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Saturday, May 23, 2015

This Memorial Day I have found some truth among the mainstream media

I have a hard time getting people to realize the US is an empire and the process of taking over other countries and parts of the world have nothing to do with defending freedom or democracy. That is one of my goals in life—to bring this argument to the US mainstream public. And it is not an easy task.
And yet some times the truth works its way in to the mainstream press. One of the latest examples is  Stephen Kinzer's  "The world of threats to the US is an illusion," published by The Boston Globe.
While the slant and wording is different from what I usually write, it says the same basic thing that we are paranoid and view the aspirations of others as a threat to us.
For example:

"WHEN AMERICANS look out at the world, we see a swarm of threats. China seems resurgent and ambitious. Russia is aggressive. Iran menaces our allies. Middle East nations we once relied on are collapsing in flames. Latin American leaders sound steadily more anti-Yankee. Terror groups capture territory and commit horrific atrocities. We fight Ebola with one hand while fending off Central American children with the other.
In fact, this world of threats is an illusion. The United States has no potent enemies. We are not only safe, but safer than any big power has been in all of modern history."

Is this true? Yes. All of it is true. I've never worded an article this way, but if I did it certainly follows the themes I have written about. My own writings usually use such phrases as "empire building" or the simple word "imperialism." I write of "sovereignty being crushed," "people's resources as being stolen" and "people being conquered."
But this article makes the point that the desperate people of the third world are not a serious threat to the residence of this country.

"Our other asset is the weakness of potential rivals. It will be generations before China is able to pose a serious challenge to the United States — and there is little evidence it wishes to do so. Russia is weak and in deep economic trouble — not always a friendly neighbor but no threat to the United States. Heart-rending violence in the Middle East has no serious implication for American security. As for domestic terrorism, the risk for Americans is modest: You have more chance of being struck by lightning on your birthday than of dying in a terror attack.
Promoting the image of a world full of enemies creates a “security psychosis” that misshapes our view of the world. It tempts us to interpret defensive steps taken by other countries as threatening. In extreme cases, it pushes us into wars aimed at preempting threats that do not actually exist."

And this is accurate. Consider that car bombs go off all the time in Iraq. The Boston bombing is the only one that has gone off and hurt people since 9/11. If terrorists where that dedicated to conducting terrorist attacks on US soil they would have done way more of that than has been actually happening. Another passage:

"Promoting the image of a world full of enemies creates a “security psychosis” that misshapes our view of the world. It tempts us to interpret defensive steps taken by other countries as threatening. In extreme cases, it pushes us into wars aimed at preempting threats that do not actually exist."

A good example of the above is Democratic People's Republic of (North) Korea. They built a nuclear bomb to defend themselves from the George W. Bush Regime, back when he invaded one of the countries in the Axis of Evil. No one in the news media notices that North Korea feels threatened by the outside world and developed that bomb to defend themselves.
So in his conclusion Kinzer said:

"This impulse is not peculiarly American. Feeling threatened strengthens group solidarity. Some thinkers have gone so far as to suggest that since societies become more united and resolute in the face of enemies, those that have none should find some.
“It is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love,” Freud wrote, “so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness.” Nietzsche believed the nation-state’s “profound appreciation of the value of having enemies” produced a “spiritualization of hostility.” A young country especially, he said, “needs enemies more than friends: in opposition alone does it feel itself necessary.”
When Americans see threats everywhere, we fall into this trap. Believing we are besieged is strangely comforting. To recognize how safe we are would require a change of national mindset that we seem reluctant to make."

So we see some truth in the sense that this is a nation where paranoia about national security is the national psych and norm today. While there is not a lot about the basics of imperialism we see a side of this country that relies way too much on militarism.
This is not the only article I have found. With this Memorial Day coming I should point out that there are many peace people and military critics who will not post anti-military articles today. Yet I have found one by REBECCA SANTANA, of Yahoo News that lets us know:

"Veterans of the Iraq War have been watching in frustration as Republican presidential contenders distance themselves from the decision their party enthusiastically supported to invade that country.
Some veterans say they long ago concluded their sacrifice was in vain, and are annoyed that a party that lobbied so hard for the war is now running from it. Others say they still believe their mission was vital, regardless of what the politicians say. And some find the gotcha question being posed to the politicians — Knowing what we know now, would you have invaded? — an insult in itself."

So even in the mainstream of politics there are those who seriously notice that these wars can just as easily be a human waist and lives were lost neadlessly. So if there is anything I am grateful for this Memorial Day it is that there are still a few journalist left that will write about the truth.

-សតិវ អតុ

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