Sunday, May 01, 2005

Is America the world's bully?

Many people regard America as a bully. When al Qaeda crashed airliners into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., many felt that "Hey, turn about is fair play. America is always bombing and invading other countries, it's about time someone gave the U.S. a taste of their own medicine." American media briefly showed Palestinians dancing the street, but quickly avoided any further reporting of similar sentiments.

The problem with viewing America as an international bully is that there's some truth to it. Worse, the Republicans are doing everything they can to reinforce the notion of 'America the Bully' and this has serious negative consequences for us.

Remember the school bully? Would you help him if you had the chance? The same thing is happening to us. We are immensly powerful, but not omniscient. We can push the world around, but where ever we are weak, or not paying attention, nothing goes our way because no one likes a bully or gives them a break.

So why would anyone think the U.S. is an international bully? A bully is someone who attacks the weak, avoids fights with strong, and ignores the rules when it suites him. How do we stack up?

Attacking the weak



America invades other countries far more than any country since Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II. Since 1945, the Soviets invaded Hungary, Checkoslovakia, and Afganistan; North Korea invaded South Korea; North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia; Libya invaded Sudan; Argentina invaded the Falklands; Israel invaded Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt; and Iraq invaded Kuwait and Iran. In the same period, the U.S. invaded Afganistan, Iraq (twice), Haiti, Panama, Grenada, Laos, Cambodia and North Korea. Some would say we have also invaded Cuba, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Somalia, the Dominican Republic and a few additional Latin American countries; although others might view these military interventions as something other than an invasion.

Second, the U.S. bombs other countries a lot, something others don't do much at all. In recent decades the U.S. has bombed Afganistan, Sudan, Iraq, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, Lebanon (actually, naval shelling), and North Vietnam. I may have missed a few.

Third, the U.S. is accused of overthowing, or attempting to overthrow, dozens of governments around the world. Republicans like to say we have a policy of 'regime change.' Most of the regimes to be changed are dictatorships, but many believe the U.S. was involved with coups against democratically elected governments in Iran, Guatemala, Venezuela, Haiti and Chile.

Thus, the U.S. certainly attacks smaller, weaker countries frequently. Far more frequently than any other nation.

Avoid fighting the strong



Since 1945 the U.S. has avoided attacking any really strong countries. America took extrordinary care in Korea and Vietnam to avoid getting into a fight with Russia. We did end out at war with the Chinese in Korea, but that was due to miscalculation rather than choice. Today, the U.S. even avoids invading second tier but relatively powerful countries like Iran and North Korea. Both are in Bush's 'axis of evil' and both have nuclear weapon programs. Iraq, which we did invade, is much weaker and was well known to have minimal nuclear capacity. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the U.S. will attack the weak, but is scared of the strong.

Ignoring the rules



Particularly since Republcans gained control of the federal government, the U.S. has avoided international treaties. America dropped the Kyoto treaty, cancelled the ABM treaty, refused to join the International Court of Justice, won't join protocols on land mines and biological weapons, etc. etc. etc. Most important, however, is that most of world regards the invasion of Iraq as illegal under international law.

Global Military Empire



The U.S. also looks like a bully because we have built a global military empire. We have troops all over the world. We spend more than $500 billion a year on our military. China, the country with the next largest military budget, spends only $50 billion a year -- 10 times less.

Why does the U.S. need such an enormous military? The only possible explanation is that America wants to run the world. America will decide who lives and who dies, who rules and who is ruled, which regimes shall stand and which shall be 'changed.' Not surprisingly, a lot of people aren't too happy about this.

I supported, and still support, many of the U.S. actions mentioned above. However, the cumulative effect makes it very easy to argue that the U.S. is an international bully who cares only about its 'national interest' and couldn't care less who gets hurt in the process. We are viewed as arrogant, selfish bullies and people treat us accordingly.

So what? Do we really care? After all, we are the biggest, the strongest, and the most powerful nation in the world. If people think we are a bully, let them. The problem with this view is that our image as a bully weakens us. It provides justification for those, such as al Qaeda, who would kill us. This justification translates into support for our enemies, and a reluctance of our friends to help us. In a thousand small ways, we are weakened.

