live in Joensuu (“Riwermouth” in English) but it does not matter. Atrocities, crimes against humanity, are never justifiable NO matter WHICH side commits them.

    Great maker!! I can see a possibility for us to agree. Still some comments are necessary, bear with me:

    Firstly: Yes, the legality of the Gitmo has never been tested in any international court, because it cannot. The US never ratified the GC in full, but with reservations (just like the jap aneese). Most important being; the US will never (again) hand over any portion of its sovereignty to anyone (king) or anything (UN or international court etc. [I think that is written in the constitution?]). The US nor any of its citizens cannot be prosecuted in any international court simply because the US is not a member of any such court nor will it allow any of its citizens be prosecuted in one. Unlike the despots of Congo, Sudan, etc. the US has the muscle to stop anyone willing to try (Bush jr. and Blair are indicted for war crimes in Spain but fat chance either of them will ever show up in court) haul some US into any such court.

    Secondly: The US did treat its indigenous peoples horribly, but that disgrace is not US alone. We treated our indigenous Sami with equal shame, as did our neighbors the Swedes, the Norse and the Danes (with the Inuitti), not to mention the atrocities committed by the Old Empires. None of our closets are skeletonfree, thus we should be very careful before passing judgment.

    Thirdly: Should one judge actions by its merits (consequences?), one is obliged to forsake any notion of evil or good deed. Since one cannot foresee the actual outcome of one’s action, but one must just trust that the outcome will be as wanted, the action itself cannot be good nor evil, but just a means to an end. If lady luck does not smile and the deed fails, it was an evil act. If Fortuna smiled and the act succeeded, the act was good. This leaves no room for motive or true alignment, only blind luck (or faith). Comments?


    Given that I still think that the “goodness” or “evilness” of these two IS a matter of perspective, personally I would like to pilgrim to Tel Aviv and place a rock on the Domen (tomb stone) of one Oscar, as Jewish tradition dictates. (Alas, there is little hope for me ever getting a visa to the Holyland, I have been told that the Isrealites do not treat kindly those from the non-allies who have traveled in the Muslim lands). An homage to a great man. Few will ever have such courage, too many will pass in to the shadows newer knowing his name. Amon will always be remembered by his foul actions, if Onnetar smiles Oscar’s heritage will outlive Amon’s.

    And according to my physiological anthropology professor (and the doctors who studied my blood while I suffered the meningitis) I have the looks and the genes of an “Aryan”. So what? I have blue eyes sensitive to light (but great night vision, though), yellow hair, fair skin that sunburns rather than tans and which is prone for melanoma, height over 6 feet and the knob at the base of my skull. Do these traits make me a less of a man? I hope not, though I know I am of a dying breed, all recessive genes.

    My bad. Should have read further backwards of my own posts. Have only so much time and so short attention span. On the record: the US with its collaborators was granted UN mandate to invade Afghanistan because the Taliban refused to give up Usama. Sadly retrieving Bin took more than a decade, especially since he was not residing there, too bad for the Afghans.



    I feel so ashamed now. I got laudatur (A ?) from the course about the Révolution française and the moment I posted that I felt something was wrong. Yes, the American Revolution was the inspiration for the French to start their own revolution, and not the contrary. As a historian I should have known better, but in my blind arrogance I chose to remember what I was thought in high school and what is constantly propagated in European media (“all the colonies have, they copied from us”) and not what I have read myself. My sincere apologies. That was too stupid for even me.

    On the other hand feel free to correct me, again: the liberal notions of the US constitution were a product of the long lasting effect of the Philosophers of the era of the Enlightenment in Europe? I know the names and teachings of a half a dozen European philosophers of the Enlightenment (my personal favorite being: Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria-Bonesana and his most important publication: Dei delitti e delle pene, anyone who is pro or anti death-penalty should read it, just for education and utter their opinion only afterwards) but I have never heard an American philosopher of the era. Is this because there were none, or because my teachers decided none were worth mention? Congratulations, you have made me to question my professors, again. A long lost gift. The university truly dulls one’s mind.

    BTW. D-day was in 6th. June 1944. Kursk was lost in 22nd July 1943 and Stalingrad surrendered in 31st January 1943. In that respect western allies entered the European front of the War when the tide was already shifted, they rode the wave of others success.
     
  9. Cujo

    Cujo Mad Hatter Veteran

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    Shakespeare isn't old English, it is infact modern English. Shakespeare is considered the father of modern English. People stopped speaking Old English amost 1000 years ago, for real Old English try Beowulf...
     
  10. erkper

    erkper Bugbear Monk Supporter

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    I think you may be right about that phrase being used as a soundbite in one of the Black Isle games. But they lifted it from the Bard. The Warrior Lives is the 5th novel of Joel Rosenburg's "Guardians of the Flame" series, which is not very well known but one of my personal favorites.

