"Trying to end revisionist history and setting the record straight!" ...
HISTORYTEACHER: Joy is Back!!! historyteacher

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Joy is Back!!!

First of all, I need to issue an apology to Joy. It turns out Joy is not a female as I incorrectly assumed. Joy is the name given to him by his students because they cannot pronouce his first name. Joy, I hope you accept my apologies.

Second of all, I really hope people take a look at our current conversation. It has been a lot of fun. I hope people will contribute to it. This is truly what blogging is all about!




At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Joy said...

Dear History Teacher,

Thank you for your response to my comments.

Firstly, you need not apologise over the gender issue. With a name like Joy, how could you know?

Secondly, I am not anti-American. I am anti-duplicity. Many of my friends are American and I value their friendship. I have travelled to America several times and I can’t say that I dislike the country or its people.

Thirdly, I have made general and sweeping statements in my comments, this is true. But they are only an opening gambit in what I hope will lead to future fruitful debates. The comment section of your blog is not big enough to support an in depth analysis of the facts. Empirical data is often too cumbersome when you are dealing with very broad issues.

Ok, let’s narrow it down a little by taking your opening statement: "You claim that it is the Athenian model of democracy that is at work today. I completely disagree. Where do we have any sort of property or power requirements in the United States? Or are you even talking of the United States?"

I think you have misunderstood what I’ve actually written. Property in the Athenian model of democracy does not refer to the physical but to the notional. Property = citizenship and citizenship = power. Only those with citizenship have the right to vote and therefore they hold power over those who are not citizens.

Consider the issues at stake. I am not a citizen of the USA and, as a result, cannot influence the balance of power in that country. This is only right and just. However, American foreign policy does impinge on my life and billions of others living on this planet. Because I am not in a position to influence American foreign policy, I am divested of property in the form of power to determine my future and that of my children.

There are numerous examples in history where American foreign policy has impinged upon the lives of those living in other countries. One good example is that of Ukraine and the recent orange revolution.

Had it not be for American financial aid, Ukraine would still be in the grip of a corrupt and partisan government. I believe the change in the Ukrainian government, brought about by American aid, will be good for the people of Ukraine in the long term. However, there are many pro-Russians here that find America’s involvement in Ukrainian affairs repugnant. They, too, feel divested of property because they cannot influence their future due to the fact that another nation, and the people of that nation, has determined the future for them. I think their resentment is understandable. I feel certain that you would feel the same.

Last night I watched Bob Geldof giving an interview for CNN. He reminded people that America, under the Marshal Plan, was responsible for rebuilding Europe and making it possible for people to live in relative peace. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the European Union, had it not been for America, most of Europe would still be in a state of political flux. I thought long and hard about what Bob Geldof said. He is right. Europe has much to thank America for. Nonetheless, my comments still stand, in as much that I feel American foreign policy interferes too much with the natural course of events.

My gripe against America has a lot to do with not being able to share the same constitutional values as American Citizens, yet American Citizens can and do influence the course of my life. I think American Citizens would feel aggrieved too, if the situation was reversed.

The American Constitution is the greatest con trick devised by man because not all people can share in its values. It therefore stands as a dream beyond the reach of most people living on this planet.

We only get a taste of America’s Constitutional values when that country determines it is in the interests of its own people. The American Constitution, as originally conceived, was designed to invest in man the power to determine his own freedom, not give him freedom in exchange for rights. As manifested in America’s foreign policy, the American Constitution stands diametrically opposed to the ideals and principles on which it was built, hence the breaking of ‘The Great Binding Law.’ I am a strong believer in ‘The Great Binding Law’ for all peoples of our planet, not just the few.

Moving on - I suggested that Europe had nothing to learn from America. Perhaps I should have qualified that statement by adding that Europe had nothing to learn from America’s application of its foreign policy in determining the course of events within other nations. Even so, that qualification falls short of what I was trying to say. I believe that Europe should not adopt America’s foreign policy when dealing with other nations. This, in itself, is a pedagogic process and therefore my statement is a paradox and I am quite prepared to re-phrase it so that it reads thus: Europe should learn from America's foreign policy mistakes by not adopting the same cavalier attitude used by the USA when dealing with other nations.

When you weigh up the benefits of America’s foreign policy, in terms of Prid Pro Quo, the benefits to America are far greater than the benefits received by other nations. I think it is understandable that many countries and peoples feel somewhat cheated by American foreign policy. Unless something is done about it, the USA will be in a state of perpetual war with the rest of the world. This would indeed be unfortunate, not only for Americans but for the rest of the world too.

