Friday, July 29, 2005

Why I Love America

A few nights ago, we had our friend (an American) over for dinner. Of course, the conversation went on and on about US policies in foreign countries. Our friend kept insisting and trying to convince us that America is doing everything wrong by trying to "help" other countries and by “telling other countries what to do.”

After much listening him and Nabetz talk, I could not but ask them to be quiet for a little bit. The first thing that came to my mind was to ask our friend whether he had ever lived (not traveled, not visited, but lived!) in a communist country or in a country with totalitarian regime? Of course, he hadn’t it (otherwise he would not talk like he did). And rivers of feeling flooded my being when I thought of how appreciative I am to what America believes in and to what America tries to carry out throughout the world. Politics is not my arena of strength, so I will not go into details about American foreign policy. However, I know that America believes in Democracy and believes in making the world free.

I grew up in a Communist country and came to US when I was 22 years old. And I could not believe my eyes when I saw how free and care-free people could live. On my first day of college in America, the professor asked me to write an assay about what I wanted to be in five years. I had never thought about what I want to be in five years! In Mongolia, we never wrote a paper on "what I want to be" or "how I see myself in 10 years". In communist Mongolia, you were always told what to be and what to do.

But the main reason I love America is for giving the world freedom, which comes with the true meaning of democracy. In 1990, Mongolia opened up for the first time. And one of the first things that came with democracy was the freedom of religion. We all grew up under the influence of Buddhism, because there was nothing else offered. (All religion, even Buddhism, was strictly controlled by the communist regime). The people usually would go to the temple to worship idols, and offer a little of what they had (usually money) or invite over the monks (lamas) and spread a feast for them. However, in the early 90's many different missionary groups came to Mongolia and began to preach. For the first time we had a chance to openly ask questions and to choose to believe for ourselves.

Often I wish that many Americans would go out and live in a third world country. Many of them, of course, would “break” in the harshness and unfairness of life there. But some might return full of inward strength and with deep appreciation that a country like America exists!


Anonymous yan said...

I think foreign and domestic politics are (and should be) two different pair of shoes. A country's domestic politics can be fine and succesful while its foreign politics are a complete disaster. Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II. makes a good example. He could have done much better by simply shutting up more often.
I don't think the US' foreign policy is all that bad - it is clearly not perfect either. However, what should always be kept in mind is that, when messing with other countries policies, there is always a potential for turning things to the worse. IMO Vietnam is a prime example for that, or you can as well take Afghanistan for the Soviet side. And of course Iraq shows again that good (or bad, depending on what you believe) intentions aren't yet enough to make the world a better place.

That said, it is quite obvious that the US' domestic politics are much better than anything the Soviet Union had to offer. There can't be any question about that, even if IMO most people in communist countries were just leading a normal, decent, day-to-day life, not that much different from life in the 'free world'; or if one might argue that, by some standards, life under communism was "easier".

It is not just a question of economics - i.e. that you don't have to wait 14 years for a car or indefinitely for a telephhone connection as in E.Germany. It is about not being treated like an underage child everytime you have any contact with the authorities. You don't need to be afraid that every suspicion of less than 100% loyalty towards the state will decrease your chance of getting higher education or make a career, you won't be arrested for publicly expressing anti-leadership sentiments, you can freely choose where you want to travel, you're not spied upon just because you may have connections abroad, last not least the media won't repeat any single lie told by the leadership, from plan fulfilment numbers to election results. I.e. if you think your newspaper is too friendly towards the government, you can always buy a different one. So, yes, one just has to love freedom.

8/02/2005 9:57 AM  
Anonymous paul said...

Beautiful, really. Thank you.

My only reference point here is that I am relatively young (38) to have had parents grow up during the depression, and then to have experienced WWII as adults. Most of my friends, and most Americans now as time goes by, had parents who grew up in the 1950s or even 1960s, a time of prosperity. I always had some sense of the poverty of my father's childhood, and hopefully appreciate the life I have now more, because of this. (Its not the same as growing up in a communist country of course)

My parents loved their country, despite their hardships. I do as well, despite my lack of hardships.

Thank you for your words.

8/03/2005 7:39 AM  
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10/13/2005 3:52 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

There is one big point missing here.

So you came here when you're 22, what year was it?

Have you, yourself lived under a communist regime?! Besides being an infant?

Or you just heard a lot of stuff about it?!

10/21/2005 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: yan said...

