MOOREWATCH
Just How Dumb Are We?
Author: Lee
The following was written by Michael Moynihan, and originally appeared at The Politburo.
Moore Twists the Truth... Again
by Michael Moynihan

During a recent whistle-stop promo tour of England, Michael Moore was asked by a sympathetic Daily Mirror columnist to meditate on that favorite subject of anti-Americans the world over, America’s supposed “intelligence problem”—not, of course, the CIA, NSA kind of intelligence. To the apparent delight of his interlocutor, Moore answered with Il Duce-like subtlety, claiming that “they are possibly the dumbest people on the planet” (note the careful pronoun selection), citing a recentNational Geographic world geography survey as irrefutable evidence of our “ignorance” and "embarrassing stupidity." While the condescending ferocity of Moore’s hatred might mark a new low for Moore(he previously cloaked his contempt for Americans in flaccid humor, like when he told a Canadian audience there is something “charming about our simpleness.”), disparaging the intelligence of his constituents is old hat for the tactically disheveled “populist.” His bestselling anti-Bush philippic Stupid White Men devoted an entire chapter to “proving” that America was indeed an “Idiot Nation.

(Note: Moore even contradicts himself when calling Americans “the dumbest people on the planet.” In a 1996 interview with World Socialist Web, Moore uses his fellow citizens as a convenient cudgel with which to beat corporate America: “I’ve always felt that the American people are not as stupid as Hollywood thinks they are.”)

Moore understands that the American-as-imbecile shtick is far more effective when performed on foreign soil, where, according to press reports, it typically generates fanatic applause. During his engagement at London’s Roundhouse Theater, Moore, in the role of Amerikanshe Kapo, delighted the crowd when he proclaimed that "the dumbest Brit here is smarter than the smartest American,” prompting Variety Magazine’s reviewer to comment that it was “the most egregious sucking up to a British public that I have ever seen.” On his North American tour in support of Dude, Where’s My Country, Moore substituted Canadians for Britons, telling audiences that the “dumbest Canadian” in attendance could surely outwit “the smartest American.”

Again, Moore points to a National Geographic survey to buttress his claim: “They wanted to find out what young adult Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 knew about geography. What they found was that 85 per cent of these Americans could not find Iraq on the map.”

Moore has repeated America’s dismal Geographic performance —his latest silver bullet—at lectures in Stockton, Davis, Berkeley, Baltimore, Vancouver, London, Edinburgh, Berlin and, during “Dude, Where’s My Country” press junkets, in interviews with Japan’s Shukan Post (Japan), Tagesschau (Germany) and Daily Mirror(UK).

The inviolable map quiz evidence is typically followed by a limp joke: “Shouldn’t that be rule No. 1? That you’re not allowed to invade a country unless the majority of your citizens can find it on a map?” (Stockton, CA). “If you can’t locate ’em, you can’t invade ’em” (London). “There should be a rule that you’re not allowed to bomb another country unless you can find it on the map"(Berlin). “How can you bomb a country you can’t find on the map? Shouldn’t that be rule No.1?” (Edinburgh)

While we think map quizzes for teenagers are an odd indicator of intellectual worth, we concede that Moore accurately represents America’s poor results—sort of. But Moore could just as well choose, say, the Nobel Prize as an indicator of American intelligence. If the prestigious prize is any indication, American’s are far from the idiots he envisions: a full 42 percent of its recipients have been Americans (over 50% of the science prizes have been taken home by Americans), with countless non-U.S. winners conducting their researcher at various American universities and institutions, this in spite of an unofficial policy of affirmative action, aimed at “correcting” the perceived geographic imbalance. Stockholm University Professor Lars Calmfors recently told the Associated Press that the Nobel committee is “sometimes criticized by people who believe they should try harder to find laureates outside of the United States.”

Sure, Moore’s numbers might be on the level, but it’s what he chooses to ignore, namely student results from other, supposedly “smarter” countries, that largely invalidates his argument. While America placed second-to-last in the study (only Mexico was lower, though >Moore would naturally never call Mexicans a bunch “of idiots”), England and Canada weren’t far behind. Some of the results Moore ignores:
  • 89% of Canadians couldn’t locate Iraq on a map, a higher “ignorance rate” than that of the United States.
  • 81% of Canadians couldn’t locate Israel on a map
  • 79% of Canadians couldn’t locate Afghanistan on a map
  • 5% of Canadians couldn’t locate Canada on a map
  • 90% of Britons couldn’t locate Iraq on a map, a figure lower than that of the United States
  • 72% of Britons couldn’t locate Afghanistan on a map
  • 75% of Britons couldn’t locate Israel on a map
  • 21% of Britons couldn’t locate the USA on a map
  • 7% of Britons couldn’t locate the England on a map

Of the Swedes surveyed—the country that won top placement in country identification—a full 70% failed to identify Iraq, while 60% failed to find Afghanistan.

