An editorial in the Boston Globe (supposedly a “liberal” newspaper) asserted that “There is no realistic alternative to America as the world’s policeman.” The writer goes on to openly ridicule public opinion, and the founding fathers. Its usually not a good idea to start an article like that, but is the Globe right? Does the United States need to be the “world’s policeman”? I think that without much opposition, I can assert that the United States is currently the world’s policeman. The United States spends more on its military than all the other countries in the world combined. The United States has military personnel in more countries than any other country. So given that the United States is the “cop on the beat”, is it a good cop?
It is widely known that the United States has been spying on not only its own citizens, but the citizens of the Arab world as well. “Experts” (people bought by the military-industrial complex) assert that a prison break by Al-Qaeda is a “set-back” in Yemen. This means that more drones will be sent to Yemen and more people will be killed in the country. 3 students in Syria were killed by the government for not attending a rally for the dictator. 8 people were sentenced to life in prison in Bahrain by a military court. The US continues to sit by and do nothing, while claiming that Libya presented a humanitarian crisis and bombing houses. As stated by every major foreign policy analyst that knows what is going on, a US naval fleet is stationed near Bahrain, meaning that nothing will be done. Nationalize your oil though, and its all over.
Congress voted against authorization for the Libyan war, however, they refused to defund it, showing that their “opposition” is just rhetorical. The Arab League, who kind of sort of supported the bombing of Libya at the start (and were supposed to help, but didn’t), is now saying that it was a mistake. China was opposed to the Libyan intervention from the start, and its not hard to see why, they have business interests with Qaddafi, However, they are now seriously worried that the West is intervening in Africa to regain economic influence. They are of course right, Libya was obviously about oil and other corporate interests. But this should quell any belief that these wars are to somehow make us safer. The country with the largest population is now getting nervous about Western intervention in these countries. I am not going to make any predictions, but it is doubtful that this makes a safer world.
Under Obama, deportations have risen to an all time high. South Carolina is now the latest state to pass the “papers please” immigration law. This whole sentiment was punctuated by John McCain implying that the record fires in Arizona were started by immigrants. Germany is taking the opposite route, trying to attract immigrants in order to train them for specialized jobs. A report says that receiving the death penalty is as random as being struck by lightening. The United States government continues to reserve the right to put people to death, even in many cases, like the Troy Davis case, where it appears the defendant is not guilty. Army suicides are also now at record highs. This is another underrated aspect of imperialism and endless war.
US foreign policy has to legally be defined as terrorism. If one defines terrorism as “the murder of innocent civilians for ideological, political, or religious reasons”, then it is hard to step around what is currently going on in Yemen and Pakistan by US drones, the raids in Afghanistan, the bombings in Libya, and constant support for Israeli “settlements” (meaning that Israelis can bulldoze Palestinians houses). The Daily Beast felt the need to to map out how the US should tell Pakistan how to run its country. They certainty aren’t the only one, Christopher Hitchens has been blasting Pakistan’s role in the war on terror for at least over a year. We are told that Pakistan is not doing enough to fight “extremists” (read: Muslims that oppose US foreign policy, especially the violent ones, but not necessarily just the violent ones). What is usually not mentioned or questioned, is why these “extremists” are “extreme” in the first place. I wrote about this after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, but I think it worth repeating, when you look at Bin Laden’s speeches and complaints, they don’t sound like something out of the Koran, although there is Islamic language, most of his anger seemed to be from and at Western imperialism. Perhaps another example is the Egyptian protesters, in no way was the “revolution” Muslim, but poll numbers showed that the US was looked at hugely negative, and was considered the biggest threat to the Egyptian population. Now perhaps one can say that yes they are right, but the violent ones (the “extremists”) are to be worried about and the United States has to be “cops” to go after these violent ones. This simply brings up the question, with every “extremist” killed, how many does it create? If we even set moral concerns aside and treated it like a math problem, would we not learn that the United States is creating more extremists than it kills? Of course, there is the simple fact that much more civilians are killed in this “war on terror” than “extremists”. Doesn’t killing civilians create more “extremists”? If this line of thinking is seriously pursued, I think we quickly discover that the whole “war on terror” is utter nonsense.
Nearly a fourth of Afghanistan’s parliament is being dismissed because of evidence of mass election fraud. One of the Bush administration apologists’ arguments for the Bush wars was that “we were spreading democracy to the middle east”. Is election fraud in at least 25% of government (not to mention widespread corruption in Karzai’s administration) democracy? This is after 10 years! Obviously we will learn more in the fall, but Egypt appears to be on its way to having real elections this year, without having to be “taught” by Western forces. If the Arab Spring wasn’t the fundamental end to intellectual neo-conservatism (if there was a legitimate intellectual defense to these war-mongering policies) it ends at Egypt. In 10 years, Egypt will be better than Afghanistan is now. One may say that you can’t compare the two because its totally different situations, but I disagree. Unfolding before our eyes is the test of two different ideologies, and it appears that neo-conservatism and Thomas Friedman are losing.
When police officers are deemed ineffective or abusive of their power, they are fired. Who is going to fire the bad cops of Western imperialism and authoritarianism?
Clint Hulsey’s website, blog, and podcast is at: cynicalrevolt.addictinginfo.org