Have you lived in Russia? Have you lived in a communist country? I have personally visited Russia and Belarus, stayed for over two months, talked and visited little towns, seen what stands for 'life' there and it was and still is a pathetic existence for millions. A walk around Belarus amongst soldiers carrying AK-47s puts it all in perspective for you. No one has rights, has freedom of speech, or media and it is ruled by a Dictator still supported by Putin.
I saw things there that would gag you and have you screaming at the top of your lungs to reporters and media and police and whomever you could get if it were that way here in the USA.

People living 5-10 in a one bedroom. Wake up, you live better than 90% of the world if you live in a small town in the USA.

Russia in St. Pete and Moscow are better, they always were. But you go just a few miles out and you see the poverty everywhere.

easier life? by what standards? you mean as in, they don't have to work 40 hours? Or, they only have a certain kind of fish, bread to eat every day easier?

Next, 20-30 million dead Russians - the ones that died after WWII under Stalin? Gulag? This should ring a bell? Russia's domestic policy killed 20 million people. It was only after the Berlin wall fell and 'peristroika' that any semblance of 'freedom' began. Today they still do not have free independent Russian media and in fact it's going backwards a little. Taxes stand at 66% of your income. Hey, sure, easy... I know this way to well, so I know its not easy, plus the corruption is completely out of control.

Which leads me into you statement about foreign and domestic politics.

One only need to look at domestic politics to forsee the foreign policies. Russia killed its own people, performed pogroms on the Jews, killed all other people in the Eastern European countries like Poland, Czech Republick, etc., until the point they are hated today by anyone in those countries who dared to stand against the communist 'illegal' takeover of their countries.

Notice the difference in foregin policy.

1) Russia took over and destroyed other countries, their people, their culture, their workforce, their families, their religion and their history.
2) USA paid for in BILLIONS of dollars the REBUILDING of ITS ENEMIES. As a result you have Japan, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, etc., etc. who are some of the best leading GDP's in the world.

Whereas America fought for freedom everywhere in the world, including the Cold War, The Famous Air Drop over the Berlin wall to East Germans, Korea(north/south - guess we should've just let the South Koreans live under Communism?), and yes Vietnam.

I've met 'boat people' Vietnam, talked to them, they were all happy that America fought for them. What surprised them is we left them behind. They were not mad about us helping them defend themselves against the communist.
They were mad that America left - the TRUE FIASCO being a Democratic Congress which cut off all money and military supplies to the South Vietnamese government and then let them fall into communist hands. Vietnam if anything represents the largest human disaster and death on record in the hands of "AMERICAN MEDIA" who pushed and pushed and pushed that America was losing - much like they're doing today in Iraq - not so bad now as at least Fox is watching and BLOGs are making a huge difference.

We didn't create the mess in Vietnam, we tried to "PREVENT THE MESS" from happening in the first place. We intervened because the communist were killing, destroying and taking over Vietnam. The very same reason we did in Korea.

Now, whether you like it or not - we were fighting a war against Communism since WWII against both the Russians and the Chinese all over the world. What do you think Bay of Pigs was all about?

What do you think Korea and Vietnam were about? We were stopping Communism from spreading any more than it had.

Afghanistan? Of course we supported the Afghani's to free their country against Russia.

Right now we're defending Taiwan - or do you think we should just let China take over?

The truth is our country had been fighting these wars and others for a long time.

Maybe we should just allow Columbia to be turned over to FARC?

You know - if you look real close you will see who is on the other side of supporting Iran, Syria, Sudan... Russia and China.

We try to take things through the UN, but Russia and China always VETO it.

Iran is trying to get a nuclear weapon. There's no doubt about it. Russia is supplying the technology. China is also in their with Billions of dollars too just helping our enemies. Same thing in Sudan right now.

Who cares about Sudan and is saying stop the genocide? The USA is the lone nation to call it such. What is China doing? Its helping the Islamic Crazed Sh'ria law government with Billions of dollars in investment.

It is this way all over the world. Yes, the USA did for a while stop fighting for freedom. And now since we did, everyone wants to say - look, see, you support dictators. The truth is when we went to battle against Communist Dictators for over 30 years, people grew tired of it, we stopped fighting, and gee, what do ya know... the evil Dictators never stopped.

Have we made mistakes? Yes, most certainly, but only when 'we stopped' fighting for freedom.

10/24/2005 4:58 PM  
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10/25/2005 2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Boy, more religious expansionism and mindless conversions, my favorite! Mongolia can now join the ranks of the rest of the gutless Asian countries giving into Christianity. Why stop indoctrination and dogma at Mongolia, let's just go through another phase of mental and cultural bankruptcy, just this time not Buddhism.

