American foreign adventures provide prodigiously fertile ground for anyone in a critical mood. But whenever I feel the urge to condemn America (again), I try to make sure its based on facts and reasons. Does that make me “anti-American”? If the alternative is voluntary blindness and submission to the biggest threat the world faces, then so be it.
I prefer to mind my own business. I’ve also long resigned to the fact that human follies are inevitable. No government is perfect. We are not perfect. That’s life. A nation’s problems are for their people to deal with. That’s why I rarely shoot my mouth off criticising other countries, including US subsidiaries, except responding to direct attacks. But I see it as necessary, even morally obligatory, to be vigilant and critical of the USA.
First of all, the US Empire openly and furtively interferes with everyone else’s business through propaganda, subversion, and bombing. It also likes to tell us how to behave, while doing the opposite. Everyone therefore has the right to point fingers at it, since reciprocating in deed is not an option. Censuring the US is more than just reprisal though, it’s also self-defence. If relentless pressures built up from within and without America, the Empire may change one day? It’s a slim hope, I know, but better than surrender or panic frozen inaction, while the prospect of a globally obliterating World War III looms pointlessly.
The list of American enormities seems endless. I’ll randomly mention a tiny fraction of well documented and undisputed cases for illustration. America’s frightful domestic human rights violations are not our problems as long as they are kept within the much awaited wall Donald Trump promises to build.
Does America threaten the rest of the world? Let’s look at the data.
The USA has been at war in 220 out of its 240 years of existence. Many of these wars overlap. Some wars against native Indians were actually genocide operations, therefore not officially listed. Capturing slaves from Africa was risk-free business, treated more like “hunting expeditions” than wars. Minor or proxy campaigns such as those committed in Nicaragua and Panama were outright acts of wars, but not recorded as such. After these discounts, there still hasn’t been a single full decade which America is “not at war”. Reference: (1) http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/12/we-re-at-war-and-we-have-been-since-1776/ (2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States
So, is it “anti-American” to call it warmongering? Shouldn’t the world be more watchful of the single most belligerent — according to track record, not opinion — super nuclear-power on this planet?
Notwithstanding America’s sway over “Free Press” mouthpieces, roughly a quarter of people across 64 nations see the USA as the biggest threat to world peace poll after poll. Number two is severely demonised Pakistan, at about 8%. A bit baffling but nevertheless nowhere close. Link: http://nypost.com/2014/01/05/us-is-the-greatest-threat-to-world-peace-poll/
You see, with a bit of global vision, being “anti-American” isn’t that odd at all. Not everyone’s blind, but more people need to be not.
Almost all these wars are/were naked aggressions. Just a few headlines from memory:
1. Gulf of Tonkin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_incident) was a brazen casus belli manufactured to con congress (which was yet to be fully subjugated) into supporting the war. It resulted in millions of deaths in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Countless brown lives were ruined. Numerous newborns were deformed by Agent Orange (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Orange). The whole thing was a lie (according to declassified information, not “conspiracy theory”). Nearly three million tonnes of bombs were dropped onto Laos (See “The Bombed People”, a photo essay) guo-du.blogspot.hk/2016/07/laos-2-bombed-people-2.html. Unexploded bombs are still blowing up curious kids and farmers today. Did these village folks threaten America? It’s one of the biggest war crimes in history. Who cares? Not many.
2. America loves beating little guys. Years of conflict in poor and tiny Nicaragua left 50,000 casualties and $12 billion of damages in a society of 3.5 million people and an annual GNP of $2 billion, all because Daniel Ortega, repeatedly voted in by the people in fair elections supervised by the UK and Canada etc., had not been America’s choice. Nonetheless, the Empire creepily lectures “democracy”, and regularly uses it as an excuse to invade, or sponsor colour revolutions. It’s scary to watch the blind and self-righteous listening attentively, staring vacuously at closed eyelids, chanting zombielike: “Freedom and Democracy!”