Moore’s recent bout of selectivity got us thinking: in Stupid White Men, he claimed that America suffered from appallingly high illiteracy rates—numbers we have previously debunked on The Politburo—that supported the “idiot nation” thesis. Again, he offered no comparison to the other English speaking countries he often praises. A few minutes poking around in the Lexis database and >Moore’s “hardcore analysis” (his words) is full of holes. Rather unsurprisingly, education problems are hardly confined to America:

United Kingdom
  • “40% of British pupils aged 14 or 15 cannot add up properly, according to the findings of an international study published yesterday.” - The Independent,
  • “[A] Unicef report on literacy, maths and science standards in 24 developed nations labeled the UK’s adult illiteracy rate of 10 per cent as a "statistic of shame" – The Independent, November 26, 2002
  • “Research suggests up to seven million adults in the UK are "functionally illiterate" – BBC, August 20, 2002
  • “The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) placed the UK 14th of 20 developed countries ranked according to adult reading and literacy standards.” – BBC
  • “[The Basic Skills Agency Report] calculates that one in three adults cannot work out the area of a room, while one in five would be unable to find a plumber in the Yellow Pages telephone directory.” – BBC, March 25, 1999.
  • “Sir Edmund Blackadder was a real historical figure and Adolf Hitler was the prime minister who led Britain to victory in World War II, many schoolchildren in Britain believe…But despite the grim findings, more than half (55%) said they enjoyed history and one in five liked it ‘a great deal’” – BBC, January 18, 2001

Australia
  • “Up to one in five Australian adults cannot read well enough to use automatic teller machines or the Internet, an international study has found…The study, by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development on adult literacy in 20 countries, found almost 20 per cent of Australian adults had inadequate literacy skills to be effective in everyday life.” - Sunday Herald Sun (>Melbourne), November 10, 2002

Scotland
  • “Two years ago, the Scottish Executive produced a comprehensive report identifying adult literacy and numeracy needs in Scotland. Although it identified up to 800,000 adults with very low skills, the executive set a target of helping at least 150,000 people before 2006” - The Herald (Glasgow), July 16, 2003

Northern Ireland
  • “Nearly 25% of adults in [Northern Ireland] have problems with everyday tasks like reading instructions on a medicine bottle, research has shown”. –BBC, April 14, 2003

Ireland
  • “The OECD survey which concluded, two years ago, that some 25 per cent of Irish adults are functionally illiterate and approximately another 20 per cent can perform only simple reading and writing tasks.” – Irish Times, September 10, 2002

Germany
  • “The real wake-up call came last year when an international test of 15-year-olds ranked Germany 21st out of 32 leading industrialized nations in reading, mathematics and science.” – CNN, August 6, 2003
  • “Low Education Rating Stuns Germany: American teenagers rank higher than the Germans in all three subjects (math, literacy and science)…30 percent of Germans dropout of university, roughly equivalent to Mexico…16% hold university degrees, compared with 35% in the United States.” John Schmid,International Herald Tribune,  February 2, 2003


Posted by: Lee on Nov 18, 03 | 10:46 pm (profile) | Permalink
COMMENTS
Posted by: Wheels on Nov 18, 03 | 11:11 pm
Wow, so it appears Michael Moore got it wrong. Now where have we seen that before?

Moorewatch's November 2003 archive
Moorewatch's October 2003 archive

Yeah, you get the picture. Sure, American high schools aren't exactly filled to overflowing with child prodigies and geographical geniuses, but name one country that is? And do we see Moore attacking Canadian and British students for being unable to locate their own country on a map? Nope, cause it contradicts his falsified claims that American's are really stupid.

And we just couldn't have that, could we?

Posted by: Cigarskunk on Nov 19, 03 | 8:30 am
Moore, in the role of Amerikanshe Kapo, delighted the crowd when he proclaimed that "the dumbest Brit here is smarter than the smartest American,” prompting Variety Magazine’s reviewer to comment that it was “the most egregious sucking up to a British public that I have ever seen.” On his North American tour in support of Dude, Where’s My Country, Moore substituted Canadians for Britons, telling audiences that the “dumbest Canadian” in attendance could surely outwit “the smartest American.”


Mike is doing transferance again - perhaps the dumbest member of (insert country here) is smarter then HIM and his supporters, but that's as far as it goes.

So I wonder how Mike's followers feel being called dumber then the dumbest frog/kraut/limey/er, uhm - what's the insulting word for Canadian? - anyway, I wonder how they feel having had thier guru declare that they are, infact, the dumbest people on the planet?

