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    (Original post by Speciez99)
    As much as you may disagree US policy in the main has not changed much, its governed by the a very few simple principles
    1. our national intetests first
    Name ONE nation that does not give priority to its national interest!
    2. the americas to be free of governement which are intolerent of our system
    Does it not make perfectly sense to do everything you can to avoid to have neighbours who are intolerant towards your system? If they do not tolerate your systems, it means they can't accept it is there, and hence their aim is ultimately to destroy your system. Therefore, there surely can be nothing wrong to try to get rid of those who won't tolerate you.
    3. protect our trade as much as possible since trade is good for the US
    There is nothing wrong with protecting trade. Trade is a condicio sine qua non for economic success. Besides, it generally benefits both sides of the transaction, which surely is a good thing. In addition, it gives you contact with other cultures, which is incredibly enriching. The reason Ancient Greek became what it was, was that it was a trading country; it got in touch with many different cultures.

    Vietnam is an example of the US interfering in the affairs of another country illegally,
    How do you define "illegally" in the international context of the 1960s? Is it illegal to use military force without the consent of the UN Security Council? In that case, you always need the consent of the USSR... What is wrong with acting illegally, if those who determine what is illegal or not are the masters of an authoriarian regime that is the single most important cause of human suffering in that period of time?

    something that the US has done many times to try and infulence the situation for its own gain.
    Which nation does not try to promote its own gain?
    Personnally if the US has done that in the past and nothing has changed in the aims of the policy why shouldnt it do it again? That makes vietnam a very powerful arguement
    So, in conclusion, I think that the reasons you give for disliking US foreign policy are either not valid or they do not justify singling the US out for having a particularly bad FP.
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    (Original post by Speciez99)
    As much as you may disagree US policy in the main has not changed much, its governed by the a very few simple principles
    1. our national intetests first
    2. the americas to be free of governement which are intolerent of our system
    3. protect our trade as much as possible since trade is good for the US

    Vietnam is an example of the US interfering in the affairs of another country illegally, something that the US has done many times to try and infulence the situation for its own gain. Personnally if the US has done that in the past and nothing has changed in the aims of the policy why shouldnt it do it again? That makes vietnam a very powerful arguement
    Those three points you mention apply to virtually every country in the world. I chalange you to find one single country which does not promote their own interests and economic capabilities. As for Illegal interference, the UN has failed to makeinterference in several cases legal. Vietnam stoped pol pots massacre in cambodja by an illegal invasion. The UN failed to react to teh massacre in Rwanda. Many lives could have been spared had NATO interfered in Kosovo earlier. You mention vietnam, but you forget to take into consideration what the same US policy has done for many nations around the world where it has been successful. Look what Stalin did to Eastern europe. Look what communism has done to china. Look at what communism has resulted in in North Korea. 11 million died by the hands of the Sovjet communism in the USSR. Why was it illegal to fight against this? Vietnam was a great mistake, Il give you that. But What if the US had consequentely adopted a policy of isolationism, letting each country deal with their own problems? Then Europe would be under Nazi ot Communist rule, Taiwan would not have a fraction of the human rights it has today. South Korea would have been occupied by communist dictators and Japan would also be in deep ****.

    People keep telling the US to stop acting as if they were a world police force. But what if they did? That would force the rest of teh world to defend themselves, it would force every democratic state in teh world to build up heavy military defenses and it would give dictatorships a lower threshold for invading neighbouring countries. Is that preferable?
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    (Original post by Speciez99)
    but is the media free? the newspapers are owned by the rich with set political agendas, and i doubt they do,
    For every newspaper that is owned by some rich fat cat politician, there are at least 5 others that aren't. Nothing printed in the media is unbiased. There just aren't enough good writers to write such a thing, but if you piece together several accounts then you will get a pretty good picture.
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    (Original post by moncal)
    For every newspaper that is owned by some rich fat cat politician, there are at least 5 others that aren't. Nothing printed in the media is unbiased. There just aren't enough good writers to write such a thing, but if you piece together several accounts then you will get a pretty good picture.
    Just wanted to add that objectivity doesnt really have much to do with whether the media is state or privately owned. I think living in Britain you would get the impression that state sponsored media is very objective, because the BBC is rather objective. However, if you have lived in Norway or Sweden (or China for that matter of fact) then you probably has quite a different impression. I really dont think that objectivity and freedom is omething that springs out ofthe system. It is more of a cultural phenomena which can be favoured or protected by the system. Exactly what I mean with this is that for freedom and human rights to develop in a country the leaders and people in power must beleive in it. In dictatorial countries human rights fail to develop because the leader keep those who beleive in it surpressed. As an example, Saddam Husein kept all Iraqi opposition under strict controll through violence and torture. When the leaders of a country beleive in freedom and human rights, however, a democratic system can help ensure that the leaders of a country will , at least to some extent, work to favour these values.
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    (Original post by vienna95)
    thats not really what i was suggesting.