10/30/2005 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother, a Latin American, married my father and lived most of her adult life in the States. At first, she was excited about the "land of opportunity" about the limitless possibilities, so it seemed. I met and befriended many Mexicans who came to the States, either legally or not, for jobs. I currently live in a former Soviet country and talked to locals who have been to the States, who went to the States for jobs and higher incomes.

Not one of these people ever mentioned that there is more "freedom" in the States than in their home country. In fact, locals here and my Mexican friends said there was less freedom. But, of course, none came of them from a totalitarian regime as in ... where? in today's China?

Nonetheless, all seems great for a immigrant the few years, even for a decade in the States. But, mother grew tired of the materialism and my friends from a former Soviet country couldn't quite cut certain aspects of American relationships. Yes, living in the US has its economic benefits, but it definitely has its drawbacks. Life is not just about economics.

11/10/2005 9:06 AM  
Blogger nabetz said...

Re: less "freedom" in America (posted 11/10/2005 9:06 AM)

I think you may be misunderstanding the post.

When I think of freedom, I think of civil rights and individual freedom--the bedrock of what "American" freedom is all about. When you speak of freedom, what do you think of? You're answer might illuminate the misunderstanding that's lurking here.

Youre points about America's flaws (materialism, superficiality) are well-taken. I'm often frustrated by those things, too.

One more point: if things in America are so bad, and things abroad are so good, then why do so many more people come to, and stay in, America than leave? I sincerely believe that there's a good reason for this.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

11/10/2005 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Date of publishment: November 22, 2005.

I am from Mongolia, and I am 19 yeaers old. Now I am studying in the U.S. In the article "Why I Love America," in the third paragraph it states:
"In Mongolia, we never wrote a paper on "what I want to be" or "how I see myself in 10 years."
I think that is completelly wrong because when I was in high school in Mongolia, we(students) did write about essays like that.



11/22/2005 4:07 PM  
Blogger mongol said...

I am glad to hear that you and your classmates had opportunity to write and dream about your future. Unfortunantly, when I was in school, I had to wear red ties ("galstuk"), salute Lenin's picture, and study the history bolsheviks (now you know when I was in high school). (FYI, when I went to The State University of Mongolia, our country was in the early stage of transition).

At any rate, I am very gald that many of my fellow Mongolians are still searching and trying out their best to make their own future by answering the basic question, "Who do I want to be?"

Thanks for your post.

11/23/2005 6:43 PM  
Blogger yan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/30/2005 8:48 AM  
Blogger yan said...

Hey, nice to see someone is actually answering to my comments...
To anonymous, yes, I have lived in a communist country, for about 40% of my life, to be precise. Not only me, but my whole family. I think I am quite aware of the lack of freedom under communism, and of the economic disadvantages of a central planned economy. Actually, that was what my third paragraph was about. Is it really that unclear? However, I think your view is missing one or two nuances. First, Hungary under Kadar may not entirely be the same as the USSR under Stalin or China under Mao. Second, a central planned economy that gets half of its GDP from Moscow may still be better off than a market economy with less generous outside support.

I also think your view of the US foreign policy is somewhat too romantic. I'm not saying the US is wrong in following their own interests - quite the opposite, I'd just wish foreign policy makers would be more cool-headed from time to time. The american decision to support a corrupt regime in South Vietnam was just as stupid (with hindsight, at least) as the soviet decision to support the Afghan communists. It probably would have been better for both Vietnam and Afghanistan, as well as for the US and USSR, respectively, if the Great Powers had decided to do nothing.

11/30/2005 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Sarnai Gantumur said...

I do not want to be a dummy. But politics suck. Including US politics. I believe there is only less than 5% of people in politics who really have a heart for improving others life.

1/03/2007 4:13 AM  
Anonymous sid said...

I think the few remaining Mongolians should be treated the same way their great ancestors treated non-Mongolians.

Buddhism ... right. Buddhism is a Hindu concept. A Chengiz uttering that word is a joke.

Fuck all mongols.

9/12/2007 7:16 PM  
Blogger Tulga said...

Sid, you're just a fucked ass by chinese, Khuyag you knew everything in mongolia has changed especially that "galstuk". To tell the administrator of this blog, we're telling truth don't delete any comments posted on your blog!

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4/04/2010 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well i'm young so i didnt go through galstuk and stuff but i remember listening to my mom's stories of how you couldnt practice any religion, she told me when she was in school they didnt let anyone celebrate tsagaan sar or any other religious celebration so they had to somehow be absent and celebrate quietly and they also were to believe in lenin, so i think what you said was a bit wrong

10/03/2012 2:47 PM  

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