Posted by: tonyc on Nov 19, 03 | 9:34 am
This has to stop. As a Canadian, I am so sick of Michael Moore and his lies. It blows me away how many people actually agree with this idiot. Many of my friends hold him up as some sort of demi-god, saying ridiculous things like "it doesn't matter if he is stretching the truth; it's what he is saying that matters" and "all media is fabrication of the truth." I went to Europe this summer and it was amazing to see how much anti-Americanism he was personally responsible for (especially in Germany). What point do I have? I guess I don't really have one. I am just so tired of this asshole, his blatant lies and his constant invocation of Canada as some sort of Utopia. He does not speak for me, or millions of other Canadians. I saw on the Guardian website that he was an honourary Canadian. Who the hell gave him that? Those kids he interviewed in BFC? So to all Americans, not all of us view you the same way as those super-intelligent high school dropouts he interviewed in his "documentary."

Posted by: Craig on Nov 19, 03 | 9:55 am
The geography survey which Moore cited only tested the knowledge level of 18-25 year olds. This group comprises the majority of Moore's admirers, who seem to be so stupid that they aren't even able to recognize when their hero is clearly insulting them, much less lying to them.

Posted by: tired on Nov 19, 03 | 3:31 pm
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geosurvey/highlights.html

In total, 2,916 interviews with 18- to 24-year-olds were conducted using an in-home, in-person methodology. Interviews were conducted in the following countries: United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Great Britain, and Japan. A total of 300 interviews were conducted in each country except the U.S.; in the U.S. nearly 500 interviews were conducted with 18-to 24-year-olds...

Well m8tes ... I assume that even for you 300 (or in case of your country 500) people asked for a survey is NOT very representive ;) - might they write "All interviews were conducted using a representative sample of young adults" on their webpage.

In that case even the PISA-Study seems to be a more meaningfull piece of shit.

I mean questions of those kind i could answer when i was between 8 to 12 or even younger and most should do so. I dont believe that these poor men n women where representive for anything.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 19, 03 | 3:56 pm
From the National Geographic article:

"Young people in Canada and Great Britain fared almost as poorly as those in the U.S."

"Others outside the U.S., most notably in Mexico, also struggled with basic geography facts."

Well, how about that?
Somehow Moore failed to notice these bothersome little bits of trivia.
So, Americans aren't the only country of idiots in the world.
Moore should get lots of chuckles and loud guffaws of laughter from all of his fawning German admirers when he tells all those jokes about how stupid the Mexicans, Canadians, and Brits are...while zee Nordic Aryan Ubermensche in Deutscheland und Sveden demonstrated overwelming superiority.

Posted by: Cigarskunk on Nov 20, 03 | 8:26 am
Hey tonyc - what's the equivilent of calling a Canadian a yank/kraut/limey/nip/etc - is there such a word, or should we just accuse the idiots in question of being from Quebec? ;)

I went to Europe this summer and it was amazing to see how much anti-Americanism he was personally responsible for (especially in Germany).


My buddy Dave just got back from a few months of scuba diving in Honduras - the place he was at featured a large number of his fellow divers - mostly European with a few Israilies. When they found out Dave was an American, they started quizzing him on the various "facts" from BfC. Apparently, these folks all thought that Mike was telling god's truth - that you can pick up a shotgun at any bank when you open an account, that there are shootouts and bloodbaths in our streets and that America in general is more akin to downtown Beiruite.

I honestly don't know what's worse - the fact that Mike is denegrating and trashing his own country like he is or that the rest of the world is gulible enough to believe his non-sense.

Here's something else to consider - the fact that Mike is making American's out to be these horrible people in his books, movies and during his speeches and interviews is basically making it easier for some wackjob to rally people to commit acts of terror and violence against Americans - Mike Moore's statements, films and writings may very well be used to vindicate and inspire someone to murder Americans.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 20, 03 | 8:59 am
Cigar,
I've never gotten any of Moore's supporters to answer this question:

"If America is so violent and imperialistic, why hasn't Canada been invaded and made into a U.S. territory or even a state?"
Hey, Canada has lots of oil and natural resources and is sparsely populated.
If we were really an oil-hungry, violent, imperialistic country then Canada should have been conquered and assimilated, long ago.
Istead, the U.S. and Canada share the most peaceful border in history, and Canadians feel very little need to even have an Armed Forces.
If Bush were really Hitler and the Patriot act has turned us into a Fourth Reich, shouldn't Canada be mobilizing its military and fortifying the border?

Posted by: Access on Nov 20, 03 | 9:50 am
"I've never gotten any of Moore's supporters to answer this question:"
Well I am not a fan or an enemy of Mike Moore nor a supporter or hater of Bush, can I still have a stab at the question? The question is; why do you have to be a Moore supporter to answer this question? Do only Moore supporters believe the world is motivated by oil? That is quite a logical jump.

"If America is so violent and imperialistic, why hasn't Canada been invaded and made into a U.S. territory or even a state?"
Well mainly because it IS so close, people dont "fear" Canada, a propaganda machine can easily rally hatred towards a nation. Most Americans know what it is like in Canada, so half truths are more easily spotted. Another major factor is that it is a pridominently white country.. or at least white controlled. Its harder to stirr fear into the general populance about a country that shares the same beliefs and culture.