    circles. we will be going around in them sooner or later.
    obviously avoiding the question yet again as you havent read it
    surprise surprise
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    every nation puts its national interests first, but not every nation claims to be the home of democracy and rights
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    (Original post by zizero)
    My point? The story about Vietnam shows that American instincts tend to promote freedom of speech and specifically of the media. Having not had any significant experience with free modern-day media coverage of war, they decided a priori to go for a liberal stance.
    It turned out to have practical disadvantages, that's why they don't apply it in wars anymore.
    Yet, it goes to show, that fundamentally, Americans value freedom of speech greatly.

    The very fact that you saw those pictures of children suffering in Vietnam proves that the US media is free. Those "large corporations" certainly did not have any interest in showing the suffering of war.

    BTW, you're probably referring to the famous picture of the little girl running away from her village after it was bombed. It is the most famous image of the Vietnam War. The girl was not covered with Agent Orange, but with napalm.
    vietnam showed the US Gov. the damage the media can do, this has limited to greater resrictions of the US media in times of War, the whole embeded thing during the Gulf War II was a joke and the media could hardly said to be free and it wasnt because of revealing the tactics either.

    I realise that compared to alot of countries the media is very free so i understand your point, however i still don't think it is as free as the US claims sometimes
    in the US how many papers questioned the war at the time? this isn't a debating point, i don't know and would like too.
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    (Original post by zizero)
    Name ONE nation that does not give priority to its national interest!
    I agree that none to my knowledge do, and i think that is sad thing, however that doesnt make it right tho. The US is a more developed country can we not expect the rich and educated to expect in a more civilsed way when they have both the opportuinity and resources to


    (Original post by zizero)
    Does it not make perfectly sense to do everything you can to avoid to have neighbours who are intolerant towards your system? If they do not tolerate your systems, it means they can't accept it is there, and hence their aim is ultimately to destroy your system. Therefore, there surely can be nothing wrong to try to get rid of those who won't tolerate you.
    so over throwing democratically elected governement is alright then, despite the fact that dicatators are evil was one of the reason the US are in Iraq?

    (Original post by zizero)
    There is nothing wrong with protecting trade. Trade is a condicio sine qua non for economic success. Besides, it generally benefits both sides of the transaction, which surely is a good thing. In addition, it gives you contact with other cultures, which is incredibly enriching. The reason Ancient Greek became what it was, was that it was a trading country; it got in touch with many different cultures.
    things are a little different to then, the Ancient Greeks didnt use corperations like the IMO to suggest "advice" that was more benifitical to the US than the citizeans of that country

    (Original post by zizero)
    How do you define "illegally" in the international context of the 1960s? Is it illegal to use military force without the consent of the UN Security Council? In that case, you always need the consent of the USSR... What is wrong with acting illegally, if those who determine what is illegal or not are the masters of an authoriarian regime that is the single most important cause of human suffering in that period of time?
    I am pretty sure its immoral if not ilegal to kill around 2 million citizeans of a country when you claim to be freeing it, or do you think that is just fine?


    (Original post by zizero)
    Which nation does not try to promote its own gain?

