"What an excellent reply, Furlong. Let me try to be half as good in my reply."
>>> thank you BS (er.. am I allowed to use that acronym? ... lol) for the compliment. And let me say that you have been very lucid in your reply as well
"In this world there are "good" countries and "bad" countries. Which countries are included in those categories rest solely in the mind of the categorizer. I, for instance, think the USA is a "good" country. That is not based upon what I thik of the people, it is based upon how the USA interacts with the other countries of the world."
>>> yes, I see what you are saying. What I was trying to suggest however is that we are no longer (if we ever were) in a position to make that judgement with any degree of validity. Using my analogy of the mountain, you would be , say, the field mouse or wombat or what ever you have over there on the sunny side, pottering around doing whatever field mice or wombats do but in any event enjoying it. Whereas in darkest Harlem, or whatever your equivalent of the slums of London are, you might find your average young rat has a very different view and is, metaphorically, on the north side of the mountain. But I went kind of further and I'm suggesting that its probably inappropriate to make sweeping judgements about a particular nation, but more particularly that its entirely inappropriate for individuals within that nation to react adversely or positively over any judgements that may be made by "outsiders" in a way that suggests they are taking such judgments personally. As you say, I don't doubt that people DO I'm just trying to make a logical argument as to why they shouldn't .
" Now the question rises, as you and others have noted, about the "rise and fall" of great nations. Specifically noted were the Roman Empire and the British Empire.
The USA does not have an "empire.""
>>> Sure you have an Empire. In the widest sense of the word you have an Empire. Maybe not gained or sustained by military might as in the old days, but in many ways powerful and influential. Your Empire is built upon wealth, trade agreements, dependency, politics, geographical dominance and yes, fear as well - England I suspect is vassal to the US just as surely as she was to Rome, and as you say, England herself has her dependants. This is a very different world and a much more complex one Empires exist but they are not the overt power bases of before and the shifts are constant and rapid.
"We all know how the Roman empire fell. We all know how the British Empire shrank. We also know that British influence is strong in the world today. While the Empire shrank, the goodness and proudness of Britain never diminished. Her flag waves high in the councils of the world."
>>> very kind of you to say so but also I regret to say a simplistic (no disrespect to you BS ) and inaccurate portrayal. Not to mention, as I keep trying to suggest, irrelevant.
"The USA has become the undisputed military and economic leader in the world. That is a terrible burden for any country, let alone one as young as ours, to bear. We will make mistakes, yet, with council from our allies and friends, we hope they will not be large errors and we hope they will not be detrimental to the world family. No action will please all people, here or around the world, or all countries. So, the world family (and I do NOT mean the UN) must decide in council how to proceed on any question of sovereign encroachment by any other country.
The USA has been a part of that world family and should continue therein. I believe if the USA were to go back to a laissez-faire policy there would be dire international consequences.
So, I think your mountain, on average, is good. I think most mountains in this world are good. I think my mountain, on average, is good.
I also think your thoughts are very good"
>>> and I still think my mountain is irrelevant ...lol ...........
...... and most people on this earth are lovely, and surely that's what really matters .