3. What about repeated assassination attempts on another head of state, namely Castro, or kidnapping of Noriega from Panama? How more flagrantly criminal can it get? What about the unprovoked destruction of teeny weeny Libya which had one of the best education and welfare systems in Africa? Do African lives matter to those who are passionate about animal rights?
4. Iraq deserves its own heading. In principle, one doesn’t just go destroy an entire nation, searching for non-existent weapons of mass destruction, then shrug: “Huh, nothing.” Even according to American party line, Saddam was unrelated to 911 — the metaphysical event in which THREE skyscrapers collapsed by free fall, violating fundamental science. I know I know. Questioning that makes me a conspiracy theorist, a science supremacist. Anyways, over a million Iraqis have died. Many have fled, causing a refugee crisis in Europe, far away from America. The barbaric destruction of the Bagdad museum has been compared by some American archeologists to the burning of the Alexandria Library or Summer Palace. RIP Babylon. The use of depleted uranium (see Living Ghosts http://guo-du.blogspot.hk/2013/04/living-ghosts.html) is a most heinous atrocity shamefully underreported by Free-Press Mouthpieces. Is it still okay to call black black?
5. A few more random headings just to jog memory: Playground Abu Ghraib (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse); Black Cells CIA; a plethora of ruinous Colour Revolutions. Eeny meeny miny mo, before it topples don’t let go; Guantanamo Bay which Nobel Laureate Obama vowed to close the day after election, in 2008; Wikileak? But exposing the truth is an American felony. Remember Snowden? Well, they can read my e-mails all they want, unless I become important one day… which I won’t so, no worries.
6. The South China Sea was wet and peaceful for decades. All sorts of agreements were in place for neighbouring countries to jointly use and explore. Korea, Japan, and China were preparing their free trade pact. Halt! Uncle Sam pivots back to Asia. Look! China’s an aggressor! That’s what it says in the “Free Press”. I feel sorry for Korea. With a mild dose of insincerity, I even pity Japan.
7. The Palestinian holocaust shouldn’t need mentioning. Everyone’s fatigue by the daily atrocities. But wait, that’s Israel, not America! The US says it wants peaceful settlement as always! Hmm, what more can I say. Have you caught any cute Pokemon lately?
8. Got room for just one more: Let me reiterate that I’ve omitted US domestic abuses. (Although black lives is a historical legacy of international abduction but, never mind.) But America’s monstrously irresponsible monetary policy is not a domestic issue. We — the rest of the world — are in the same room with a maniac who’s strapped a nuclear bomb to himself. Would you not want to keep an eye on when he might scream Murica! then set it off? An early warning won’t save your life, but might give a moment to pray for good reception in heaven, or kiss your ass goodbye.
Since dissolution of the USSR, the USA has perfidiously taken many reckless steps (such as unilaterally withdrawal from the ABM Treaty with Russia in 2002) to undermine existing nuclear disarmament arrangements and efforts. This has greatly escalated the risk of a nuclear war, which only positive outcome would be America’s inability to fight another war for a long long time afterwards. I can sympathise with those who prefer to keep their eyes closed to this scary prospect. But one has to be blind, or heartless, or both, to defend the military regime or promote its democracy charade.
My vision is deteriorating with age, but I’m not yet blind. I meditate to detach from my troublesome heart, but without success. That’s why I’m still “anti-American”. I hope that one day, with enough people opening their minds and eyes to reality, I’ll have less reasons to be so.
James Tam 2016.8.25
1. “The Age of propaganda” - http://guo-du.blogspot.hk/2011/11/age-of-propaganda.html
2. “Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics” - http://guo-du.blogspot.hk/2014/10/the-umbrella-revolution-and.html
You might have watched Jeff Daniel’s “Why America isn’t the Greatest Country in the World” before. In case you haven’t, it’s worth the few minutes: https://youtu.be/ZPHSXUS0_1c