It is said that "everyone you trash on the way up will be waiting for you on the way down." One day we will falter. Perhaps the $7 trillion federal debt, growing at a half trillion a year, will drive us into bankrupcy. Perhaps the insurgents will drive us out of the Sunni Triangle in Iraq. Perhaps the volcano in Yellowstone will blow and cover half the U.S. in volcanic dust. Who knows when or why, but nothing last forever. When we falter, we will no longer be able to afford a half trillion dollar per year military and our financial strength will be demolished. If we are still viewed as a bully, things will not go well.

What's to do?

1. Do not appoint a bully (John Bolton) as ambassador to the U.N. That's just stupid.

2. Stop invading, bombing and 'regime changing' small countries that have not attacked us or invaded their neighbors.

3. Join the international community as one member of the family of nations, rather than as the biggest bully.

4. Dismantle our global military empire, withdrawing our troops from other countries and giving up the notion that we should exert military control of the entire world.

5. With some of the money saved on the military, put our expansionist energy into large scale colonization of space. Compared to controlling the Earth, space offers hundreds of times more real estate, thousands of times more materials, and millions of times more energy. Vigorous colonization of space promises far more power than military domination of Earth. Space colonization also does not invovling killing or oppressing people, or deciding what regime they shall have. See http://lifesci3.arc.nasa.gov/SpaceSettlement for details.

It won't be easy and it will take a long time. The alternative is greater and greater military expenditure trying to run everything. This will eventually fail and we will suffer the same fate as past international bullies. Christ once said something like "Those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword." I'm not a Christian, but you gotta respect a guy with that kind of insight. Perhaps we should listen.

25 Comments:

Blogger Masjid Dove said...

You've done a great job of compiling some information that many attempt to overlook. It's the ripple in the pond effect and most Americans either can't or won't see the wave for what it is. I referenced you in my latest blog... may not be your cup of tea... but still I think you'll open some eyes with this

http://believingwoman.blogspot.com/

7:54 PM  
Blogger christine joyce said...

nice article!thanks for presenting this to us because it's really true that they are bully since then..I just wanna add in order to prove how bully and shame U.S is despite of helping other countries to look great and that is, that they cannot even welcome their enemy at their very own backyard!(just expressing my opinion:p)

9:08 AM  
Blogger Houstonlaw said...

America was bully up to 90s. But after it, asian countries like China and India are interfering in its dynasty.

Personal Injury Attorney Houston

4:38 AM  
Blogger Martalle said...

Thanks for the comments. I was actually searching Google to see if anyone had the same ideas as I do. They mostly pop into my head whilst in the shower.

Just look at the amount of money the US spends on ‘defence’.

That’s a lot of cash. Surely the US economy needs TERROR to ensure that its citizens continue to support policy for the ‘Global War on Terror’?

Surely without this fear the people may question where all this money is going. Without this fear they may question why the economy is so reliant on defence spend.

Cause and effect isn’t it? No fear = no spend.

I dread to think how many people are employed through defence contracts and how the US economy would look if everyone just got along

3:46 AM  
Blogger RobC said...

I must say the lack of source references makes this rather a dubious stance... so I take what you say with a shovel of salt... and spit it out...

1:34 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

For a counter example, just ask the people of Kuwait if we are bullies. My college roommate was Kuwaiti. He was there during the Iraqi invasion, and the only thing he EVER said about the US was "THANK YOU!!"

12:23 PM  
Blogger Ry said...

Actually the numbers for the Military spending For the 2010 fiscal year, the president's base budget of the Department of spending on "overseas contingency operations" brings the sum to $663.84 billion
and for china...
China's military strength estimated the actual 2009 Chinese military spending at US$150 billion.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Ry said...

Actually the numbers for the Military spending For the 2010 fiscal year, the president's base budget of the Department of spending on "overseas contingency operations" brings the sum to $663.84 billion
and for china...
China's military strength estimated the actual 2009 Chinese military spending at US$150 billion.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Ry said...

Actually the numbers for the Military spending For the 2010 fiscal year, the president's base budget of the Department of spending on "overseas contingency operations" brings the sum to $663.84 billion
and for china...
China's military strength estimated the actual 2009 Chinese military spending at US$150 billion.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Peacephil said...

