New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Shapley » Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:38 am

I'm sure neither Shap nor Haggis will be happy until the United States is the enemy of every other country on earth, and our entire budget is dedicated to defense.


I can't speak for Haggis. I don't want them as an enemy, and I don't think NZ, England, Canada, or many other nations are going to become our enemies anytime soon. Just because New Zealanders don't like our policies and think poorly of us doesn't mean we're going to war. Hell, we've belittled the French for as long as I can remember, but we haven't fought against them, except in the halls of the U.N., in my lifetime.

I don't want to upset them, but I don't want to sacrifice our security or our economy to appease them, either. If a little bitterness is the price for either, so be it. They'll trade with us, not because they like us but because trade is essential to both our economies. We don't have a military base in New Zealand, and probably don't want one. If that part of the world becomes volatile enough that New Zealand feels threatened, they'll probably welcome us in, whether they like us or not.

When the USS Carl Vinson made port visits to Australia, Japan, and Korea back in my Navy days, we were protested. Quite heavily in Korea, as a matter of fact, such that an entire army of police officers were required to protect the base. It is a fact of life that peaceniks can get quite violent in their opposition to war. Go figure. Nonetheless, we went ashore and shopped and ate and drank and danced, and were welcomed by the merchants and citizens who saw our trade as essential to their economy. I don't know if they liked us or not, but they welcomed us and were cordial to us and treated us well.

I would prefer that a larger percentage of our budget be dedicated to defense, because that is a legitimate responsibility of the Federal government. I do not want us to be at war with every nation on Earth, but I want us to be prepared for an attack from any of them. Things like education and health care, while vital, are not the responsibility of the Federal government, and we'd be better off if they would get their noses out of them.

If you are as pleased as you seem to be about upsetting a country as benign as New Zealand, what's next? California?


I'm not pleased about it, I'm merely not as upset about it as the author of the article apparently wants us to be. Nor do I blame President Bush for this approval. It would seem that much of this dislike seems to be long-standing. As I pointed out, and Dai confirms, the anti-nuclear movement of the 80s was both the cause and a symptom of some of this.

I think ultimately the animosity stems from the differences between a very liberal New Zealand government (liberal by our defintion, not by party designation), and a much more conservative American government. The liberal belief is that we have to bend and twist our policies and positions to become as enlightened as they are - we have to unilaterally abandon our nukes, we have to accept gun control, we have to acknowledge the authority of the United Nations, we have to come to grips with the need for universal health care and be willing to abandon our attachment to such outdated concepts as property rights and sovereignty. And, of course, we have to be willing to share our wealth with the rest of the world. We barbaric Americans aren't likely to become that enlightened in the near future, and everytime we commit the sin of enacting conservative policy, we anger those who deam themselves to be.

Barbarian that I am, I don't sweat it...

Oh, and California's been PO'd at the rest of us for as long as I can remember. :D

V/R
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Last edited by Shapley on Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby piqaboo » Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:10 pm

Shapley wrote:
I would prefer that a larger percentage of our budget be dedicated to defense, because that is a legitimate responsibility of the Federal government. Things like education and health care, while vital, are not the responsibility of the Federal government, and we'd be better off if they would get their noses out of them.


Perhaps it would help if you thought of vaccinations and education as part of the defense program. Given today's Hi-Tech military, it is important that recruits are educated. To become educated, they have to live a certain number of years. Childhood vaccines help achieve that goal. Without a healthy, literate population, we have no military and no defense.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Shapley » Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:25 pm

Perhaps it would help if you thought of vaccinations and education as part of the defense program. Given today's Hi-Tech military, it is important that recruits are educated. To become educated, they have to live a certain number of years. Childhood vaccines help achieve that goal. Without a healthy, literate population, we have no military and no defense.


You misundertand me. I'm all for education, but I don't think the Federal government should be administering it. Just because something is good, or even necessary, does not mean that Federal government needs to provide it. I think our education has suffered dramatically at the hands of the Federal government. I'm confident that health care will do likewise, as the government continues to increase it's involvement in it. How long has it been since President Johnson emplemented his plan to make health care affordable to all Americans? Has it worked?