    So, in conclusion, I think that the reasons you give for disliking US foreign policy are either not valid or they do not justify singling the US out for having a particularly bad FP.
    1. do you think its a policy that is good for humanity?
    2. do you think any country takes the policy to the extremes that the US does?
    3. do all countries have the resources and power to do differently?
    for me, no, no and no. Given this the US cannot be excused
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    As for Illegal interference, the UN has failed to makeinterference in several cases legal. Vietnam stoped pol pots massacre in cambodja by an illegal invasion.
    out of interest do you know how Pol Pot got into power?

    (Original post by Jonatan)
    The UN failed to react to teh massacre in Rwanda. Many lives could have been spared had NATO interfered in Kosovo earlier. You mention vietnam, but you forget to take into consideration what the same US policy has done for many nations around the world where it has been successful. Look what Stalin did to Eastern europe. Look what communism has done to china. Look at what communism has resulted in in North Korea. 11 million died by the hands of the Sovjet communism in the USSR. Why was it illegal to fight against this? Vietnam was a great mistake, Il give you that. But What if the US had consequentely adopted a policy of isolationism, letting each country deal with their own problems? Then Europe would be under Nazi ot Communist rule, Taiwan would not have a fraction of the human rights it has today. South Korea would have been occupied by communist dictators and Japan would also be in deep ****.
    I agree there are many worse but none richer. Isolationism would be awful for the world as well, but at the moment on the balance of things i think the US has for the 2nd half of this century being trying to do too much. I think that it often fails to consider the full consequences of its actions, afterall how can you ever justify supporting a dictator who is commiting human rights abuses just to prevent the spread of a ideology which is obviously spread for a reason.

    (Original post by Jonatan)
    People keep telling the US to stop acting as if they were a world police force. But what if they did? That would force the rest of teh world to defend themselves, it would force every democratic state in teh world to build up heavy military defenses and it would give dictatorships a lower threshold for invading neighbouring countries. Is that preferable?
    this is far from an all or nothing arguement, all that i would ask is they do less than the amount they have been doing
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    (Original post by Speciez99)
    every nation puts its national interests first, but not every nation claims to be the home of democracy and rights
    That still does not justify the singling out of America. France for instance also claims to be the home of democracy and rights, yet it is a nation and hence it puts its national interest first. (according to your statement that every nation puts its national interests first).
    Greece claims to be home of democracy, yet it is a nation and hence puts its national interest first.

    So, to justify the singling out of the US, you need to show that the US are the only nation that claims to be the home of democracy and rights; not just that there are nations that do not claim to be the home of democracy and rights ("not all nations...).
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    (Original post by Speciez99)
    vietnam showed the US Gov. the damage the media can do, this has limited to greater resrictions of the US media in times of War, the whole embeded thing during the Gulf War II was a joke and the media could hardly said to be free and it wasnt because of revealing the tactics either.

    I realise that compared to alot of countries the media is very free so i understand your point, however i still don't think it is as free as the US claims sometimes
    in the US how many papers questioned the war at the time? this isn't a debating point, i don't know and would like too.
    I agree.

    About the position of US papers towards the war - I don't know, but would like to. Maybe an American member could enlighten us.
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    (Original post by zizero)
    That still does not justify the singling out of America. France for instance also claims to be the home of democracy and rights, yet it is a nation and hence it puts its national interest first. (according to your statement that every nation puts its national interests first).
    Greece claims to be home of democracy, yet it is a nation and hence puts its national interest first.

    So, to justify the singling out of the US, you need to show that the US are the only nation that claims to be the home of democracy and rights; not just that there are nations that do not claim to be the home of democracy and rights ("not all nations...).
    France and Greece are not trying to nation bulid at the moment, this shows an example of how the USA persues its national interests to a larger extent than the other nations of the world
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    (Original post by Speciez99)
    I agree that none to my knowledge do, and i think that is sad thing, however that doesnt make it right tho. The US is a more developed country can we not expect the rich and educated to expect in a more civilsed way when they have both the opportuinity and resources to.
    Most European nations for instance are as developed as the US and their populations are at least as educated as the US population. So are their leaders.

