Made in USA

 

Made in USA article

Prelude

The USA is, and has been for a long time, the most powerful country on the planet, in terms of economy, financial strength, resources, technology, military might and still more. It also follows the democratic political system, with all that democracy enshrines, at least in theory – equality, liberty, human rights, freedom of speech, rule of law, and so forth.

Why then is the USA so widely unpopular, even hated, in so many countries across the world, and especially the developing world? Why is it not the star pupil in the international school of nations? Why is it not the visionary global leader genuinely promoting end of global poverty and misery?

These questions really bother if you come out of your own comfort zone and see, nay feel, the overwhelming, heart-wrenching human suffering in over 80 percent of countries of the world. Today I saw a 10 or 12 years old barefooted beggar girl pick up a discarded ice-cream cup from the road and lick the empty cup for whatever it was worth. Not saying the USA is responsible for her desperate condition. Just pointing out the state of human society in our world today. Girls her age may well have done the same thing today in scores of other countries. How sad, how unfair all this is.

Who can bring about a global change? Instead of being the world’s biggest arms exporter, can’t the USA be the world’s biggest exporter of peace and prosperity?

Many in my country hold the US in awe and regard it as the ultimate dream destination to migrate to. Innumerable among the well-heeled hold US passports, wiping their minds, hearts and conscience clean of what the USA has been doing to the rest of the world for decades. So long as they personally are not affected and enjoy the freedom and privileges the US passport brings. And this is what we call progress and civilization.

So this writing is to prick your conscience and hopefully the conscience too of American people. A long shot, but if by some miracle the US can realize that it can still be the world leader in another way …..

The US and global conflict

The United States of America has contributed greatly to inventions in numerous fields. Take for example The Killing Fields. Inventions include, among many others: the atom bomb, napalm, the Daisy Cutter, the cluster bomb, Agent Orange and the modern drone.

Let’s start with the drone. It has an appetite for women and children especially, and civilians generally. In July 2009, the Brookings Institution (USA) reported that in the United States-led drone attacks in Pakistan, ten civilians died for every militant killed. Doesn’t sound so bad though, when you refer to the innocent civilian deaths by the innovative term ‘invented’ for this – collateral damage.

A drone strike in Yemen in December 2013 on a wedding party that 12 civilians.

The US has become quite adept at wiping out wedding parties. In November 2008, an air strike at the Wech Baghtu wedding party in Afghanistan killed 63 people, including 37 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, and 26 ‘insurgents’. The Nation, which claims to be America’s oldest weekly magazine, states that “The US Has Bombed at Least Eight Wedding Parties Since 2001.” Collateral damage.

Next, the Daisy Cutter. At over 9,300 kilograms, the world’s largest bomb ever. Generates pressures of 1,000 pounds+ per square inch, destroys everything in a 600-yard radius, and sends shock waves that can be felt several miles away.

Meet Napalm. An inflammable liquid first developed in 1942 in a secret laboratory at Harvard University. Yes, Harvard University! And you thought they only taught business and law and medicine at Harvard?

On March 6 1944, the first napalm bomb was dropped on Berlin by an US aircraft. Later, used widely. In World War II, napalm was used against deeply dug-in Japanese troops. On the night of March 9 1945, 330 American bombers headed for Tokyo and dropped 690,000 pound of napalm within an hour. In that one night, napalm probably killed over 100,000 people.

Napalm was then used generously in the Vietnam War. It caused wounds too deep to heal. It clings to your skin and melts your flesh. “Napalm Girl”, a photo that came out of the Vietnam War has become an indelible image of human history for all time to come. It shows a group of young children running down a road after a napalm attack, in total terror and presumably suffering, with one nine year old girl in the center of the photo, naked and screaming as the napalm burns her body

NAPALM GIRL

“The U.S. used napalm freely in the Vietnam war. Napalm is the most terrible pain you can imagine,” said Kim Phúc, a napalm bombing survivor, and also of the children in that famous photograph. “Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius (212°F). Napalm generates temperatures of 800 to 1,200 degrees Celsius (1,500-2,200°F).”

The cluster bomb. This is quite a creative invention! One big bomb inside of which are scores of eager little bomblets which scatter over a vast area when Mother Bomb opens up. Many don’t explode until years after the war is over, lying in wait in fields to kill or maim perhaps from a new generation who did not see the war at all.

