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Red Alert?

  • Oct. 8th, 2008 at 5:28 PM
gazetareporter

So, both candidates covered foreign issues in the first two debates. Last night they touched specifically on the “Russia question” , namely the Kremlin’s new found confidence and whether this represents a threat to Americans. Both Obama and McCain tried to avoid the impression that they’re speaking about a new Cold War but their rhetoric was all but the same: supporting countries that have very tough relations with Russia and containment of Russian “nationalist pretentions”.

Do you think this debate is relevant? Generally speaking, are YOU really concerned by new “Red Alert”? Or is this being used to frighten the public into thinking that the US is under siege from a nuclear Iran, China and Russia?


Comments

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glassthorne wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
I'm not concerned at all about that many things going on outside of the borders of the US. I've got too many other things to worry about as a single mother, such as paying off my debts and constantly readjusting my budget so I can afford basic necessities in the face of rising fuel, food, and healthcare costs.

There's an old saying, "Physician heal thyself." I think before the US can go around trying to "fix" other nations, they really need to turn it's attention back to mending all the problems we already have here at home. We've certainly got more than enough to spare.
letitshine wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
well said
(no subject) - tyskkvinna - Oct. 8th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - kwsapphire - Oct. 8th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - saffirebleu - Oct. 8th, 2008 03:47 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - bridgeweaver - Oct. 8th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 10th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC) Expand
uspresidents wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
I am concerned about a newly aggressive Russia, and about a potentially nuclear Iran (and North Korea, and pretty much everyone else). As much as I understand the need to "fix the problems at home first," we live in a connected world that's getting smaller all the time. We need to pay attention to what's going on beyond our borders.

I thought it was interesting in the debate that neither candidate would answer the "yes or no: is Russia again the evil empire" question yes or no. I thought McCain's answer was best: "Maybe" with clarification.

I also wondered at Obama's answer that assisting the emerging democracies in the former Soviet bloc with foreign aid was the way to go. On the one hand, it makes sense; on the other, it was directly at odds with his earlier answer (on the economy) that he would be cutting federal spending in all but a few key areas (and foreign aid was not one of those few).

I think wackos with nukes are the most dangerous; I'm worried about Russia growing more aggressive, but I don't think that's the top tier concern, because in the end, the Russian people have had this taste of freedom, and (I think) they like it. The leaders of Russia will have to contend with that before bringing back Reagan's "evil empire."
tyskkvinna wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
Sure, Russians had their taste of freedom. And they've been progressing away from it. "Order Before Freedom" is a phrase one reads often when reading about Russian politics.

Personally I think that's fine.. as long as the Russians are content with their government and it's not intruding on anybody else. (And you know, not intending on nuking anybody. But that's a standing rule for everyone!)

I wasn't really happy with either Obama or McCain's answer on Russia... or their doctrine, and the two kind of went hand-in-hand.
I agree - thelivingword - Oct. 8th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC) Expand
lurkitty wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
I am concerned about Russian aggression, but thought it was a terrible move to send envoys only to Georgia. Even Kissinger, Gov. Palin's newfound mentor, traveled to both sides in a conflict when negotiating.

From the outside, it does appear that Russia is seeking to rebuild its buffer zone. That calls for more diplomacy on our part to prevent channels from closing, not less. Public accusations and finger-wagging only poke the bear.

I do see a lot of fearmongering because McCain relies on security as his core issue. It's really hard to shift the focus right now when folks are more worried about their next meal than Iranian centrifuges.
ratphooey wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
Russian aggressiveness is not nearly as relevant at the moment as our crumbling financial system, the mind-boggling national debt, or the continued misuse of resources both human and financial in Iraq.
adamwolf wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)
I have a genuine problem with the overtly aggressive tone of the debate when it steers neer Russia. The Georgian situation, for instance, is a lot more complicated than most western news sources have made it out to be, and can be easily used as the proverbial stick to hit the dog. American leaders of late seem to have the illusion of enemies surrounding them, but this type of rhetoric will give them exactly what they fear the most: an isolated stance (instead of a rhetorically isolated stance, which is not the same at all) with the European allegiance shifting to the east.
zumayabooks wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
The Ugly American, 21st Century Version
To expect Russia to develop a US-like democracy--or any kind of democracy at all, for that matter--can be accomplished only by totally ignoring the full scope of Russian history. It's not a question of "evil empire" or anything else but a simple grasp of a country's mindset, just as is the case with the Muslim nations.

They don't think like Americans. They don't have our history. The things that have shaped their culture are different. Expecting them to behave like us is like assuming a tiger will act like a pussycat just because you let it live in your house.