    (BTW you'll find that the virtually the whole French political elite is composed of people who went to "Grandes Ecoles" - extremely elitarian institutions. So, it is probably true that France has the most educated leadership. By contrast, in the US, education is not always a necessity to get to power - cf. Schwarzenegger )

    According to your criterion for the legitimate level of expectation we are entitled to have towards countries' foreign policies, we can expect as much - if not more - from European nations. Yet, their FPs are just as "selfish" and they pursue their national interests just as vehemently.

    So, that does not justify the singling-out of the US.

    I agree however that just because this "selfishness" in FP exists univerally, it is not necessarily right. That's something that applies to nature as a whole: I personally feel that the world, the universe is extremely immoral, it is a world that should not be. Its fundamental laws are such that they create suffering. What is more cruel than to plants fighting for a place in the sun; what is more cruel than the survival of the fittest?

    so over throwing democratically elected governement is alright then, despite the fact that dicatators are evil was one of the reason the US are in Iraq?
    If those governments do not tolerate your system, it means they're a threat and hence it is legitimate to remove them.

    things are a little different to then, the Ancient Greeks didnt use corperations like the IMO to suggest "advice" that was more benifitical to the US than the citizeans of that country
    What's the IMO? Do you mean the IMF (International Monetary Fund)? If so, this is what I think:
    The US give money through the IMF to other countries. I think it is perfectly legitimate for them to require those countries to use this money in a way that the US thinks is most beneficial to the world economy. The IMF is not meant to be a samaritan; it is meant to help countries get out economic problems.

    If it gives money to people, it is perfectly normal that it has a certain influence on economic policy. Otherwise, it is likely the money will be poorly managed.
    The Marshall-Plan was not unconditional either, yet (I'm sure you'll agree) it is one of the best pieces of US FP ever.

    You allege that the US not only seek to influence these countries' policies not only in order to seek the most favourable outcome for the concerned country and the world economy, but also in order to seek a favourable outcome for itself. You even go further and allege that the US seeks to benefit itself more than the country it gives money to.
    I'm not quite sure about that. I would like concrete examples and good sources.

    I am pretty sure its immoral if not ilegal to kill around 2 million citizeans of a country when you claim to be freeing it, or do you think that is just fine?
    It may have been immoral, but it was not illegal. Morality is always relative, whereas legality is not. Something is either illegal or it's not. If it does not say somewhere that it is forbidden, than it is not illegal.
    Can you show me a law that outlaws interventions such as the one conducted by the US in Vietnam?