Quite often the president brings culture and religion into the matter. Parodoxially the government makes statments constantly trying to reassure the public that Islam does not equate to being a Terroist, and yet can continue on about how "God is not neutral on the issue" [paraphrase]. Anthropology is the study of our culture by studying others, and our oppinion of a country can totally be shifted by the information fed, a form of censorhip on anthropological sources can greatly shift the publics oppinion. Even US history bocks reek of US bias and Orientalism (the miss-interpretation of the Middle East through Western Eyes[an entire field dedicated to how incorrect information can change the oppinion of the public]). As sociology can teach us, it is easy to make an enemy out of someone, especially when they look different, act different, sound different and you have limited knowledge about them. Control the information and you control the people.

Outside of this, for many people, Canada is used as a benchmark, as a means of feeling better about themselves. Many Americans compare and contrast the two nations in a national patriotic competition. In fact it was such an issue (more promident around the Canadian border areas), that South Park felt the need to saterise this issue. The piece "Blame Canada" was used to saterise those that constantly blamed or knocked Canada for whatever reason. Funnnily enough many Americans used it as a tool to insult Canada even further. What Irony!

If you look throughout US history the US government always pushes a scape goat so the Government itself rarely receives blame for anything, its quite an effective tool. History has shown us if a nation is repressesed long enough, and the working class is pressured long enough, they will rebel and cause revolution. This process first became apparant in France (The French revolution) which kick started Democracy all over the world (the sigle most important event in recorded history, and in fact is the defining moment of the Modern world. All events after the French Revolution is considered "Modern History").

Every country pressured long enough will revolt, Stallin the worst dictator of all time, far worse than Hitler ever was, was brought down by his own people in a revolt. I am not saying that the US is repressing its people or pressureing the lower class but for the majority of US citizens it doesnt matter how badly they have been treated by their government or how badly things are in their life they still wave their little American flag. I have seen homeless people, with US flags attached to their shopping trolleys.

This is not an easy task for a government to maintain. A scape goat allows the government not to accept blame for anything, because with blame comes responsibility. Australia, Britain even Canada do this as well, but not even remotely on such a large scale.

Scape goats have always existed, and throughout the entire US history a primary scape goat exists whether its Osama, Saddam, Communism, Japan, Germany... etc

Canada doesnt fit the bill for these requirements.

"Canadians feel very little need to even have an Armed Forces."
You will find most dont.

Posted by: calloffthedogs on Nov 20, 03 | 10:22 am
I have seen homeless people, with US flags attached to their shopping trolleys.
maybe because they realize it's not america's fault they are homeless? maybe they feel an ounce of personal responsibility?

Osama is a scapegoat? what? i was under the impression organizing a terrorist attack that killed thousands of americans was reason enough for someone to call you an asshole. what is the government putting on osama that he didn't do? it's not their fault the WTC and pentagon attacks happened.

Posted by: Access on Nov 20, 03 | 11:13 am
You misunderstood I am not saying that Osama is being blambed for anything he didnt do as such... I am just commenting on the fact that he is a target for hatred, which is being hyped up beyond belief, and the Government is using that.. much to their advantage.

The Osama Vs USA is a completely new arguement which is far more drawn out, it was not the focus of my post. I am merely giving examples of how the Government takes individuals, or groups or countries that either are or are made topical and are very good methods of gaining public support over any given period.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 20, 03 | 11:16 am
Access,
Good attempt, but if the U.S. population only favors war with countries who threaten American interests than we are not a violence-prone, imperialistic country full of kill-for-kicks-gun-toting rednecks (as Moore claims); but instead, we are a rational population which understands that the military option may be necessary at times.
Your answer is correct in the sense that you said; the U.S. has never invaded Canada because the voting population would oppose such an insane and unprovoked war. That doesn't exactly sound like a Fourth Reich, or a country of violence-prone people who are seeking a global empire. To a bunch of wealth-seeking imperialists, Canada would be ripe for the taking...very close and virtually unprotected.

Your list of "scapegoats" is disturbing.
A scapegoat is generally considered to be an innocent person who is wrongly blamed, because they are a convenient target. Are you saying that Osama Bin Ladin wasn't responsible for 9/11? (Boy, we sure do owe Al Qeida an apology.)
Germany didn't invade Poland or engineer the holocaust?
(in fact, Germany declared war on the U.S. Was FDR supposed to just ignore that?)
Japan did not attack Pearl Harbor?
Saddam Hussein's Iraq did not invade Kuwait?
The Soviet Union did not oppress the peoples of Eastern Europe and threaten NATO and Western Europe?