I'm not even saying I'm opposed to government funding and/or operation of schools, just not Federal government funding and/or operation. There are things the Constitution says the Federal government should do - education isn't one of them.

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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:03 pm

Shapley wrote:

I think our education has suffered dramatically at the hands of the Federal government. I'm confident that health care will do likewise, as the government continues to increase it's involvement in it.



Socializing the risk and privatizing the profit sounds like a bad idea.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby BigJon@Work » Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:47 pm

Who said it has to be for-profit?
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:54 pm

Shapley wrote:... I think our education has suffered dramatically at the hands of the Federal government. I'm confident that health care will do likewise...


It depends on which "our" you are referring to. Is it the people like yourself, born of literate parents in a community that has a doctor and a hospital? Or did you think that everyone in the US has the same resources that you've always had?

Seriously. I'm not going to say that you're wrong; your son's education might be inferior to the education you got. But are you sure that's true for everyone's children?
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Shapley » Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:05 pm

It depends on which "our" you are referring to. Is it the people like yourself, born of literate parents in a community that has a doctor and a hospital? Or did you think that everyone in the US has the same resources that you've always had?

Seriously. I'm not going to say that you're wrong; your son's education might be inferior to the education you got. But are you sure that's true for everyone's children?


I don't think it's true for everyone, but I think it's true in general. We've closed the neighborhood schools in order to consolidate the children into the giant sports-complex-with-attached-classrooms that pass for shools these days. The largest and most expensive part of the school is they gymnasium. Now that they're consolidated, they also have track, football stadium (with lights), baseball diamond, and in some cases an indoor heated pool.

Every year we read article after article about how we're lagging behind other countries in reading, writing, mathematics, and science. Our schools have big, expensive signs proclaiming themselves the 'Home of the Tigers', the 'Home of the Bobcats', or the 'Home of the Eagles'. They never seem to be the 'Home of the Academics', the 'Home of the Mathematicians', or the 'Home of the Scientists'.

School shootings occur every year, because we've warehoused our kids, the good with the bad, where they are poorly supervised and poorly taught. After every shooting we learn that those who are supposed to be monitoring the children's behavior and shaping them into model citizens didn't have a clue that this child was a homicidal maniac hell-bent on vengeance against the bullying and the mistreatment that the administrators apparently weren't aware of. That was seldom a problem in the neighborhood schools, we knew who the bullies were and who the troublemakers were, because their were manageable numbers of children in the building, and the teachers knew them.

I send my son to private school, and will continue to do so as long as I am financially capable. I dislike the public schools in my area, which range for 'poor' to 'passable'. I say we should bulldoze them down and replace them with one- to eight-room schoolhouses serving the local area. They may not have a football team or a swim team, but they'll have an education.

V/R
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Oct 11, 2007 4:35 pm

barfle wrote:I'm sure neither Shap nor Haggis will be happy until the United States is the enemy of every other country on earth, and our entire budget is dedicated to defense.

If you are as pleased as you seem to be about upsetting a country as benign as New Zealand, what's next? California?


It seems to me that you used to be more reasoned in your comments than this although maybe I've misunderstood your comments.


I'm sure neither Shap nor Haggis will be happy until the United States is the enemy of every other country on earth


It just doesn't matter. Countries do things based solely on what their governments perceived to be in their self-interests. Period. No other reason.

If the whole world hates us or loves us, nothing changes.

If, however, they decide they are our "enemies" then they'ved decided that based on their self interest. Nothing we, or anyone else, can do to earn their "goodwill" so they become our friends.

I think its safe to say that Iran (or at least its theocratic government) has considered themselves to be our enemies since the late '70's. Fine. that's their decision based on their perceived best interest.

Global "Goodwill," diplomatic or otherwise, is a fiction invented primarily by opinion piece writers and in real life exists primarily in the minds of people who don't know better.

