Friday, January 30, 2009

As stated in my previous post, I'm a Political Science major. It just comes naturally to me. I may not come off as a very politically charged person, but get me on the right topic and you've just hit a mine field! So, my Politics of Western Europe class today took a turn into the mine field.

We were discussing a quote by Robert Kagan, author of Paradise and Power. I don't remember the quote but it was along the lines of saying that the United States has a strong military and will use it, and Europe doesn't have a strong military because it knows the United States will be there to protect it no matter what. Now I don't know how we got off on the tangent that set me off, but basically we were talking why the United States believes it needs a strong military and what the rest of the world thinks about it. I ended up pissing off the majority of the class with one simple observation that anyone who lives outside the United States could easily see the argument for, if not completely agree with me.

Basically I said that the United States has become such a military power that the way we push our weight around with other countries has made us a threat in the eyes of some people. Said people then get pissed and either attack or threaten to attack us. In which case we, in turn, use our military power to try to eliminate the threat, which makes us look even more like a bully.

I didn't word it near this well because I had too many things going through my head at the time, but that was the jest of it. I wasn't saying we're a horrible country, just that some of the threats we have encountered could very easily be a product of our overzealous use of military force.

Apparently some of my classmates just cannot see that the United States can do any wrong. Eh, maybe I'm being too cynical. Too judgemental, even.

Either way, it was fun watching so many people's reactions.

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