You also might want to check your history a little closer.
ONE...
The French revolution did not "kickstart democracy all over the world".
The American Revolution predates the French Revolution and the reign of terror which resulted. The American Revolution was successful and resulted in a boringly stable constitutional Republic; whereas, the French revolution was an attrocity where they cut each others' heads off for years until they grew tired of it and finally made Napolean Bonaparte their dictator. When Napolean's wars ended in defeat and disgrace for France, they brought back the Monarchy. That is not really a very successful attempt at democracy, much less an example for other countries to strive to emulate.
TWO...
Stalin was NOT removed from power by his own people in a revolt.
He died while in office, and was replaced by Nikita Kruschev.

Posted by: Access on Nov 20, 03 | 12:23 pm
"Good attempt, but if the U.S. population only favors war with countries who threaten American interests than we are not a violence-prone"
I never stated that American Government is violent prone. Granted they will turn to war for either short term or long term economic gain, but that doesnt make the violent prone as such, just anthrocentric.

"imperialistic country full of kill-for-kicks-gun-toting rednecks (as Moore claims); but instead, we are a rational population which understands that the military option may be necessary at times."
You will find most people as such find that a military option is neccessary, however most wars American is involved with can be traced to argueable errors in forign policy, at the time motivated by antrocentric reasoning.

"That doesn't exactly sound like a Fourth Reich, or a country of violence-prone people who are seeking a global empire. To a bunch of wealth-seeking imperialists, Canada would be ripe for the taking...very close and virtually unprotected."
I never said America was like the Fourth Reich or a country of violent prone people... your being facetious.

"Your list of "scapegoats" is disturbing."
Convient distractions then.... the government

"The French revolution did not "kickstart democracy all over the world"
The American Revolution predates the French Revolution and the reign of terror which resulted."
Once the French revolution occured the existing royal families fled to the neighbouring countries, word got out that the French Royal family had been beheaded and many of nations all over Europe began to revolt, it was one of the major reasons why Imperalism by Britain and most of the other European countries slowed down and for many ceased. The french revolution sent ripples all the way throughout europe and made (since the royal families were all related) caused many of the royal familes to consider a form of democracy with them as figure heads (like Britain is today).

Without the French revolution all of Europe would be a very different place entirely... The french revolution is the defining point in history and is considered the start of the Modern World for a reason. The US revolution occured only around circa 20 years ealier and was irrelevant to pretty much the rest of the world at the time and is as relevant as the Indonesian democracy that formed even prior to the US one.*

"When Napolean's wars ended in defeat and disgrace for France"
Why is losing a war still a disgrace? Its quite scary that some still hold that mentality.

"Stalin was NOT removed from power by his own people in a revolt.
He died while in office, and was replaced by Nikita Kruschev."
your probably right here, I dont remmeber that period clearly anymore. There was something though... hmmm oh well.



*Indonesia wasnt a democracy before the US, was just making my point that one country independantly having a revolution isnt important globally.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 20, 03 | 1:09 pm
"Why is losing a war still a disgrace? Its quite scary that some still hold that mentality."

Well, sorry that I scare you.
But...YES! I think that France starting the Napoleonic wars and trying to conquer Europe was disgraceful and the fact that their armies were slaughtered en masse and defeated should be discraceful to them. (Surprisingly, Napoleon is still revered as a hero by many Frenchmen.)
In the English-speaking world; the Duke of Wellington is a heroic historical figure and Napoleon is considered to be a failure.

Your enthusiasm for the French Republic sounds like it is based more on emotion rather than reason. Despite what the Jacobin revolutionaires intended, the reign of terror was not an improvement over the Reign of the Bourbon monarchs. Ultimately it lead to dictatorship, war, and failure.
Britain had already had its civil peasant-uprising which resulted in the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and the establishment of parliamentary government. That was the historical event which signaled an end to the unlimited divine right of kings, more so than the French Revolution.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 20, 03 | 1:30 pm
Who else but the French would start their revolution by attacking a jail?
A jail? (Well, I guess it sure beats attacking a men's room, but hey...)

Yup, that was their big moment in history: a mob of several hundred people attack a jail and brutally kill a half-dozen virtually unarmed soldiers.
...Now the French congratulate their courage by a having a big holiday on Bastille Day, every year.
I guess I'm not expected to understand, since I'm just one of those (as Moore describes) "ignorant/unlettered/untraveled" rustic-Americans over here ripening in the bumpkin patch. Heck, I'm so out of date...I still think that losing a war is disgraceful for a country.
I don't think that Jerry Lewis is funny.
Hell, I don't even understand what the hell "Mime" is all about.
Do they really consider that shit to be entertainment?
Hey, I'm hopeless...
I don't have cigarette-breath or B.O.
I don't even own a beret or a black sweater.
I can't look disaffected without laughing, nor do I think that Mumia is an honorary ANYTHING.
Our store doesn't stock Je Nais Se Quois; even if they did it would probably be stale and have ants in it.