There is nothing any country can do that will ever change that. Country "X" won't change its policy towards the U.S. because we do something to earn their "goodwill." And there is nothing we can EVER do that will move country "X's" desire to do something for us contrary to their best interest.

What has China done to earn OUR "goodwill"? Do you care? Does it matter? Do you see any reports of the French or Germans worrying about how the rest of the world perceives them? How they can get the "goodwill" of Patagonia? Or maybe Brazil?

As for your comment about the defense budget I assume that you were being sarcastic and meant it as a rhetorical question so I don't think you expect a comment.

Though, if you have any examples you'd care to discuss I'd be more than happy to do so.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby dai bread » Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:14 pm

"We don't have a military base in New Zealand, and probably don't want one. If that part of the world becomes volatile enough that New Zealand feels threatened, they'll probably welcome us in, whether they like us or not."

Two points: (1) You do have an Air Force base here. It services the flights to Antarctica. Apart from the odd bit of picketing during the Vietnam period and one or two occasions since, it's unmolested and indeed is welcomed by the people of Christchurch as a valuable contribution to their economy.

(2) We (and the Australians) like to think that the U.S. would help us out if we ever got into military strife with, for instance, Indonesia. However, we are aware that the U.S. entered WW2 because it was attacked, and its interests became ours. If any future enemy leaves the U.S. alone, I for one am not confident of U.S. help. You're right about being welcome, though. Nuclear ships and all. In the event of serious trouble, the anti-nuclear legislation would be repealed by lunchtime.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Shapley » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:55 pm

Two points: (1) You do have an Air Force base here. It services the flights to Antarctica. Apart from the odd bit of picketing during the Vietnam period and one or two occasions since, it's unmolested and indeed is welcomed by the people of Christchurch as a valuable contribution to their economy.


Thanks for the clarification. I was not aware of that, although Haggis (having hung out with those Air Force guys) was probably aware of it.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:30 am

I never realized the USAF had a permanent presence there. Use to be that McChord AFB in Washington State would send a Tactical Airlift Command Element (TALCE) down to CC at the beginning of the season.
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Shapley » Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:34 am

From what I can find on the internet, it does not appear to be a permanent US facility, but a Royal New Zealand Air Force facility that is staffed by the USAF. Nonetheless, we do have a military presence in New Zealand, which is news to me...
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby dai bread » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:45 pm

I must admit I didn't check out the Christchurch base before I wrote about it. It's always referred to, at least outside Christchurch, as "the American base" or "the Deep Freeze base". It's at Harewood Airport, otherwise known as Christchurch International Airport, and appears to operate in close association with the RNZAF, which is not surprising. The RNZAF's base is at Wigram, on the outskirts of the city. Christchurch International has decent runways that can take big aircraft.

Since the USAF flies to Antarctica in winter, the base at Harewood will be permanently manned by USAF personnel.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123065970
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:02 am

dai bread wrote:I must admit I didn't check out the Christchurch base before I wrote about it. It's always referred to, at least outside Christchurch, as "the American base" or "the Deep Freeze base". It's at Harewood Airport, otherwise known as Christchurch International Airport, and appears to operate in close association with the RNZAF, which is not surprising. The RNZAF's base is at Wigram, on the outskirts of the city. Christchurch International has decent runways that can take big aircraft.

Since the USAF flies to Antarctica in winter, the base at Harewood will be permanently manned by USAF personnel.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123065970


Damn, why couldn't I ever get a posting like that? 28 yrs. and 7 mos. (who counted?) and I get Korea, somalia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, oh, and 6 1/2 years in England
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby BigJon@Work » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:42 pm

Could this be the reason? Is the U.S. just too puritanical for the NZ wimin'? :mrgreen:
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby barfle » Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:40 pm

Damn, why couldn't I get an assignment like that? :crazy:
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Re: New Zealand's anti-Americanism?

Postby dai bread » Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:54 pm

That's why, during WW2, there were events like the Battle of Manners Street (in Wellington). American troops were a big hit with NZ women. NZ men didn't like it.
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