Forum Replies Created
May 19, 2008 at 8:36 pm in reply to: Historians #10925
If you have found a useful idea in Foucallt, your'e a better man than me. Mostly what reading his work does is give me a headache. I have never read anyone who can write in circles better than him, though Derrida gives him a run for his money.
Wow. That's cool! If it's not too personnal a question, what are you planning to do for work there?
I hope to do a little teaching once my MA is finished. I also have a line on a some consulting jobs where my degree will come in handy as well. And if worse comes to worse, I have already told my wife I will just have to be a house-husband and live off her dime and my retirement check. At least with retirement I know the house will be paid for.May 19, 2008 at 8:31 pm in reply to: Shooting the Koran #11258
Legitimacy and weakness are, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. A common mistake made by westerners when dealing with different cultures is the assumption that they share our perceptions. They do not.
Without a doubt they'll use it as a tool. But they will have no legitimacy in doing so. They accuse us of being Western imperialists. This apology, along with everything else we've been doing, will prove that is incorrect.We'll have more trouble convincing Nancy Pelosi and the Leftists that we're not imperialists.
Terrorists and insurgents derive the legitimacy of using this incident as a recruiting from the fact that it happened. Our apology means less than nothing to them, and in fact, they do see it as weakness. They are still using the events at Abu Ghraib against us despite the public apologies, prosecution, and imprisonment of the perpetrators. To our opponents our nation building activities are portrayed as imperialism not benevolent aid. Do not forget that perception is everything.
Diplomatically it was prudent to apologize. Strategically it was prudent to apologize. Morally it was prudent to apologize. Does it show weakness? Some will see it that way I'm sure, but the majority of the people should see it as doing the right thing and trying to co-exist under tense circumstances. Not everyone is going to be happy over there....all that can be hoped for is to keep the majority in line.
How does apologizing keep anyone in line? My basic point is that we can acknowledge the occurrence and prosecute the individual but a collective apology serves no practical point. In fact, the apology lowers our standing by making us look weak. I don?t see how the apology makes sense either diplomatically or strategically, it is neither a diplomatic nor a strategic issue. I see your point about morality, but I think you are falling into the trap of assuming they believe as we do. They see incidents of this kind as a wedge. This is much like the cartoons of a few years ago or the recent video by the Dutch politician. Many Muslims did not see either thing but the terrorists use these things to stir up hatred and we continually back down. When the people concerned stand their ground, they are called hatemonger?s or worse. It becomes a question of what is more important, our freedoms or their supposed right to not be offended?I go back to my original question: what law was broken by the shooting of a Koran? I agree it was a stupid thing to do. I disagree in that I think the US government has no requirement to accept collective responsibility for the actions of one idiot.
wow, those ar big plans, may ask what part of Europe?
I plan on living in Northern Bavaria in a little town called Gerolzhofen about 15 miles from Wuerzberg. We already have the lot picked out, we just have to design the house.May 19, 2008 at 6:20 pm in reply to: Shooting the Koran #11255
I think the apology was a good idea because now the insurgency/terrorists can't use this incident as a recruitment tool.
They will use the indcident as a recruiting tool anyway, our apology just makes us look weak.May 19, 2008 at 5:54 pm in reply to: Shooting the Koran #11253
Ah, but what is the difference between apologizing and groveling? The soldier should be disciplined for being not stupid, not for disrespecting what is in the end, just a mass of printed paper. The question is, would we reasonably expect the Iraqi equivalent of a two-star to apologize to us if it was discovered that Iraqi's were useing the bible for target practice? I think we would not, because we are big enough to see beyond the stupidity of the indivindual, and that he does not represent the entirety of the Iraqi population. The problem with an official apology I see is that it seems to legitimize the act. I think it would be more effective to acknowledgin it happened and say the soldier was reprimanded without tendering an official apology. It is not US policy to desecrate Korans after all, so why is the US apologizing for the act of an individual. Apologizing is tanatamount to admitting that they are culturally superior instead of being equals as we contend.
The whole Anbar Awakening happened because they saw how the Marines fought, and we gained their respect because of that.
