How America might have avoided - part of - the current wave of Anti-Americanism?

This is how America handled a barbaric opponent over 200 years ago (my emphasis):

That’s how to win hearts and minds; be better than the evil you are fighting, not excuse your own descent into barbaric practices by saying “well they’re worse”.

Why does George Washington hate America?

He never used to. He’s just jumped on the bandwagon so the other countries think he’s cool.

When he’s alone in his bedroom, he still loves you.

Wait, so you’re telling me The Patriot was actually a good representation of British soldiers?

When I was a kid, I took a few karate lessons. The main thing that I got out of it was:

“We do not train to be merciful here. Mercy is for the weak. Here, in the streets, in competition. A man confronts you he is the enemy. An enemy deserves no mercy.”

It still seems pretty straightforward to me.

Wasn’t that the summer where that kid did this fancy pose and kicked you in the face and you lost the All Valley Karate Tournament?

I’ve never heard of this before . . . do you have a cite for the atrocities you describe in the American Revolutionary War?

For Washington’s orders?

Melodramatic rhetoric, nothing more. Otherwise, the instructor would have killed all of you during training, or you would have killed each other. It would ( and did ) make a good Monty Python sketch, but a bad training method.

“No mercy” is a stupid policy; the best method imaginable of encouraging the enemy to literally fight to the last using any means whatsoever. And a very good way of encouraging the world to support them instead of you.

And as I’ve said in the past, mercy is for the strong, not the weak; the strong can afford to be merciful. And it tends to make them stronger, while mercilessness tends to undercut you.

Indeed… one of the reasons why the Japanese fought so hard in the Pacific is that they didn’t to be shown mercy.

A better example my be what I learned later from the Holy Book.

Ezechiel 25 : 17

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

I rest my case.

I think George Washington has been called out!

I’ll hold his teeth.

And that is precisely the problem. The easy attitude, the one that seems straightforward, turns out to be the most damaging one to oneself. As your mythology has it, the narrow difficult path turns out to be the right one, the easy straight path turns out to go to hell.

Was it unclear I was posting an article verbatim? I apologise if so. To the best of my knowledge I’m not required to verify every statement in it in order to have a useful debate on the topic it raises.

Feel free to contact Peter Hartcher of the Sydney Morning Herald to question his attribution if you like. or 011 61 2 9282 2833 . Your afternoons or evenings would be the best time.

I wake your somnolent case back up again:

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." (Matthew 5:38-42, NIV)

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:27-31. NIV)

Shagnasty’s is a OT type of guy. That hippy Christ crap is for pussies.

Shagnasty is having a little bit of fun quoting from movies. We’ve already got the No Mercy! one covered. That second one is a bastardization from Pulp Fiction. The real passage can be read here.

Incidentally, my first martial arts instructor told us to always leave opponents an “out” so that they didn’t go berserk. He called it “cornered-rat syndrome,” referring to the folk wisdom that even a rat — which would much rather run than fight — will fight if backed into a corner with no way to escape. Not that this was out of bleeding-heart sensitivity or anything. It was mostly for practical reasons, though morality was a topic of discussion.

And for what it’s worth, I agree with the principles expressed by author of the article. You teach, and lead, by example. You don’t have to resort to the tactics of your opponents if you can out-think and out-fight them. From your enemy’s point of view, there’s no point in surrendering if they know that they’re better off dead than being a prisoner. There’s also nothing that turns people against you faster and more permanently than by victimizing their women and children, which has apparently happened more than a few times in Iraq.

George Washington? I heard he once held an opponent’s wife’s hand in a jar of acid at a party.

Okay, seriously, George Washington does have some issues. When several Indian tribes sided with the British during the Revolution, Washington ordered punitive expeditions against their villages and specifically ordered his soldiers to burn everything they found including winter shelter and food supplies. Here’s his actual written orders to the expedition’s commander:

Over forty villages were destroyed. The Iroquois gave Washington the nickname “Caunotaucarius” - town burner.

So Washington could be plenty ruthless when it served him.

Colonel Tim Collins gave the following speech to UK troops in Iraq, in March 2003… it seems to capture some of the sentiment the OP was alluding to.

Better you should have studied aikido. A Unitarian minister once told me, when he took an aikido class, the first thing the sensei said to the students was: “If you ever have to use what I am about to teach you, you have already made at least one mistake.”

I’d say not have elected Bush in 2000, but then somebody would reply that we didn’t.