A few American Jokes

This is a discussion on A few American Jokes within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Don't know if they are true but I got a chuckle. The last two are my favorite. When in England at a fairly large conference, ...

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Thread: A few American Jokes

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    A few American Jokes

    Don't know if they are true but I got a chuckle. The last two are my favorite.

    When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush.

    He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.


    It became very quiet in the room.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'

    A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 5,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'

    Once again, dead silence.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, 'whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.' He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?'

    Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied 'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'

    You could have heard a pin drop

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





    AND THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE

    A group of Americans, retired teachers, recently went to France on a tour. Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.

    At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. "You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.

    Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

    "Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."

    The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

    "Impossible, Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!"

    The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained. "Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in '44 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find any damn Frenchmen to show it to."
    Lex et Libertas Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!

    "Not only do the people who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us deserve better, we all deserve better than to have our own security undermined by those who undermine law enforcement." -Thomas Sowell

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array older gunner's Avatar
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    Those are terrific. Thanks for posting them.

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    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied 'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'
    Twice.
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    Touche. Ooops. Pardon my French.
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    "Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in '44 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find any damn Frenchmen to show it to."
    Beautiful
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    The truth behind the first quote (from Colin Powell Quote on 'Empire Building' - Netlore Archive):

    Comments: Here's a prime example of how facts become garbled when run through the rumor mill.

    Although U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell did utter words similar to the above, he was not in England at the time, nor was he addressing the current Archbishop of Canterbury, nor was he responding to a question about "empire building."

    The actual occasion was an address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 26, 2003, wherein Powell defended the U.S. government's position that the use of military force against Saddam Hussein, unilateral or otherwise, was not only justified but necessary if the complete disarmament of Iraq could not be achieved by other means.

    In a question-and-answer session afterwards (during which the phrase "empire building" was never mentioned, incidentally), the secretary of state was asked by former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey if he felt the U.S and its allies had given due consideration to the use of "soft power" — promulgating moral and democratic values as a means of achieving progress towards international peace and stability, basically — versus the "hard power" of military force.

    Here, in part, is how Colin Powell actually responded to Carey's question:

    There is nothing in American experience or in American political life or in our culture that suggests we want to use hard power. But what we have found over the decades is that unless you do have hard power — and here I think you're referring to military power — then sometimes you are faced with situations that you can't deal with.
    I mean, it was not soft power that freed Europe. It was hard power. And what followed immediately after hard power? Did the United States ask for dominion over a single nation in Europe? No. Soft power came in the Marshall Plan. Soft power came with American GIs who put their weapons down once the war was over and helped all those nations rebuild. We did the same thing in Japan.

    So our record of living our values and letting our values be an inspiration to others I think is clear. And I don't think I have anything to be ashamed of or apologize for with respect to what America has done for the world. [Applause.]

    We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace. But there comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works.

    It wasn't the first time Colin Powell had used the figure of speech. During an "MTV Global Discussion" on February 14, 2002, he was asked how he felt representing a country commonly perceived as "the Satan of contemporary politics." Here is the relevant part of his reply:

    [F]ar from being the Great Satan, I would say that we are the Great Protector. We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated Fascism. We defeated Communism. We saved Europe in World War I and World War II. We were willing to do it, glad to do it. We went to Korea. We went to Vietnam. All in the interest of preserving the rights of people.
    And when all those conflicts were over, what did we do? Did we stay and conquer? Did we say, "Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us"? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced totally to their soul. And did we ask for any land? No, the only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead. And that is the kind of nation we are.
    It's better than the interweb version, IMO.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    That's great. Take this Frenchie
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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the real version, OpFor.
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    An excerpt from one of my favorite writers on the subject of 'Empire Building':

    At the end of World War II, America stood astride the world as the unchallenged military and economic power. The terrible might of Germany and Japan lay crushed in smoldering ruin. Great Britain, bled white by the near-total loss of two successive generations of their best and brightest, was in barely better shape. China was a collection of pre-industrial peasants fighting a bitter civil war, and nowhere in the rest of Asia, Africa or South America did there exist anything more than local defense militias.

    Only the Soviets remained as a potent military force - and that force was essentially tactical, not strategic, in nature. While strong in tanks, artillery and men, it had no navy to speak of, and an air force consisting mostly of close support ground-attack aircraft such as the Il-2 Sturmovik. While effective against ground targets, the Soviets in 1945 had nothing resembling US heavy bombers such as the B-17, the B-24, or the magnificent B-29.

    On the other hand, the United States not only had what was far and away the world's preeminent Navy; we also had large numbers of long-range strategic bombers and swarms of highly-seasoned fighter escorts. We had a Marine Corps flush with victories: battle-hardened men who had invented through blood and horror the means to go ashore on enemy beaches and stay there. We had an Army whose courage and skill in battle was unsurpassed, and whose critical supply and ordinance staffs were, by far, the best in the world.

    And, of course, we had the atomic bomb, and the will to use it.

    History has never, and will never, record a time when such unchallenged power existed in the hands of a nation, nor of a time when opposing forces were so weak and in such a state of disarray and abject surrender.

    And these feared and ruthless Americans, a people who had incinerated cities in Europe and Japan and whose ferocity and tenacity on island jungles and French beaches had brought fanatical warrior cultures to their knees - what did these new conquerors of the world do?

    They went home.
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    America isn't interested in building an empire. If we were, we'd have long since done so. American 'imperialism' is about the silliest term I've ever heard.
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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Of course, there are those who advocate that we should build (or should have built) an empire. It's been the subject of some interesting alternative history fiction.
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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    It would indeed be interesting to see what would have happened... A strong, solid American hegemony throughout Western Europe, with a huge " 51st State" right off the coast of China... There would have been no Cold War, certainly, as the Soviets would have had very little of worth to take over. Would we have let China go through the Maoist disaster (the biggest man-made killer of human beings in history, by far) if we "owned" Japan? Would the clash between the West and radical Islam have come sooner? Or would it have never come at all?

    Now you've gone and riled up the history degree in me...lol.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    What if, indeed? How about if we'd hung onto Cuba? No Bay of Pigs, no missile crisis.

    Until their decay, the Romans were successful for centuries at incorporating varied populations into their citizenry. The pax romana was generally positive for civilization. Of course, the Carthaginians might have argued that point.

    Or maybe we'd have fallen prey to wars of national liberation, too. The Brits didn't manage to hang onto their empire, for lots of different reasons. How would modern, instantaneous communications affect empire management?

    Alternatives, alternatives . . .
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    I'll this serious talk over some jokes. My head hurts............
    Lex et Libertas Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!

    "Not only do the people who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us deserve better, we all deserve better than to have our own security undermined by those who undermine law enforcement." -Thomas Sowell

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