    I would concede the US treatment of the Native Americans was genocidal, horrific, and unacceptable by any modern standard. However, I do not understand how that relates to, or disallows criticism of, Nazi Germany's vicious behavior. In my mind, they are seperate issues, yet you constantly link them, and the only reason I could see to do so was justification. If this was not your intent then I apologize.

    I can somewhat agree with that, but I can also understand the point that most of the guards who were tried at Nuremberg were not simply "following orders" but voluntarily and enthusiastically went above and beyond their orders to perpetrate horrific deeds. At least, that is how they were perceived at the time.

    Show me where the US has ever ignored a finding of the World Court in the Hague. US citizens are prosecuted in non-US courts all over the world, I am not sure where you get the impression the US does not allow it. I do not know what court in Spain you refer to, and I am unaware of any Spanish court with international authority.

    Are you actually saying no German citizen could have possibly forseen that the world would react with horror to learn of the murder of 6 million human beings?

    Or does that mean that anything is acceptable as long as one can rationalize a favorable outcome? Drunk drivers all over the United States will breathe a sigh of relief knowing they only have to say "Well I never forsaw that I would kill a whole family on my way home from the bar," and then be held blameless.

    And no, an action's merits are wholly independent of it's consequences. If I kill a man in such a way as it can never be traced back to me, it is still just as evil an act as if I am caught and convicted in a court of law.

    This is probably the crux of my disagreement with you. I do not, can not, will not define right and wrong based on who was stronger. If the Axis powers had won the war, we would probably be taught today that Amon was a hero, but random murder does not a hero make. Likewise, Oscar would have been either forgotten or taught as a traitor and weak, twisted man, but that would not have made his actions any less heroic. For what it is worth, I feel the same about your own Marshal Mannerheim - as a hero who fought valiantly to defend his country from invaders. By all rights, modern "perspective" should say he fought for the losing side of the war, allied with the Nazis, so he must have been an evil man, correct? I do not believe it to be so, and (other than in Russia) I doubt many others feel that way either.

    Blond hair (well, it used to be blond) and blue eyes make me a suitable candidate for Hitler's master race as well. (Ironically, Hitler would have been an outcast in his own perfect society.) I only meant that I do not hammer on the Holocaust because of a Jewish heritage, but simply as it was an affront to all of mankind.

    Obviously the US Constitution was heavily influenced by what went before it, as with almost any work of man. The framers of the Constitution drew heavily on the works of their European forefathers, and took those ideas to new levels. If pressed I would list the chief work they drew upon as the Magna Carta, but I am woefully ignorant of non-English historical political writings and I defer to your knowledge of that issue.

    However, early American philosophers who heavily influenced the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and Bill of Rights would include John Adams, Thomas Payne, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. Ben Franklin in particular served as US ambassador to France in the late 1700s and was as influencial to the French post-Revolutionary government structure as any European was to ours.

    D-Day was June 6, 1944, but that was hardly the beginning of the western allies' involvement in the war. To say so is to insult oneself. The British were in ground combat with Germany in Belgium, France, Norway, and North Africa from 1940-1943, joined by US forces in North Africa during Operation Torch on Nov 8 1942, ending in North Africa in July 1943 with the surrender of surviving Axis forces in Tunisia. Every hisorian I have ever read would consider North Africa part of the Western Theatre of the war. The US-British forces then began the liberation of Axis-controlled Europe with the invasion of Sicily on July 9 1943, and continued onto the European mainland with the invasion of Italy on September 3, 1943. When the Normandy invasion was launched, US, British, and other Allied forces had already been on the ground in Europe for 9 months. For that matter, the American 8th Air Force had been delivering devestating bombing raids on German soil (and suffering horrific casualties in the process) for 2 1/2 years before any Soviet forces touched the German homeland. Again and again you try to minimize the western allies' contribution to the war, and time after time you show your limited awareness of the WORLD war effort. Europe does not exist in a vaccuum, but apparently European history does.
     
  11. Rocktoy

    Rocktoy Established Member

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    I always thought that Beowulf was written in Anglo-Saxon and Shakespeare wrote in ye olden English?

    Must add that in my list to read.



    This is due to the bane of all historians: we cannot see isolated events, we see only events forming a chain of causality. So I see the holocaust only as a member of the chain of genocidal actions done by our culture. I refuse to give any special treatment to it; the holocaust was not the first nor even the worst of the recorded genocides.



    And who has painted that picture? Whose agenda that picture will serve? According to the Hollywood (friends, buffy, Simpsons, etc.) every fifth or so American is of Jewish heritage, surely that is not the truth? I believe most of the guards were young men with little or no choice, no matter how they are demonized in contemporary media.