    1. do you think its a policy that is good for humanity?
    I suppose you mean US FP here. I can't answer that question in general. Some of it is, some of it isn't. It's not black-and-white. The US have done good things for the world, they also have done bad things.
    On the whole however, I think that the world would be worse-off without the US.
    2. do you think any country takes the policy to the extremes that the US does?
    I suppose you mean extreme self-interest here (as that was one of the main points of your post).
    Yes, I do. In fact, many go much further and have less consideration for other countries' interests and the US.
    I think one concrete example will suffice. I think it is pretty obvious that many states have a more extreme FP than the US.
    Take Iran: They are actively seeking to destabilise Iraq in order to establish an Islamist regime there. They have done so before the war in trying (successfully) to fool the US into believing there were WMDs so they would attack Saddam's regime. Now, they are trying to get the Shiites to start a civil war.
    That policiy is utterly irresponsible as (if successful) it will result in huge suffering for the Iraqi people. The damage done to Iraq would be massive, incomparable to the damage done by the US.
    I think you will agree that Iran's FP is far more extreme than the US's. And I think you will agree that there are many other countries like that.
    3. do all countries have the resources and power to do differently?
    What do you mean "to do differently". To act less in self-interest and to act more morally? In that case, I think power is more of a burden and a help. It is far easier for Luxembourg (army of 450 soldiers) to have a "moral" FP than for the US: It's easier to make nothing wrong if you haven't got anything to do.
    The mere fact that the US is powerful does not justify disliking it's FP. That would mean that someone who has power is automatically bad and worthy of dislike. Doesn't make much sense to me...
    for me, no, no and no. Given this the US cannot be excused
    Given what I said above, my conclusion is different from yours. I don't think it is legitimate to bear a particular dislike at US FP.
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    (Original post by Speciez99)
    I agree there are many worse but none richer. Isolationism would be awful for the world as well, but at the moment on the balance of things i think the US has for the 2nd half of this century being trying to do too much. I think that it often fails to consider the full consequences of its actions, afterall how can you ever justify supporting a dictator who is commiting human rights abuses just to prevent the spread of a ideology which is obviously spread for a reason.
    That's Realpolitik for you!
    Sometimes, you have to work with bad guys to win against even "badder" guys. Roosevelt and Churchill made an alliance with Stalin in order to overthrow Hitler. The US even gave money to the USSR in that time, knowing full well that the URSS was a totalitarian regime that caused a lot of suffering. Yet, it was the only way to beat Nazi Germany, which at that time posed the greater threat.
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    (Original post by zizero)
    That's Realpolitik for you!
    Sometimes, you have to work with bad guys to win against even "badder" guys. Roosevelt and Churchill made an alliance with Stalin in order to overthrow Hitler. The US even gave money to the USSR in that time, knowing full well that the URSS was a totalitarian regime that caused a lot of suffering. Yet, it was the only way to beat Nazi Germany, which at that time posed the greater threat.
    Unfortunately after that came the cold war. Have you noticed how so few people appreciate the 1,000,000+ (I think I read somewhere) russians who died on the eastern frount. Is that a legacy of the cold war?
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    (Original post by randdom)
    Unfortunately after that came the cold war. Have you noticed how so few people appreciate the 1,000,000+ (I think I read somewhere) russians who died on the eastern frount. Is that a legacy of the cold war?
    Yes, but that's the way things go. Had the US not helped the USSR, the chances are there would not have been a Cold War. But then again, Europe might have been fascist...
    History is a never-ending tragedy!