The people behind the puppet strings of the american government want to wake up and stop being greedy B******S! We have enough on this planet to go around for everyone so why are people still starving and living without? if they put all that cash per year into making life good for everyone maybe we'd all be friends and doing a lot less work having more time to do the good things in life!! power pissed is what they are and now they're stirring up a war with iran just like they did with iraq. same old bullshit story for same old bullshit oil only this time more will die!! but they will be hiding in there rat holes i just hope they get smoked out!!!!

12:53 PM  
Blogger Peacephil said...

The people behind the puppet strings of the american government want to wake up and stop being greedy B******S! We have enough on this planet to go around for everyone so why are people still starving and living without? if they put all that cash per year into making life good for everyone maybe we'd all be friends and doing a lot less work having more time to do the good things in life!! power pissed is what they are and now they're stirring up a war with iran just like they did with iraq. same old bullshit story for same old bullshit oil only this time more will die!! but they will be hiding in there rat holes i just hope they get smoked out!!!!

12:55 PM  
Blogger Steven McCarty said...

" 5. With some of the money saved on the military, put our expansionist energy into large scale colonization of space. "


Good luck with that

6:18 AM  
Blogger NO-GLOBAL said...

CLINTON &DEMOCRATS INVADED SUDAN BOSNIA HAITI AFGANISTAN ON &ON SOVEREIGN COUNTRIES LIBYA SIRYA NTHEY WANT TO AMERICAN CORPORATE THE WORLD!THEY ARE CRIMINALS CLINTON KILLED ALL THE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS!

2:47 PM  
Blogger NO-GLOBAL said...

CLINTON &DEMOCRATS INVADED SUDAN BOSNIA HAITI AFGANISTAN ON &ON SOVEREIGN COUNTRIES LIBYA SIRYA NTHEY WANT TO AMERICAN CORPORATE THE WORLD!THEY ARE CRIMINALS CLINTON KILLED ALL THE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS!

2:48 PM  
Blogger Shanra said...

... wouldn't it be better to finish exploring the ocean before we start colonizing space? Or is our planet not good enough for us to finish exploring.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Raz Man said...

you forgot about when japan got nuked by the USofA, killing 200,000 and more civilians.
is it a taboo in usa to mention that or admit that they are on the wrong

3:31 PM  
Blogger Fastigiate said...

The reason people THINK the USA is a bully is because of false reporting, just like this stupid article. The USA did not invade any of those countries! The USA went on the request of the governments that were invaded by others. When you invade a land, you conquer it if you can. The USA did not claim the land or insert our govt in their land.

And in response to 'Raz Man' it was 300,000 plus and there's no damn way we will admit it was wrong! They started the damn war and we finished it before millions more died! It was THEIR arrogant military who brought this on, invading country after country, killing civilians in every one of them and then set their eyes on America. They refused to surrender when pushed back. They refused to surrender after Hiroshima. That is on THEM! The next time you don't want something like that done, then volunteer your ass to be the one to die instead of depending on others to die just because you don't want t a bomb dropped. In addition, you best keep in mind that it was the USA kept the Japanese from committing genocide. If those bombs had not been dropped, they were going to fight to the death in a war they started. Every man woman and child were instructed to die before surrender. Those bombs saved an entire race and hundreds of thousands of Americans. You want someone to admit they were wrong you better talk to the Japanese! The Americans saved their race, rebuilt their country, and helped them become the great country they are today!

4:47 PM  
Blogger Koda Holt said...

This is a GREAT blog. This is what I see America as. Shit. My wife is dying and the government stated I make "too much money" for her to obtain Medicaid yet we can barely afford rent and all the other necessities of "American living." Even though she has been deemed "disabled" by the government, they won't go the extra mile to get her healthy and back to work, she is literally deteriorating. They would rather just pay her a measly 800 dollars a month to "live off of." That to me says that America IS a bully, not just to the world, but to its own PEOPLE! There is no freedom. If that were the case, felons would own guns, people owing child support would be able to obtain a passport and leave the country, drugs would be openly sold. We are the capitol of False Advertising as a nation. If my wife and I were of a minority, here on a work visa with ten kids, they may throw us a bone. Everything is backwards these days and has been for some time. I've traveled to third and fourth world countries, and it seems more functional with earthquakes and civil wars then back here in the states. Nothing makes sense anymore, I hate America, and I hate what it is doing to my family.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Boy you 're dumb America is a thug bully country and you gunho patriotic rednecks need to realize that.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Beautiful comment!!!