    Which of the tortures of Abu Graib have been taken to answer before the international court of crime? Name one, please. Did the US honor the decision of the UN security council not to invade Iraq? I did not spoke of common criminals prosecuted in common courts, but of soldiers and politicians prosecuted for war-crimes/crimes against humanity.

    Under Spanyard law anyone can be prosecuted for any crime against humanity committed anywhere in any Spanish criminal court and a couple of years ago some activist indicted Bush the tard and Blair. It made huge headlines back here, I guess the Bush regime decided to issue an order of ignore, since you have not heard of it.



    No.

    That was what I understood you said.

    I guess I misunderstood the word merit.



    Oh you played the Mannerheim card (the one to end any and all conversations), but I think that was unintentional. You could and should not know. Anyways, I thank you for your kind words. The Marshal was and is our hero, his legacy revered by every generation. Never before or never again shall we have a Marshal, his Domen is a site of pilgrimage. Personally, ever since I can remember my family’s Christmas begun when we lit a candle on the great iron cross of the fallen faithful on christmass eve, another on the Domen of the Marshal and third on the Domen of my mother’s house. The Marshal, hail, hail, hail!



    Eyes, hair, yes but do you have the knob at the base of your skull, just where the spine joins the skull? I have been told that was most important feature; the smooth skull was a sign of the dumber lesser races, their brains were smaller. (How idiotic, the knob is near the brainstem, that area controls autonomic neural system, the cognitive skills rest in the cortex.) What about your height and bone structure, do you meet those “requirement” too? Just being curious, no offense intended.

    Anyways Hitler not being a “true Aryan” only fits the pattern: Megas Alexandros was not Greek, but Macedonian. Napoleon was not French but Corsican, Stalin was not Russian, but Grusian (Georgian) and according to Suetonius there is doubt of Caesar’s decent too. Yap, Hitler was not German either, he was Austrian. Just a curiosity, I guess.



    Nevertheless, the US constitution was the first application ever of the noble ideas born in Enlightenment. THAT is something you should be proud of. What we did with those noble thoughts? The revolutionaries of France utilized the great invention of guillotine to the excess until another French (Corsican) monarch claimed the throne, this time calling himself Emperor. And the rest of us? Yet again engulfed in another pointless circle of war. The US may be bastards, but I am convinced that was a blessing, not a curse.

    The Great Letter was only a treaty that John the Landless (? that is direct translation, have no idea if that is correct, I hate it, but our historians have the bad habit to translate moniker names) made with the nobles opposing him. To this day the UK has no written constitution. But the Letter holds one significant legacy: the notion of habeas corpus. “No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, or in any other way destroyed except by the lawful judgment of his peers”. A notion that the detainees in Gitmo have not been granted.

    Those names are somewhat familiar, but I can recall no philosophical publication from any of them. Where there any? Frankling is a familiar name, he had the kite and lightning didn’t he?




    This is utterly fruitless. You are adamantly sure that the western allies won the war and I am utterly sure that the Russians won. Can we find some middle ground here? Like saying that the western war effort was significant, but they won primarily in the colonies and the Russians were victors in the Eurasian front?
     
  12. Cujo

    Cujo Mad Hatter Veteran

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    @ erkper, I don't want this to come across as a pick on the usa, because I don't think any nation is guiltless but these issues are part of what is current discussion. To me it seems like one of the things rocktoy is saying is that given the history of both nazi germany and the usa untill mid last century, that if nazi germany is to be considered an evil empire then in all fairness then the usa should be counted with it, due to the treatment of the natives, its "Apartheid" policies before the civil rights movement and a number of American companies actually supported Nazi Germany up until 1941.

    In regards to the good vs evil thing, people tend to do what they think is the right thing to do. So if that happens to be throwing a bunch of natives of their land so you can make better use of it, or killing a whole lot of people to save your nation from their evil plot, or invading a forigen country before they can attack you, or driving a vehicle full of explosives into a government building, is it good or evil cos if you're right and there really is a plot or WMDs or whatever then you'd be doing your countrymen a big favour, but if you're just a paranoid wackjob then you've just caused 1000's on unnessary deaths and pissed off the people who cared about them.

    @ Rocktoy, Anglo-Saxon is Old English (Late West Saxon), and to a native speaker of modern english would be unintelligible, then that evoled into what is known as middle english, which is readable with a little effort but some words are ones I have no idea what they mean, and later shakespeare and early modern english.

    also, I remember that spanish case... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_Six
     
  13. Scryler

    Scryler Night's Wordsmith

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    Rocktoy said: "And according to my physiological anthropology professor (and the doctors who studied my blood while I suffered the meningitis) I have the looks and the genes of an “Aryan”. So what? I have blue eyes sensitive to light (but great night vision, though), yellow hair, fair skin that sunburns rather than tans and which is prone for melanoma, height over 6 feet and the knob at the base of my skull. Do these traits make me a less of a man? I hope not, though I know I am of a dying breed, all recessive genes."


