- (YellowTimes.org) - Americans fail to realize that, for
the last 50 years, their country has been at constant war. Since World
War II, the American government has been pressuring countries across the
globe to join the economic system of free trade capitalism. Until the fall
of the Soviet Union, the U.S. was in constant competition with the economic
system of the Russians. This competition resulted in perpetual conflict;
both the U.S. and the Soviets wrestled for control of countries around
the world. This often meant that the U.S., despite its outspoken belief
in democracy, often orchestrated coup d'etats against democratically elected
leaders only to further U.S. influence and weaken the power of the Soviet
- As can be seen in William Blum's Killing Hope: U.S. Military
and CIA Interventions Since World War II, subsequent U.S. administrations
from 1945 onward have been quite busy at shaping the world. In his book,
Blum accounts for 55 cases of U.S. military or CIA involvement in only
- Each of these U.S. involvements has generated animosity
toward the United States; each conflict had losing members of the society
who were put into a worse position after the U.S. involvement. Many times,
those who the U.S. tried to crush - either through economic strangling
or brute force - developed hatred toward the often hypocritical tendencies
of the United States.
- While on the one hand the U.S. was proclaiming its support
of democracy, it was also secretly plotting military insurrections in order
to set up dictatorships that would toe the U.S. economic line. Such hypocrisy
is evident when looking back through recent history - previous U.S. administrations
overthrew democratically elected leaders in such countries as Iran, Chile
and Guatemala, replacing them with dictators. Even in April of 2002, the
Bush administration expressed approval when democratically elected Venezuelan
leader Hugo Chavez was ousted from power in a military coup.
- After the fall of the Soviet Union, many hoped that these
overt interventions had come to an end. After all, was there still a need
to have such a direct influence throughout the world? Now that the Soviet's
economic system of communism had been discredited, there was no need to
compete. Or so the thinking went.
- A change of foreign policy certainly did occur; there
was less emphasis on direct military intervention and more emphasis on
economic pressure in order manipulate governments. Countries struggling
to rise above the poverty level could no longer secure large payouts from
the Soviet Union; their only hope was to look to international lending
institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World
Bank. These organizations are always ready to dole out loans to poor countries.
- These loans, however, have strings attached, and poor
countries have to follow strict free trade guidelines that often cause
much financial harm. If they dare to stray away from this preset course,
economic pressure quickly puts them back in line.
- Despite what many of these market analysts thought, the
days of military conflict were not over. One of these disenfranchised groups,
which resisted the ever increasing U.S. influence throughout the world,
were able to deal a devastating blow to the leader of this economic and
military force: the United States. That took place on September 11, 2001.
They chose to attack the greatest economic symbol of the "free world"
along with the military might that protects the world economy.
- Therefore, it is important for Americans to understand
that for the past fifty years, their government has been in a state of
perpetual war. Just because these wars don't involve large numbers of U.S.
troops doesn't mean that they are not very real for those in the war zones.
In many of these conflicts since World War II, the U.S. government directly
or indirectly killed many innocents; these facts are often glossed over
by the American government and the mainstream media. It is these facts
to which Americans must pay attention in order to understand the harsh
resentment that many people hold toward the United States.
- This lack of attention toward those killed by the U.S.
can be seen as recent as the Afghanistan intervention. The U.S. government
has shown absolutely no interest in finding out how many Afghan civilians
were killed by U.S. bombs. The American media has remained utterly uninterested
in this aspect of the war. Shouldn't the American people know at least
an estimate of how many innocent civilians, people who were just as innocent
as those in the World Trade Center, were made "collateral damage"
by the U.S. government? Such knowledge might help Americans understand
why their government, along with the institutions that support it, is under
- [Ash Pulcifer, a lifelong activist for international
human rights, lives in the United States. Ash finds it unacceptable that
the world often turns its back to those less fortunate members of our species
who are forced to endure poverty and civil strife.]
- Ash Pulcifer encourages your comments: apulcifer@YellowTimes.org
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