Posted by: Thededalus on Nov 20, 03 | 3:53 pm
I've never gotten any of Moore's supporters to answer this question:

Craig, such a short memory! For argument's sake I will assume I fall into your category of Moore supporters, and so just to remind you that I answered this flawed, simplistic question two weeks ago.

I won't rehash it much, especially since it's been adequately answered (again).

Posted by: barry on Nov 20, 03 | 4:32 pm
Cigarskunk,

In case you haven't noticed,

repetition = truth,; a time honoured technique blossomed by said sponsors

e.g:

"have said many times"

"is a liar"

"the lies"

"how many times do i have to repeat"

-----when you are subjected to repetition, you start to agree that M.M. is a liar.
When people start to flaunt their ideals for self-gratification you know there is an election round the corner.

Posted by: NukeChild on Nov 20, 03 | 4:51 pm
In case you haven't noticed,

repetition = truth,; a time honoured technique blossomed by said sponsors


Especially when people keep asking the same old question and making the same faulty statements. Yes, you are right, the truth is being repeated.

Posted by: Exp on Nov 21, 03 | 4:40 am
craig ers mu tonto

Posted by: jwilliamsii on Nov 21, 03 | 5:23 am
Thed,

No level of fabrication could convince the US public or the world or any sane government that this was justified.

You answered Craig's question logically. However, his point is that if the American public is so violent and "gun crazy," as Moore and his supporters suggest, the government would have no problem convincing the public that invading Canada is the right thing to do. If the US did it, who would stop us?

Posted by: Thededalus on Nov 21, 03 | 6:26 am
JW,

I agree with you somewhat, but Craig posed the question before as a response to criticisms that the US was in Iraq for oil & market reasons, not human rights or terrorism. My indirect point was that just because the US is not so imperialistic and violent as to invade Canada this does not by itself prove that the US is not, or has not been, to some degree overly violent and imperialistic.

Who would stop us? Hopefully us and Canadians.

Posted by: jwilliamsii on Nov 21, 03 | 6:35 am
Thed,

Who would stop us? Hopefully us and Canadians.

Again, Craig's point is that if the US is so violent, the people would love to go to war with anyone, and Canada would be a logical choice as they have resources, are close, and would be able to put up little resistance.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 21, 03 | 6:45 am
JW,
Thanks...that's exactly right.
Each Moore supporter who TRIES to answer it falls into that same trap.
Their answer completely contradicts Moore's primary claims about Americans being violence prone and bloodthirsty imperialists.
If Americans are all gun-crazy kill-for-kicks goons, then the government would not even have to "convince" them. Public opinion would force the leaders to that very action. The leaders would merely find an excuse to invade.

It's just like these idiotic anti-war protestors who claim that their freedom of speech rights are being violated, all while they are running-around carrying their stupid signs and chanting their lame mantras completely unimpeded.
or
The doofus human shields who went over to Iraq to "save" innocent lives by sitting in hospitals and schools, knowing full-well that those would NOT be allied targets. It never even occurred to them that if Bush/Blair were diabolical and evil enough to order the dropping of a JDAM on an Iraqi Kindergarten and incinerate a bunch of 5 year-old moppets, what makes them think that the presence of a longhaired/bearded Marin county hippie or some droning Welsh socialist would be any kind of deterrence? Liberals possess such delusions of self-importance.
THEN,
when the Iraqi military logically tried to make useful idiots out of the human shields by putting them at actual target sites, the cowards jumped in their big red bus and fled Baghdad.

Posted by: jwilliamsii on Nov 21, 03 | 7:00 am
Craig,

Check out THIS article. I posted it in another thread as well. It shows how anti-war protesters are being led by anti-American, terrorist supporting idealogues.

WATERMELONS! Love the description...

Posted by: Craig on Nov 21, 03 | 8:28 am
Oh yes, JW....
But don't you DARE attack their patriotism!
That would make you nothing but a "wacko".

Posted by: Iceland on Nov 21, 03 | 8:33 am
Another little fact to add to Lee´s list: A constitution is now being written for the European Union. Among the likely contents of this constitution is that European law shall have priority over national law and, even more importantly, there shall be one foreign policy for the whole of the EU. This will probably be one of the most important politcal changes in Europe since the end of WW II.

In a recent poll less then half of the citizens of the European Union questioned, had any idea a constituion was being written at all.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 21, 03 | 8:40 am
Thanks for the input, Ice.
European countries are appently going to subordinate their soverignty to a bunch of unelected and unaccountable pompous-effete EU bureaucrats in Brussels or the Hague, with over half of the population not even noticing it.
Oh, but according to Moore...it's Americans who are an ignorant-uneducated and untravelled bunch of simpletons.

Posted by: Cigarskunk on Nov 21, 03 | 1:22 pm
Istead, the U.S. and Canada share the most peaceful border in history, and Canadians feel very little need to even have an Armed Forces.