    I was a towhead until puberty and kept my blond hair until around 16 or so. I have blue eyes and the 'knob.' Interesting.
     
  14. erkper

    erkper Bugbear Monk Supporter

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    I can accept all that. But it does not exclude the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities from judgement. Like I said, if we discussed other events you may find me much more agreeable to your point of view... but we weren't discussing the genocide of the Native Americans, or the Crusades, or whatever else.

    ...Which is why I ended my statement with "At least that is how they were perceived at the time."

    And for the record, according to US Census information, as of 2010 the Jewish population in the US comes to about 2.1% of the US total, a far cry from the way it (and all US minorities for that matter) are depicted by the "Politically Correct."

    The UN is not an international court, it specifically has no court authority and routinely defers to the World Court in the Hague. Which, as I said, I am unaware of any ruling by the World Court stating the treatment of prisoners at Abu Garib or Gitmo is in violation of international law. (Though I am tempted to agree as a matter of principal that it likely is.)

    Well good for Spain, I'm glad they've taken on the responsibility of dispensing worldwide justice. I guess that whole Inquisition thing didn't exclude them from passing judgement on others the way my country's faults seem to exclude Americans.

    When they present their case to the World Court the US will not have grounds to ignore them...

    Heehee, I actually had a pretty good idea exactly what I was doing by dragging the father of your country into this. Your point was that Oscar and Amon were judged by history due to the results of the conflict they were on opposite sides of. Under that condition, should not Marshal Mannerheim be judged as evil because his allies lost? And yet he is not, perhaps because like Oscar he fought for noble goals while Amon's actions were murderous and anything but noble.

    As I understand it, Austrians and Germans share the Aryan heritage, though since I found it so moronic I never really paid that much attention. And yes, my height is (barely) adequate, bone structure, and knob at the base all qualify me for Hitler's master race. In truth, on both sides of my family tree family geneologists have traced my lineage to what is now Germany back to the mid-1600s. (We think. One side of the family for sure, the other we traced to England in the late 1600s with indications they may have been a generation or two removed from Germany, but we could not find anything more conclusive.)

    I believe John the Landless is an accurate moniker. IIRC his goal was to force the monarchy to relinquish some of the rights previously only held by the landed gentry. It was important in that the crown acknowleged the basic human rights of all individuals, not only the nobility and landowners.

    LOL, yes Ben Franklin was renowned as a scientist and inventor as well (and probably more so in Europe) as a philosopher. He was truly a man of great and varied talents. If you wish to browse his writings, Yale University sponsors a very nice website:

    http://franklinpapers.org/franklin/

    In general, I tend to think of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence as the philisophical documents the Founding Fathers wrote, but if you want specific individuals' writings, check these sites:

    Thomas Jefferson

    Thomas Paine

    John Adams

    Of all of these, Thomas Paine's Common Sense is my personal favorite as it dealt with issues of the day and in plain language.

    How do you possibly come to the conclusion I deny the Russians their due? I repeatedly have stated that all the allies were necessary to achieve victory, while you consistantly claim the western allies only showed up after the Soviets did all the heavy lifting.

    I will say this about the various fronts: Hitler was an idiot. Common military strategy states only a fool fights on 2 fronts, and Hitler went out of his way to create exactly that situation. If he had finished England off in 1941 before launching Operation Barbarrosa, he would have had the resources available to take Moscow, Stalingrad, and the Russian industrial heartland east of the Urals before the Soviets could rebuild their shattered armies or move their industries eastward. Without a British staging ground, US forces would not have been able to enter the European front, and the several million more German and Italian troops he could have pulled from the western European and African regions would have given the Nazis the muscle they needed to finish Russia off once and for all. But Hitler in his arrogance - and against the advice of his generals - felt neither opponent was worthy of his undivided attention. In the end, this more than anything is probably why all of Europe is not a German Empire today.

    [Edit] -

    @ cujo - I get all that, I even mostly agree with all that, and I'd be interested in a debate on comparative topical morality regarding the Holocaust and the US westward expansion of the 1800's. But I don't see how American atrocities invalidate the opinion that Nazi Germany was, in fact, "bad." I'm pretty sure this whole thread derailed when Rocktoy made a comment about how "great" the Nazis were, and I objected. It doesn't really matter what skeletons are in the US closet, this isn't about the US.
     
  15. GuardianAngel82

    GuardianAngel82 Senior Member

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    I have (or had: the hair went red around puberty and now it's gone) all that too. But, to the best of my limited knowledge, the Aryan people NEVER looked like that. That is more descriptive of Northern Europeans, no matter what their previous descent was.
     
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