    Yes, it's true, people tend to forget the USSR made such a huge war-effort. That's due to the fact that Russia is so far away, that people tend to think more about their own sacrifices (perfectly natural thing to do), and that the Cold War made it politically incorrect to pay tribute to people who had become enemies.
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    (Original post by zizero)
    According to your criterion for the legitimate level of expectation we are entitled to have towards countries' foreign policies, we can expect as much - if not more - from European nations. Yet, their FPs are just as "selfish" and they pursue their national interests just as vehemently.
    So, that does not justify the singling-out of the US.
    i disagree with the fact that you alledge that the US does not persue their interests any more vehermently than any of the european nations
    (Original post by zizero)
    I agree however that just because this "selfishness" in FP exists univerally, it is not necessarily right. That's something that applies to nature as a whole: I personally feel that the world, the universe is extremely immoral, it is a world that should not be. Its fundamental laws are such that they create suffering. What is more cruel than to plants fighting for a place in the sun; what is more cruel than the survival of the fittest?
    i agree totally however i personally would like to think that in the 21st century that we could of developed abit beyond these basic instincts as intelligent human beings
    (Original post by zizero)
    If those governments do not tolerate your system, it means they're a threat and hence it is legitimate to remove them.
    ok on this point that makes the USA extremely hypocritical, the whole of the Cold War was suposedly fought for choice yet the US denies that. The US cannot use the arguement that they are promoting individual freedom when they interfer in countries if they do this.
    (Original post by zizero)
    What's the IMO? Do you mean the IMF (International Monetary Fund)? If so, this is what I think:
    The US give money through the IMF to other countries. I think it is perfectly legitimate for them to require those countries to use this money in a way that the US thinks is most beneficial to the world economy. The IMF is not meant to be a samaritan; it is meant to help countries get out economic problems.
    yes sorry i meant the IMF, the Indonesia under Suhato, a dictators control
    the IMF recommeded a package of measures that inculded the reduction of tariffs on staple foods, 80% of the population of Indonesia relied on agriculture for a living. Most went bankcrupt and their children ended up living in slums in the edge to the city
    (Original post by zizero)
    If it gives money to people, it is perfectly normal that it has a certain influence on economic policy. Otherwise, it is likely the money will be poorly managed.
    The Marshall-Plan was not unconditional either, yet (I'm sure you'll agree) it is one of the best pieces of US FP ever.
    the marshall plan worked becasue it took economies out of poverty and thus stemed communism by economics, the war on terror at the moment is slightly different and is being made worse by the gap between the rich and poor being increased (unlike the marshall plan) which is the result of the policies of many developed nations of which the US is the largest
    (Original post by zizero)
    You allege that the US not only seek to influence these countries' policies not only in order to seek the most favourable outcome for the concerned country and the world economy, but also in order to seek a favourable outcome for itself. You even go further and allege that the US seeks to benefit itself more than the country it gives money to.
    I'm not quite sure about that. I would like concrete examples and good sources.
    ^ taken from John Piliger's book "The New Rulers of the World"
    (Original post by zizero)
    It may have been immoral, but it was not illegal. Morality is always relative, whereas legality is not. Something is either illegal or it's not. If it does not say somewhere that it is forbidden, than it is not illegal.
    Can you show me a law that outlaws interventions such as the one conducted by the US in Vietnam?
    so you dont think that laws show be based on morals?
    (Original post by zizero)
    I suppose you mean US FP here. I can't answer that question in general. Some of it is, some of it isn't. It's not black-and-white. The US have done good things for the world, they also have done bad things.
    On the whole however, I think that the world would be worse-off without the US.
    I suppose you mean extreme self-interest here (as that was one of the main points of your post).
    Yes, I do. In fact, many go much further and have less consideration for other countries' interests and the US.
    I think one concrete example will suffice. I think it is pretty obvious that many states have a more extreme FP than the US.
    Take Iran: They are actively seeking to destabilise Iraq in order to establish an Islamist regime there. They have done so before the war in trying (successfully) to fool the US into believing there were WMDs so they would attack Saddam's regime. Now, they are trying to get the Shiites to start a civil war.
    you believe that it was Iran and not just the CIA messing things up and Iran is hardly a global player in world politics, the actions of Iran hardly affect millilon in the way the US does
    do you have proof they are actively doing so as well, i know its alledged but i would like to see abit firmer evidence and preferablely not the guradain article i posted a thread about abit back
    (Original post by zizero)
    That policiy is utterly irresponsible as (if successful) it will result in huge suffering for the Iraqi people. The damage done to Iraq would be massive, incomparable to the damage done by the US.
    I think you will agree that Iran's FP is far more extreme than the US's. And I think you will agree that there are many other countries like that.
    What do you mean "to do differently". To act less in self-interest and to act more morally? In that case, I think power is more of a burden and a help. It is far easier for Luxembourg (army of 450 soldiers) to have a "moral" FP than for the US: It's easier to make nothing wrong if you haven't got anything to do.
    The mere fact that the US is powerful does not justify disliking it's FP. That would mean that someone who has power is automatically bad and worthy of dislike. Doesn't make much sense to me...
    yes but the fact the US is powerful means it has to be far more careful in the way it acts, i would like to see it have a more moral fp as its one of the few nations who can
    (Original post by zizero)
    Given what I said above, my conclusion is different from yours. I don't think it is legitimate to bear a particular dislike at US FP.
    ah well we might end up just disagreeing in the end, thank you for debating this with me, i will give you postive rep for your contributions when i can
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    I'm concerned with the volume of comments about USA recently in quick succession. How many threads have there been already?

    A little OT but is Taiwan actually independent? I skimmed the papers some time ago and it said something with independence from China.
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    I'm concerned with the volume of comments about USA recently in quick succession. How many threads have there been already?

    A little OT but is Taiwan actually independent? I skimmed the papers some time ago and it said something with independence from China.
    It is independent, but it used to belong to China, and China wants it back. However, Taiwan is a democracy and it's protected by the US.
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    I'm concerned with the volume of comments about USA recently in quick succession. How many threads have there been already?

    A little OT but is Taiwan actually independent? I skimmed the papers some time ago and it said something with independence from China.
    yes it is a pain having to look at more than one
 
 
 
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