Funny that you phrased it that way. I had driven cross country back in '97 and part of the trip was doing the Alaskan Highway through Canada. When we hit the US/Canada border, there was a little monument with a plack on it - part of it was celebrating the fact that this was the most peaceful and longest lasting ungaurded border in history.

Well I am not a fan or an enemy of Mike Moore nor a supporter or hater of Bush, can I still have a stab at the question?


No - me thinks though doest protest too much - now chose a label. ;)

Do only Moore supporters believe the world is motivated by oil? That is quite a logical jump.


The problem with Moore supporters is that they refuse to believe that anyone else is motivated by oil - they won't even acknowledge that France and Germany were motivated to prevent the liberation of Iraq in order to protect thier own oil contracts. Let's say that the US only invaded Iraq for the oil - the side effect of this is that we also free the Iraqi people from a murderous dictator and begin the process for cleaning up the middle east. The side effect of France and Germany's interests is that the Iraqi people continue to be slaughtered by Sadam at an average rate of 100k a year and the middle east remains an area of total turmoil. So all said - which is the most logical side to side with?

Another major factor is that it is a pridominently white country..


So you're saying that we're simply racist? By your logic, perhaps it's racial hatered of Muslims that causes Mike Moore and his supporters to favor allowing Sadam to continue to murder his fellow Muslims?

Parodoxially the government makes statments constantly trying to reassure the public that Islam does not equate to being a Terroist


That's being done simply for political correctness - the fact of the matter is that while American's don't think that every Muslim is a suicide bomber, the terrorists which we have been fighting are, in fact, are Muslim - if you can't accept this fact, then just check yourself into a padded room somewhere because this is the real world and Muslim terrorists are, surprise!, predominately Muslims.

Outside of this, for many people, Canada is used as a benchmark, as a means of feeling better about themselves. Many Americans compare and contrast the two nations in a national patriotic competition.


You know, the funny thing is that you've actually got this reversed - yes, American liberals do compare us to Canada all of the time, but the rest of us really don't care - Canadians are just Americans that pay higher taxes to the rest of us. The Canadians, on the other hand, are very nationalistic and quite prone to comparing themselves to and competing with America for some reason.

History has shown us if a nation is repressesed long enough, and the working class is pressured long enough, they will rebel and cause revolution. This process first became apparant in France (The French revolution) which kick started Democracy all over the world (the sigle most important event in recorded history, and in fact is the defining moment of the Modern world. All events after the French Revolution is considered "Modern History").


So what the fuck was the American Revolution - chopped liver???

I don't know if you're a troll or an idiot, but the above statement could have only been made by one of those two.

Why is losing a war still a disgrace? Its quite scary that some still hold that mentality.


Napolean lost the battle of Waterloo (the begining of the end for him) due to his hemroids flaring up - he refused to command the battle from anywhere but his horse, thus delayed his attack for several days - by the time he was well enough to mount his horse again, the rain kicked in and he ended up losing the battle.

Cigarskunk,

In case you haven't noticed,

repetition = truth,; a time honoured technique blossomed by said sponsors


No, I've noticed this - Mikey does it all the time when he keeps repeating the lie that Bush stoled the election in the hoped that if he repeats it enough it might be thought to be true - his followers do the same thing.

European countries are appently going to subordinate their soverignty to a bunch of unelected and unaccountable pompous-effete EU bureaucrats in Brussels or the Hague, with over half of the population not even noticing it.
Oh, but according to Moore...it's Americans who are an ignorant-uneducated and untravelled bunch of simpletons.


No big deal - the folks in Europe spent the past 1000 years as either subjects, serfs or slaves to thier local governments - being owned by the EU won't make much of a difference - probobly just get thier taxes raised again.

Posted by: NukeChild on Nov 21, 03 | 2:47 pm
I don't know if you're a troll or an idiot, but the above statement could have only been made by one of those two.


Consider this statement officially stolen. :D

Posted by: Thededalus on Nov 22, 03 | 7:24 am
Each Moore supporter who TRIES to answer it falls into that same trap.

Craig,

Don’t pat yourself on the back yet.

If you want to demonstrate that the US is not “violence prone and bloodthirsty imperialist ” to the most extreme extent with the why-don’t-we-invade-Canada bit, well: Congratulations!

However, your simplistic question is rife with problems.

First, you assume that Moore & his supports (and maybe most liberals by extension) have this “most extreme” viewpoint. Has Moore even used the word “bloodthirsty?” It really shouldn’t matter though, because I doubt many have this “most extreme” viewpoint, as it is more about degrees of guilt:

For example, if a man rapes a prostitute, but only one, and does not rape his sister, mother, or any other woman, prostitute or not, is he still not a rapist? Maybe in the spectrum of rapists, he is not the worst example, but he is still a rapist.