11:15 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I hate America for the same reason but these brain washed idiots in this country are to dumb to realize that America with it's capitalistic self don't love nothing but money.

11:17 PM  
Blogger José M. López Sierra said...

The world’s problem is the US government
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/29/world/americas/president-obamas-speech-to-the-united-nations-general-assembly-2015.html
Click on the above link to read President Obama's speech at the United Nation's 70th General Assembly.
President Obama's speech at the 70th General Assembly at the United Nations (UN) consisted of lies. He said that the United States (US) can’t solve the world’s problems. This could not be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that the world’s problem is the United States government!
When he was referring to Russia's actions concerning Ukraine he said, “we cannot stand by when the sovereignty of a nation is flagrantly violated." The United States government, however, has done exactly that for 117 years to Puerto Rico. It has dominated every aspect of Puerto Rican life since 1898. The exploitation has been so great and for so long that we now have more Puerto Ricans living out of Puerto Rico than in. This is because there are no opportunities for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico. Yet, the colony of Puerto Rico has a debt that she can't pay. That is like a slave having a debt. How could a slave have a debt when he/she works permanently for free for his/her master?
Early in his speech, President Obama talked about the United Nations' system of international rules. He said, "It is these international principles that have helped contain bigger countries from imposing our will on smaller ones, and advance the emergence of democracy and development and individual liberty on every continent."
The truth of the matter is that the US government has violated repeatedly international law by maintaining the smaller country, Puerto Rico, as its colony for over a century. The US government has ignored 34 UN resolutions asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. The US government has done this despite its prohibition by international law that proclaims colonialism to be a crime against humanity, because it is a threat to world peace. Yet, the US government is blind to its own human rights violations, but it is quick to stand up for the Ukrainian People's inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
President Obama said, "Just as force alone cannot impose order internationally, I believe in my core that repression cannot forge the social cohesion for nations to succeed." Yet, Puerto Rico is a US colony by virtue of force, a military invasion, and she is kept a colony by a long history of repression. Read, WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS by Nelson Denis to learn that its title comes from what Puerto Rico's police chief E. Francis Riggs said after the Rio Piedras Massacre.

An excellent example of the US government's repression is Puerto Rico's political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. He has been in a US prison for 34 years for fighting for the decolonization of Puerto Rico. This is a right that he has under the international law enacted by the United Nations in 1960. In fact, this law allows Oscar to use whatever means necessary to free his country from colonialism.
This is why we must continuously protest for the decolonization of Puerto Rico. We must, because a president of the United States who lies to the United Nations about what other countries should do while the US government violates those same international laws, doesn't believe in JUSTICE FOR ALL! www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

5:20 AM  
Blogger Jones Morris said...

the Dominican Republic and a few additional Latin American countries; although others might view these military interventions as something other than an invasion. exotic bully

7:10 AM  
Blogger Juan Reynoso said...

By: Juan Reynoso, WTP Activist - www.represent.us
Americas must realize that self-scrutiny is not treason. Self-examination is not disloyalty.
Seek the truth and let the people know. Truth and knowledge diffused among the people are necessary for the reclamation and preservation of our Democracy, rights, freedom and liberties. WE THE PEOPLE ARE THE SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEM.
Fellow Americans, we the people of these United States are the solution to our problem. The fact is that our government policies created and promoted by Washington and State politicians is destroying our country and transforming American’s standard of living into a class of poverty that is impacting our moral principles and social responsibility.
America has become a country where political power, supported by the wealthy corporate and financial system; pray on the poor by exploitation and abuse of power. This system of economic exploitation and oppression was designed by the oligarchs of this country; Big money created an army of puppets that are being pay good money to do the job. Today in America big money control the political system, the judicial system, our armies and the state police forces. Their strategy is divide and conquer, for many years they worked on this logical factor; in order for them to control the whole country they must get control of the house of power that comprise the state and Washington politicians and the judicial system that control the people by laws and regulations through the use of enforcers that are the federal and police forces of this country.
We must seek the truth; the truth will set us free. We must stop being in complete denial of what is taken place in our country. We must fight for our freedom; it is not about us as individuals and what will benefit us, but what is the best for our country and the American people, nothing matters but our freedom that is guaranteed by our constitution; we must stop this corrupt government from destroying and trashing our constitutional rights and forcing the people into subjugation and economic slavery.

7:38 AM  

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