The US.. Great evil and the worst country to have ever existed, or?

When you put together all the things the US has done, intervened in several wars, made several wars, accusations of the cia being involved in terrorist organizations(, and all sorts of conspiracy and corruption accusations, and on top of that they brand themselves as ‘heroes’, a country that comes to the rescue on white horses…
It just seems hopeless from the outside doesn’t it…

My question is then, when you consider what they’ve done, and also take into their plans to take saddham down, have they done more good than bad?

Yes. We have done more good than bad.

Yes. We have done more good than bad.

so that’s two votes

Now why don’t you take your silly assed little personal problem down the hall, hm?

I’m sorry but I don’t see why you’re not taking this seriously.
What’s the problem?

More good than bad, overall. So far. Though when we do f*** things up it’s usually Big Time, too – just ask the continent’s natives.

And coax? I think there is some exception being taken to the “it seems hopeless from the outside” statement, and the way the expression about “all the things the US has done” gives the appearance of an impression that those are the ONLY “things the US has done”.

Yes, the US has done lots of bad things, but even more good things. If nothing else, the US is living proof to the world that a country can establish a strong political and legal culture based on liberty, the rule of law and respect for human rights, and prosper socially and economically. The importance of this in influencing the politics of other countries cannot be overstated.

The worst country ever to have existed? Worse than Nazi Germany, for example? I don’t see how anyone can participate in this thread in a serious way unless to say, simply, no. And I speak as someone who is generally very willing to criticize US policies, when I see criticism as justified. Would you consider rephrasing the OP, perhaps? After all, if one is going to begin to measure all of the objectionable things done in US history, one would have to also consider all the objectionable things done in British history, in French history, in Roman history, and so on. I think your thread is just going to provoke people and get their backs up: though perhaps that’s what you actually intend.

Seriously, coax the statement ** Yes, we have done more good than bad** is correct. The problem is there are societies, and peoples around the world who have things 100 times worse than we do. Places where children are dying from mal-nutrition, women are persecuted even killed for not wearing a garment over their face… We let women run free - the horror!! - Do you see where I’m going with this?.

What has the US done. Well, in this century alone

We fought alongside the French and Brtish in WWI and again in WWII.

We poured a massive infusion of cash and resources into to help Europe rebuild after the devastation of WWII. It’s called the Marshall Plan.

We fought to save South Korea from being engulfed by the Red hordes of North Korea and then provided a security umbrella for the past fifty years that allowed the South Koreans to divert resources from defense to building and expanding their economy.

We fought to save South Vietnam from being engulfed by the Red hordes of North Vietnam (We lost that one.)

We welcome far more Third world immigrants than does Europe.

We give more foreign aid than does any other country on Earth.

And happy 5000th to me!

We don’t kill people for being Christians…

Coax - check gobear’s post and possibly reformulate your question.

Well, it’s not what I intended Mandelstam.
In class yesterday we had a discussion on the US, and it got quite heated.
People’s arguments were varied and seperated, like, “they only do it for the money, they prey on countries with alot of oil, that’s the only reason they ever went into insert country.”
Then some people said, “but they took the Taliban out of power, and that’s a good thing”.
And on and on it went…

So anyway this inspired to ask you smart people at the sdmb, since you usually have perspective on things.
Maybe I should’ve thought it more through, I dunno.

Coax, where are you? And does the country you’re in have American movies in the theaters, American TV shows on the airwaves, and any McDonald’s and Starbucks?

What about your country’s history? America is not really imperialist–what do we have, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Wake Islands and stuff? All of those are paradises on earth compared to the legacies of the great imperial powers like Belgium, France, and Britain.

When the US intervenes in other country’s affairs, it always does so in pursuit of its own self-interest (or in pursuit of what the then adminstration considers the interests of the US).

(One qualification to that; conceivably the US may intervene in the affairs of another country because the then administration considers this to be in the best interests of the administration; confusing their own interests with the national interest is an occupational hazard for politicians. Be that as it may, the US never intervenes in another country out of a motivation to advance the other country’s interests.)

That doesn’t make their intervention wrong or damaging. The US may hope or expect that their intervention will be beneficial to the other country, even though that is not their motivation in intervening. And the intervention may indeed be beneficial. (Or it may not, of course.)