I don’t know. Maybe your only point was the US was not the worst, extreme example, but my impression is that you ask it to dismiss any criticism of excessive violence and imperialism. If that is the case, your question is flawed and irrelevant.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 24, 03 | 7:27 am
Thed,
Moore and his ilk are constantly telling us that the U.S. is an "imperialist" power that is bent on world conquest for oil. In BFC, he points to all kinds of examples where he claims that Americans are intrinsically violent, and he is now using his little stand-up road-shows as an opportunity to bash America/Americans for the amusement his European audiences. During these European shows, he delights these crowds by reinforcing their anti-American prejudices by projecting past European behaviors onto Americans. (France, Britain, Italy, Germany have All attempted to take-over the world for the purposes of greed.)
I don't think that you can name one major country in History which possessed the overwelming military power which the U.S. has now, but did not use it to conquer, enslave, and exploit its neighbors.
Canada is an example of the most peaceful border in the history of the world.
Too bad that France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Norway, etc. have not had the luxury of having such peaceful neighbors as the U.S. Yet, now they all gather together and laugh at a stupid scruffy unwashed fat man spouting pure-grade bullshit; when just one generation ago, they were all trying to kill each other and wipe out all the Jews in the world. Now they take shallow consolation in trying to blame all of their problems on the U.S.
Canada is merely one example that I can use to prove America's peaceful intentions. South Korea is a free and independent country, which owes its liberty/prosperity to the good will of the United States. Korea had no oil or valuable resources to exploit. Following World War II,
Japan could have easily been made into a U.S. territory, but it wasn't. Most of Moore's example where the U.S. has had to resort to violence was in the context of the Cold War against the Soviets, and U.S. leaders had to make tough decisions; sometimes choosing between the lesser of two evils as their only option at the time. How nice for Moore to use the luxury of 20/20 hindsight to make his self-righteous judgements against leaders who had to make tough decisions regarding national security, and he does this to amuse historically ignornant Europeans who are to dense to understand that the current liberties which they enjoy are thanks to several million heavily-armed and well-trained U.S. GIs.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 24, 03 | 7:46 am
"Maybe in the spectrum of rapists, he is not the worst example, but he is still a rapist."

According to Juanita Broderick and Kathleen Willy, that would be an accurate description of Bill Clinton...and the Euros just love him.

Posted by: Fred Masters on Nov 24, 03 | 9:58 am
Craig: I like you. But god man, shut up about world war 2. Please. And Clinton. Just...talk about the issue at hand. Please. Also, South Koreans believe ferverently that America has made them a slave colony. I shit you not.

Thededalus: We shouldn't excuse imperialism or violence. But America's actions, even, to some extent, in the Cold War, were not imperialistic, or mindlessly violent, most of the time. And since the end of the single largest National Security threat in human history, we've never acted for the expansion of Empire, or to bomb someone just because they are there. So, you are correct, but the fact is, Craig's point is also well met.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 24, 03 | 12:08 pm
Fred,
I wasn't just referring to World War II, but also World War I, the Marshall plan, the Berlin Airlift, and the Cold War against the Soviets. What do you think NATO would have been without the U.S. military and the threat of stratigic retalation? (answer: a speedbump to Stalin/Kruschev's tanks.)

Posted by: Fred Masters on Nov 24, 03 | 12:44 pm
Believe me, I know that. Thanks to many idiots in America who enjoyed ignoring what was done, not only to the people in Soviet states, but to all the people communism infected, we were not prepared to win a conventional war in Europe without nuclear weapons. That always made me mad, even when I was in the military in Viet Nam. I always argued for the use of tactical neutron bomb use against the Viet Cong. I understand fully that America has a vital role to play, and that overwhelming force is often the best way to end a war as quickly and painlessly as possible. What do you think would have happened if America had been willing to FIGHT in Viet Nam, and I don't just mean kill the occasional "gook"? (answer: A war that lasted four years instead of nine, killing less than half on both sides, with the ultimate victory of the United States and Capitalism over communism) My rambling point is...I understand. But often, you are getting sort of off topic. As an immigrant, I love America, and I love pointing out American superiority. But often, what you point out seems to have little or no point to the topic, other than that America won WWII. Just try and avoid that kind of post, please.

Posted by: Craig on Nov 28, 03 | 8:25 am
"Just try and avoid that kind of post, please."

Point noted.
The allies won World War II.

Posted by: sl0re on Nov 29, 03 | 1:46 am
Posted by: Fred Masters on Nov 24, 03 | 9:58 am

> Please. Also, South Koreans believe ferverently that America has made them a
> slave colony. I shit you not.

If so, we should pull out ASAP.


Posted by: Fred Masters on Dec 05, 03 | 10:16 pm
The average South Korean thinks that America is holding unification back with threats of violence to both sides. In other words, the average South Korean is stupid.



Add your comments

Click to format text (requires Javascript): Bold | Italic | Link


Characters remaining: Notify you when someone replies to this post?