Curtain Raiser

The World’s in the Know, Colltalers

It’s safe to say that in the course of the last decade, and while no one was looking, the rest of the world came to a few realizations about us: one, is that we’re no longer an agent for positive change, and most of the times, few would rather have us around.
Of course, they’ll take our cash, and our endorsements, and it’ll always help everyone to be on our bright side. But advice? not so much. In fact, most nations, or rather, ethnic groups struggling to gain the upper hand within their own societies, have learned to fear our presence, as they fear being ostracized: overnight, they can be easily wiped out, or at least being sought after by our drones.
Other thing that the world has managed to learn about us is that our foreign policy is, for the most part, independent from our government, and our military hawks have a bigger saying about who to fight against, and who to be friends with than even the president.
That’s why, at this point, there’s a certain level of widespread dismay about our style of democracy, since it’s prohibitively expensive to most nations, even many of them combined, and not very effective at promoting stability and security.
Just like our military complex, built up and multiplied every year, to the tune of trillions of dollars, but that it’s failed over and over to protect even government workers in foreign soil, as the tragedy in Libya has demonstrated.
Instead, it appears that the great perceived enemies of the U.S. are its own citizens, at least, if one considers the amount of domestic surveillance that’s been applied to monitor the lives of millions.
There’s another thing the world has learned about us lately: we easily make friends with minority elites, and show enormous reluctance to make a stand, when entire populations are being ethnic cleansed.
The argument that we can’t openly support a policy of interventionist, is not just false, if one studies what we’ve been doing in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin American in the past 50 years. It’s also callous and deeply disturbing.
In the early 1990s, we jumped at the opportunity to kick Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, invoking that undemocratic regime’s violated sovereignty. But at least, it was a coalition of oil-hungry nations committed to oust him from there but not to kill him.
Ten years or so after, we invented the perfect excuse (supported by all proven lies) to do just that. In the process, we also killed millions of Americans and Iraqis, destroy that country and turned it into a fire keg.
This is all ancient history, right? Or is it? In fact, it’s far from it. We seem to be in a similar quagmire in Afghanistan, don’t know what to make of our relationship with Pakistan, have no clue what Bashar Al- Assad will wind up doing in Syria, and pretty much lost all respect in Mexico and the rest of Latin America.
That sadly is what the rest of the world not just knows about us, but it’s starting to hold against us too: they suspect we stopped caring. So it’ll be up to us to make sure this presidential election, and the new political cycle that it may ensues, turns out to be one about regaining our power of compassion and solidarity and self-sacrifice and greatness.
In other words, all the things we like to think we’re all about but apparently are no longer self evident as they should. Yes, we can begin electing people who show such qualities to Americans first.
But we, as the world’s biggest nation of immigrants, will ever depend of its global reach to thrive. Not to the cost of other nations’ struggles, which is always easier and heaven knows we’ve already been doing it.
People who’re fighting against unspeakable social injustices in Greece, Spain, and Portugal, as well as other parts of the world, need to know that we sympathize with their fight. That Americans are hurting too. And that we’re all indeed in this together.
We can’t let this sense of empathy slip away from us, in this multi-billion dollar regime we’ve been confusing with democracy. And a good way to hold on to these values is to be aware of what’s going on across our borders. Have a great one. WC

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One thought on “Curtain Raiser

  1. What was done to the Near and Middle East during the two useless wars is enough to keep Republicans on a backburner for a while. That’s where the tax dollars are going. Great article Wesley!

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