It's a failure of the US psyche that we seem to think all we have to do is show those living in other countries how lovely our system is and they'll leap on it. Wrong. And the present world situation indicates just how wrong it is. And unless and until the US government understands this, we will continue to blunder around making threats and pretending we can force our culture and beliefs onto those who want no part of them.
the_paulr wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
Re: The Ugly American, 21st Century Version
I completely agree.
absurdhero wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
Putin's Russia is a serious threat, but it's not one the US needs to be confronting unilaterally. The U.N. needs to get its house in order, because this is their job. We're not the world police here.
lolo_wilderkind wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
I strongly disagree with both candidates on foreign policy, and this is one more example of why. I don't think we have anything to fear from Russia or Iran, and this "sabre-rattling" is really harmful to the diplomatic process.
kwsapphire wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
I really don't see Russia as threatening America, in fact I see the American government as being a whole lot more threatening towards Russia. I see this as more of the same "You're either with us or you're part of the Axis of Evil" empire building that has become America's Modus Operandi.
oleposya wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
I am russian and i live in america for 14 years. From all my memories in early childhood, school and colledge(70s-80s-90s) - America never was painted as our enemy and I haven't been raised to hate america. Actually it was an opposite - American lifestyle was secretely admired by a lot of soviet people for the freedoms and possibilities we were missing behind the "soviet curtain". Of course we had been told about "bad" western values and mentality and people being merkantile and valuing only money instead of spiritual values and all other propaganda about why Soviet style is the best in the world etc etc etc. but it is undersandable and normal for any government.
Lately America being "famous" for pushing american understanding of democracy and their values to other countries without considering their culture and history. The most unpopular decision (for other countries) was invasion of Iraq and ignoring UN. I haven't been in russia for a long time but I can definitely "taste" a very different feeling towards america by the way russians discuss things in blogs and by reading their news. Russians think america bullying everybody, pushing their interests with both military and diplomatic force and teaching others how to live and expect them just to accept their orders and behave like a good doggy". Nobody likes to be "guided" by force. I think Russia is trying to gain the status of
big players" they have lost during the troubling "perestroika" years and crisices of 90s in Russia and to show that they are on their own and they are "big" enough . and it is being greatly diskliked by American polititians. I don't think all moves Russia made lately were great but they are NOT thinking about attacking america and not preparing their public opinion for that - this is for sure. And I really dont understand why everything about Russia is SO negative in the american media. I am reading news from multiple sources. and Conflict in Georgia was GREATLY misrepresented in the media here. it wasnt as simple as it was painted. I am afraid about another Cold War possibility and I was VERY scared by listening to Sarah Palin's interivew when she was saying that it is possibly that America may do military action against Russia.
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
Exactly.

Thanks for your input.

The reason Russia is portrayed so badly is that it's an easy enemy that our parents were trained to hate. They took Communism in high school, and it wasn't about the theory, but about how evil Russia was. We sure like our dichotomies. Notice how we can't have individual relations with other nations, but we have to have an "axis of evil"?

The Cold War was such a huge thing here. Everything about Russia was a threat to our very existence and all of history. It's hard to let that kind of sentiment go, especially since the new multi-polar world is so complicated. Russia is an easy enemy. It's iconic. It's foreign. It's distant. It's sexy and scary and dark.

Americans are nuts.
(no subject) - oleposya - Oct. 8th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 8th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC) Expand
communism and your parents - thelivingword - Oct. 8th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: communism and your parents - brennakimi - Oct. 8th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: communism and your parents - thelivingword - Oct. 9th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC) Expand
Re: communism and your parents - brennakimi - Oct. 9th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pariskan - Oct. 8th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - oleposya - Oct. 8th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pariskan - Oct. 9th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - oleposya - Oct. 9th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - batbuds - Oct. 8th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - oleposya - Oct. 8th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC) Expand
America and materialism - sophia_sadek - Oct. 8th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC) Expand
mightyafrodite wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
I don't think Obama approached either Iran or Russia from a fearmongering standpoint, but was rather pragmatic about the current situation and mentioned viable and practical ways to approach it from a non-miltary standpoint that also connected to issues affecting the United States domestically--energy consumption. McCain wasn't fearmongering with Russia, but he did so with Iran and Pakistan.
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
I thought it was quite important the step Obama took away from calling them "evil." There is no evil, only mistaken, wrong, or different. And I say this as I study horrible, awful things.

It's so easy to define an evil other, but it doesn't help with the problems we face. It doesn't help us address the threat, and it has no place in the discussion.

The reality is that the world is still figuring out the post-cold war multipolar system, and we need to work very hard to keep from destabilizing it. And you know the best way to destabilize it? Call people names and make threats.
onewaystair wrote:
Oct. 9th, 2008 06:39 am (UTC)
The threat of nuclear war is frightening to me, and the tendency of American leaders to threaten other nations for their weapons development just makes us a more attractive target. It's like calling someone's mother a whore when they have a gun pointed at your head.

I find it troubling because I assume that any country whose leaders openly announce their nuclear programs have actually been working on them for some time and are probably well-equipped already.
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 9th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC) Expand
woopflying wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)

These guys are playing to the electorate, sounding tough gets the patriot flags waving so they must have nasty foreigners for it to work.
That the USA is a broken society comes second place.
wolfwyndd wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
IMO, Russia, and the whole 'nuclear threat' or whatever you want to call it about other countries having, and / or using, nuclear weapons is a red herring. Communism, the cold war, weapons of mass destruction, Iraq, etc, etc, etc, it's nothing more then a smoke screen to distract the american people from the REAL threat and that's our own government taking away our rights.

In all seriousness, I'm more afraid of the US Government taking away my personal rights then I am any other government in the world doing anything to me.
nolik wrote:
Oct. 10th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
Amen!
I'm amazed that up until now nobody else said it.
People, stop sweating about Cold War with Russia. Don't you realize that this histeria is being created with one and only purpouse, to sow and panic in masses and than rule through fear.
tsmitty31 wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
The debate is relevant, but I don't feel that either candidate was explicit enough about the role of U.S. energy dependency when it comes to Russia.

Russia makes the U.S. nervous because it controls so much crude oil. It's similar to Iran only without the religious issues.

It's no simple matter, I know, but eliminating the U.S. dependency of foreign energy supplies would go a long way toward improving the foreign policy situation.
thelivingword wrote:
Oct. 9th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
Hannidy's interview.
I enjoyed the interview tonight on Fox with McCain and Sarah Palin. If He gets elected he will have a really bright and knowledgable helper in regard to energy independence. She may even have him drilling in Anwar before it's over. This will be one of her main roles in the administration if they win.

Following that interview was Gretta's interview with Sarah. Very informative. Who knows how this will all turn out, but we have some very real problems to solve.
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