The way we fought is a sign of strength, something they understand. However, respecting their values and norms does not mean we jettison our values in favor of theirs or place our values in a subservient position.May 19, 2008 at 5:42 pm in reply to: Historians #10923
I try to avoid any Revisionist or New Left historians. I also particularly despise post-modernists and post-structualists of the Derrida or Foucault camps, what they do is not so much history as moral relativism cloaked as history or theory. The various post- types are generally trying to cram their lack of morals down our throats in my opinion, and are not engaged in any serious study. Their Marxist origin is also easy to detect.May 19, 2008 at 5:38 pm in reply to: What’s your favorite period of history #10539
18th and 19th century Prussia, I think the Prussian rise to Great Power staus is fascinating and little understood in the English Speaking world. Too many people point to Bismarck and Hitler, they but stood on the shoulders of giants however.May 19, 2008 at 5:36 pm in reply to: Best job in the history world #8173
My dream job would be to have a column in a journal or magazine where I would present a battle guide for a different battle with each issue and the magazine paid for my travel and expenses. I find walking battlefields fascinating and think other people would too if they were presented correctly. By, the Way, I think the National Park Service does a horrible job at National Battlefields. There is no sense of what really happened at any of the 20-30 national battlefields I have been to. You mainly get a disjointed account that is hard to piece together if you have not researched beforehand.May 19, 2008 at 5:23 pm in reply to: Your History History #6304
I also have my BA in World Military History and am working on my MA in European History. I plan on teaching a little and doing some outside consulting for tour operators in Europe after I retire from the Army in a few years. I would also like to pursue a Phd but am not completely wedded to the idea, I guess it depends on how much I achieve with an MA and whether I think it is worth investing the time, I dont think that having a string of letters after your name makes you any smarter than anybody else.May 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm in reply to: most historically significant battle #5076
The Battle of Adrianople in 378 AD. Perhaps if the Romans had won, the descent of Europe would have been delayed or avoided and Rome could have exerted a civilising effect on the Goths. Imagine if the Romans had gotten over their internal troubles and still existed today. This is not as far-fetched as it sounds, the Egyptian empire lasted what, something like 5,000 years. If Rome had persisted their empire would only be about 2,500 years old today. Also, imagine how many ancient texts would have survived, what remains today would be a pittance compared to what was lost during the Dark Ages.May 19, 2008 at 5:07 pm in reply to: Language study #11226
I would say that languages are very important, especially for history outside the US. I had a passing familiarity with German before I started my Grad studies, but I have found that it is almost impossible to do substantive research into a foreign country without being able to speak the language. In studying 19th century Prussia, there is a wealth of information in German but very little attention has been paid to that in English. The only stuff translated is the main primary sources i.e. Delbruck and some limited amount of Moltke and Bismarck. I have found the Rosetta Stone software to be invaluable if you have the time to work on it every day. I plan on eventually learning French and maybe Russian, it helps that I took four years of mostly forgotten Latin in high school because I am least somewhat familiar with the verb and tense forms used in Europe.
Hi all,I have been posting here for about a week and I love the site and the fact that it is well-moderated as too many forums these days seem to neglect that aspect. I was turned onto the site by skiguy who is a fellow AMU student so I have to say thanks to him for pointing me this way. I hold a BA in World Military History and am currently pursuing my MA in European History. My specialty is 18th and 19th century Prussia, though prior to that I was a generalist with intersts spanniung the gamut from ancient Greece to WWII. I look forward to some stimulating discussion on the board. I am also currently in the US Army with only three years to retirement.
Yes, I am moving to Europe. I only have 3 more years until I retire from the Military and I will stay in Europe aftyer retirement, so my wife and I will have our hands full finding a lot and putting a house on it over the next year or so.May 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm in reply to: The moral decline of Biblical principals in America today #9885
America is in the same position today as the 3rd and 4th century Roman Empire. A time of moral decay and relativism that leads to decadence and a decline in moral standards. Thoug America definitely needs a moral and spiritual revival, I dont know if another Great Awakening is in the cards. As a society it seems that we are rapidly beoming a people who are not willing to fight to defend ourselves or our posterity.