If “acting out of self-interest” = “being evil” then, yes, the US is evil. And, as a very powerful nation, it may be more evil than most, since it has more opportunity to act in the way that it considers will advance its interests than other nations do. But I don’t think this is a good definition of evil.

But if “acting in a way which is objectively harmful to others, in disregard of their interests” = “being evil” then the case is less clear-cut. Yes, the US has done this, but so have other nations. As other posters have pointed out, the US is not to be compared with, say, Nazi Germany in this regard.

Well, coax, I suggest a rephrase based on what you’ve just explained. It sounds like you’re interested in the history of US foreign policy and where that stands in the context of global hsitory. That’s a pretty large subject for a thread and will probably lead to lots of divisiveness anyway. You might fare better if you ask a moderator to close your thread and post a differently worded thread in General Questions. Bear in mind that with so much discussion of war, with rifts in the UN and in NATO, and with the recent protests, some people are feeling very polarized. I think it’s good that your class had this discussion, and, again, I think it’s important for American citizens to be ready and willing to criticize their country whenever necessary. Just now I personally feel there’s quite a lot of grounds for criticism–but also signs that that criticism has not been lost on the American public. I’m willing bet, though, that if your class had focused on, say, the history of Western imperialism and included, say, British, French, Belgian, and German activities as well as American you’d be less ready to be posing the question of “worst ever to exist.” That kind of question just isn’t very helpful or illuminating–not, at any rate, until one has done an awful lot of researching and thinking.

Interesting site you’ve got there, Coax.

No, I don’t think that the US is the worst nation ever to exist. I live here, after all. Yeah, we’re amazingly hypocritical at times, especially lately, it seems like. Sure, we paint ourselves as God’s gift to planet Earth, but what nation doesn’t, really? Are there actually countries out there where the government line is, “Don’t trust us, we’re not so great?” On the other hand, our belief that we’re the Land of the Free probably keeps us from acting even worse. I reckon it’s true that the government can easily twist this belief into an excuse to screw over other nations in our own self-interest, but in general I think the idea probably does more good than harm. At the moment the USA does seem like a bigger dick than usual, but I would hope that this is a passing phase.

We do have the power to inflict more damage than just about any other country, though, and it’s important that we wield that power wisely and with restraint. Other countries of comparable power that don’t make such a big deal out of personal freedoms and human rights (China, Soviet Russia) haven’t done nearly as good a job in my opinion. So one might make the case that America should be judged not only on what we’ve done, but also by what we haven’t done. But I’d agree that America’s ideals are often inconsistent with our foreign policy.

That link you provided, coax, destroys any credible chance of your OP being taken seriously.

Aw but it’s so embarrasing to have made a closed thread. :frowning:
Plus I’m kind of interested in hearing others opinions.
Althought personal, I think they can be illuminating.
Let’s forget ‘worst country to have existed’, that was a bit misleading.

What I meant was, if it’s true that the US only intervenes in other countries bussiness out of self interest, and this has on several occasions had a bad outcome, does it make the US a somewhat immoral and selfish country?
And don’t you think it’s kind of sad considering all the stuff they could’ve helped countries like africa with?

Also, why doesn’t the US government learn from their mistakes?
Why do they bomb countries back to the stoneage in this day and age? Because they don’t care what he rest of the world thinks.
Now I didn’t come on here to bash the US, but how can people say that the good things outweigh the bad when they show no sign of improving their international politics?
And this is aimed at the government and military, not civilians.

Coax, here’s a recent thread you may be interested in.

There are lists posted which can enable you to look at some of the major issues handled by US administrations in the past 100 odd years.
This might help to weigh the issues with a little more balance.

To quote, from Guins post, for an example:

United Fruit Company
School of the Americas
Guatemala and the overthrow of Arbenz
Supporting the Somoza dynasty in Nicaragua and later the Contras
Pinochet in Chile
Support of the military thugs in El Salvador
Overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister in Iran in the fifties (his name escapes me at the moment)
Vietnam War

Camp David Accords
Clinton’s work for peace in Ireland
(All the good ones have been taken, dammit!
League of Nations and Wilson’s Fourteen Points (too bad Congress disagreed)
Overthrow of the Taliban