Note: You stated that I was perhaps just spouting off anti-American rhetoric with no real hard facts to back it up. Here are some hard facts for you.

Since 1969 Britain has been engaged in a war against terrorism in Northern Ireland. Over 3500 people have died as a result of the activities of the IRA. Where do you think the IRA got its funding? It came from the good old United States of America.

The IRA’S fund raising arm, NORAY, was very active in raising funds from the USA during the 1970’s and 1980’s, and the American Government did nothing about it until recently.

McDonalds, that wonderful American institution, was alleged to have donated several million dollars to NORAY coffers. The end result of all this fund raising was a slaughter of men, women and children. I lost six of my comrades in that conflict - you will forgive me if I seem somewhat resentful about seeing my friends blown to pieces, as a result of a terrorist act.

Britain is viewed by the USA as a democratic ally and yet it allowed a terrorist organisation, fighting against the British Government, to raise funds on its soil. Until 9/11, America had no idea what it was like to see the entrails of children spread all over the sidewalk. Suddenly, after feeling the full weight of a terrorist attack, America gets a conscience and declares war on terrorism. Hmmm interesting!

Israel is another case in point. During the British Palestinian Mandate, and prior to the founding of modern Israel, American money was used to finance the Hagnah, a Jewish terrorist organisation. Result: the bombing of British civilians in a Jerusalem hotel. Men, women and children died in that one. Was the bombing justifiable – no!

Israel can be ranked as an oppressor of the Palestinian people. Ok, Israel is fighting for its survival but its actions in the destruction of Palestinian homes in recent years cannot be justified. Destruction of terrorists, yes! Destruction of innocent lives, no!

Israel is a state sponsored by the USA.

Please don’t open up the issue of the Holocaust – I’ve written many papers on the Holocaust and have worked with survives of the death camps to write and produce documentaries for television on the subject. Although the subject is interesting and informative for many, I find the subject extremely draining, emotionally and physically.

NB. You should read about America’s involvement in the Madagascar Project prior to the outbreak of WWII, if you want to be enlightened on the origins of the Holocaust.

Back in the 1980’s, during the Iraq-Iran War, Iraq was sponsored by both the USA and Europe. Why? It was expedient to use Muslim against Muslim to fight fundamentalism. Result: Thousands upon thousands of lives were lost. It cannot be denied that America and Europe were responsible for keeping Iraq’s war machine going. I know, I was, along with American colleagues, a part of the system that trained members of the Iraqi military.

There are many more examples that I could cite, but it would just result in a tit for tat forum. This is not what I want. I’m interested in stimulating debate that is both refreshing and edifying. I hope you agree.

I look forward to your response.

Kind regards


At 12:34 PM, Blogger historyteacher said...

Any chance you want to share the address of your blog? Just wondering.

I will post a response later today - actually probably tonight. We have relatives coming to town and we need to CLEAN.


At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Joy said...

I am more than happy to share my blog with you. Go to http://languagetraveller.blogspot.com

My blog is designed to be a humorous look at my experience of living and working in Ukraine.

A little personal history, if you are interested.

Prior to coming to Ukraine, I worked as a lecturer for Wiltshire College in England - social education. Before that, I was a civil servant and a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

I hold a degree from the University of Sussex, along with a whole host of other qualifications. I speak German, and, for my sins, my Russian is improving.

Politics - I am a member of the United Kingdom Independence Party. I loathe the European Union.

I had a brief spell as a town councillor and was deputy chairman of a small town council in England. I once harboured the ambition of becoming a Member of Parliament. My two favourite politicians are Margret Thatcher and Ronald Regan - what a team!

I've travelled throughout America, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Interests - I've written one book - Learning to Love Us. I've also written, produced and directed three television documentaries - one of them on the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. I've also written a number of articles on subjects such as 'Polymorphic Identity - Gender Confusion in the 90's' and 'Still No Answers - Auschwitz Fifty Years On'.

Religion - I believe in God but I hate organised religion.

When you add it all up - a pretty boring life.

Oh, I forgot. I own a company called Interlink Ltd. The company prepares native English speaking teachers for work placements in Ukraine, Poland and Thailand. This is on top of my teaching obligations at local schools in Odessa. You could say that I'm a fairly lazy individual. It would be true :)

Please do read all the posts on my blog. They will give you a good insight into my character - downright cynical:)

Kind regards


PS. Are you interested in setting up a cross cultural exchange blog for your students and my Ukrainian students? I think it would be very interesting to have an exchange of ideas between our students.

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