Uncle Sam used cluster bombs with abandon in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. According to The Guardian, of the 260 million cluster bomblets dropped on Laos between 1964 and 1973, some 60 million failed to explode then.

That leaves Agent Orange in this limited list of American inventions for The Killing Fields. Well, have written about Agent Orange previously and will not get into it here. Why don’t you Google it for a lowdown?

Some more facts

(1) Source: http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/wawrep.html
“Official U.S. government data on arms transfers provides overwhelming circumstantial evidence that U.S. supplied weaponry is at the center of many of today’s most dangerous and intractable conflicts. In the past ten years, parties to 45 current conflicts have taken delivery of over $42 billion worth of U.S. weaponry.

Of the significant ethnic and territorial conflicts going on during 1993-94, 90% (45 out of 50) of them involved one or more parties that had received some U.S. weaponry or military technology in the period leading up to the conflict. In more than half of current conflicts (26 out of 50), the United States has been a significant arms supplier.

In a number of volatile areas the United States has been the primary supplier to governments that are involved in ongoing conflicts. In Turkey (76%), Spain (85%), Israel (99%), Morocco (26%), Egypt (61%), Chad (27%), Somalia (44%), Liberia (40%), Kenya (25%), Pakistan (44%), the Philippines (93%), Indonesia (38%), Guatemala (86%), Haiti (25%), Colombia (28%), Brazil (35%), and Mexico (77%).

(2) Source: http://www.globalissues.org/issue/73/arms-trade-a-major-cause-of-suffering

  • A US military training school, the School of the Americas, has trained many of the worst human rights violators and dictators in various Latin American countries.
  • Some of the worst dictators and human rights abusers in the developing world have passed through the school’s doors, including people like Roberto D’Aubisson from El Salvador and Manuel Noriega of Panama.

(3) Source: http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending

The highest military spender is the US accounting for almost two-fifths of the world’s spending, more than the rest of the G7 (most economically advanced countries) combined, and more than all its potential enemies, combined.

(4) Source: Article, ‘Suharto purge, Indonesia’s silence’ by Joshua Oppenheimer, in International New York Times, earlier this year. Excerpts selected for brevity.

“This week marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of a mass slaughter in Indonesia. With American support, more than 500,000 people were murdered by the Indonesian Army and its civilian death squads. At least 750,000 more were tortured and to concentration camps, many for decades.

On Oct. 1, 1965, Maj. Gen. Suharto assumed command of the armed forces, …. and set in motion a killing machine. Millions of people associated with left-leaning organization were targeted. From the very beginning, he enjoyed the full support of the United States.

U.S. involvement dates at least to an April 1962 meeting between American and British officials resulting in the decision to “liquidate” President Sukarno, the populist – but not communist – founding father of Indonesia. The United States conducted convert operations to destabilize Sukarno and strengthen the military. Then, when genocide broke out, America provided equipments, weapons and money. The United States compiled death list containing thousands of names of public figures likely to oppose the new military regime, and handed them over to the Indonesian military.

Western aid to Suharto’s dictatorship, ultimately amounting to tens of billions of dollar, began flowing while corpses still clogged Indonesia’s rivers. The American media celebrated Suharto’s rise and his campaign of death. Time magazine said it was the “best news for years in Asia.”

Enough already? And we haven’t even talked about the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or about US intervention in Peru, Afghanistan, Iraq …..

Food for thought

Still in love with the USA? Still got justifications for everything? Still believe all this was necessary to ‘protect’ USA and its people?

Just imagine what the world can be if the United States, already ‘protected’ 20 times over, employs the same financial and technological resources that it uses for military materials, to produce and export instead, equipment, services and know-how for global socio-economic development. Will the US economy collapse? Will the US be invaded and taken over by a third world despot?

One Response to Made in USA

  1. Hunaid says:

    It is hard to debate the logic – the term Military Industrial Complex came out of this foreign policy. I dont believe that this will continue for more than another generation but it will end.

    US has a choice – to maintain its current level of spending and borrowing, it has to expand and the majority of the electorate dont have the stomach for invasions. The infrastructure is crumbling slowly despite the tremendous development in IT, pharmacy and such. When you dont have that powerful economy, you dont need a military – Russia is the best example. In the 90s, they realized that the most potent military in the world was defending a broken nation. There has already been a change and much more is to come. We are paying for the sins of holding slaves for 400 years; we will paying for all that you have mentioned. The more you pull on the rubber band, the stronger is the sting.

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