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  Global Views
How the World Views America
By Charles Mercieca
The Old Post Office in Washington DC

One of the greatest challenges we face lies in our effort to analyze United States foreign policies. People from nations around the world from across every continent tend to portray a different perspective of America.

In fact, it is not difficult to discover why we have so many various concepts of this nation. Historically, people have always tended to judge a nation by its kind of behavior. This behavior is generally observed in those Americans they come across.

Needless to say, the news media, which has emerged to become the greatest tool for the manipulation of people's mind, need to be taken into serious account. This is verified by the fact that the American people are constantly being distracted with a variety of uninteresting advertisements and irrelevant news. Under the circumstances, the American people have emerged to become among the most ignorant in the world when it comes to the realization of United States foreign policies.

Let us try to unveil the façade of hypocrisy and deceit. The United States represents the seat of world capitalism. It is a nation that is ruled by the rich and for the rich. The ultimate goal of the government remains always the same: the solid build up of wealth. Its motto says it all - the sky is not the limit! Hence, this nation has become one of the greatest polluters on earth. It is destroying the very air we breathe and the very water we drink with toxic wastes that are emitted by big corporations headed by the weapons industry, which has now emerged into a highly lucrative business.

The security of the people is always subordinate to the financial interests of big corporations which finance the elections of virtually every public official. Once the election takes place, then the elected officials who are mostly under the thumb of lethal establishments begin to pass one law after another to promote the interests of big business most of which are proven to be highly detrimental to U.S. citizens and the people of the world at large.

There is one unique problem that exists in the United States, which is not likely to be found easily elsewhere. Whereas in virtually every nation the government is the one in charge, in the United States the government is merely a tool of big corporations to get what they want by all means. This explains why hardly ever a law is enacted which is viewed as detrimental to any of the big industries. Psychologists are hired to study the mood of the people and then to make recommendation to government officials as to what they should do and as to what they should say to have the entire American population kept speechless and controlled with iron fist.

Tragedy of the Weapons Industry

Let us illustrate this by an example. As remarked earlier, the weapons industry has turned itself into a lucrative business. The never ending manufacture and sales of weapons has become its primary objective. In order to secure more and more billions from the U.S. government they have to justify the need for weapons. Hence, the diffusion of more struggles and the promotion of more wars becomes an absolute necessity. In fact, peace is viewed by the weapons industrial complex as the enemy. A few years ago, the U.S. Secretary of Education appointed by President Bush said that the National Education Association (NEA) was a terrorist organization!

This organization is composed of teachers and one of its primary objectives is the promotion of an everlasting peace. It condemns violence of any kind and has advocated gun control. The National Rifle Association (NRA), which makes millions of dollars through the manufacture and sales of weapons, has always opposed vigorously any law that would restrict citizens from easy access to the purchase of weapons. As a result, the United Sates has turned into a very violent society. Statistics show us that more people are killed by the gun in the United States every year than in all of the countries combined! Each time this is brought to the attention of U.S. government officials the NRA jump in and say loud and clear that "guns do not kill only people do!"

When U.S. government officials visit the heads of states of other nations they hardly every offer them food for their hungry population, medical equipment for their hospitals, and prefabricated homes for their homeless. They offer them the so called military aid which consists of weapons of every kind. In fact, a statistical study could be easily made by asking every single head of state one simple question: "What did the American public officials discuss with you during their visit?" Without hesitation they will surely all tell you, "They offered us military aid. They want to furnish us with new weaponry systems, they want to build for us a new and well-trained military that could fight and win wars as to keep our nation more secure!"

History has demonstrated to us that a nation feels strong and secure when it has healthy population, when it has developed a strong and viable civilian economy, and when the natives receive a proper and good education. The United States is the only nation on earth that views the constitutional "right" for every citizen to bear weapons on a 24 hour basis. A few years ago some young teenagers in California were interviewed on this topic and the following question was raised: Is it difficult to secure guns?" The answer was quick: "It's as easy as buying candy; all you must have is $25 dollars!"

Positive Aspect of America

Of course, there are many Americans who are good and generous. We have billionaires who provide countless millions of dollars to provide homes for the homeless, medicine for the sick, and schools for the children. Among them we have the richest man on earth Bill Gates and probably the richest woman on earth Oprah Winfrey. Needless to say, those who benefit from the charitable work of such highly dedicated rich Americans tend to view the United States as an angel sent from heaven to save them.

People of the caliber of the Billy Graham and the Martin Luther King have impressed millions of people from around the world who listened to what they had to say. Each time they felt their spirit elevated and they felt there was still hope in their lives. In fact, many were converted. Then countless thousands of people, especially in developing nations, they had the opportunity to come across peace corps workers who used their talents and expertise to uplift the spirit of the poor and the rejected and to help them in their physical needs. Needless to say, all of this for such people reveals a positive and constructive America at work.

However, many people in the United States and the world at large have witnessed other types of Americans whose ultimate goal was to exploit them and to inflict in them endless pain and suffering. These are the capitalistic American industrialists who want to control the economy of every single nation on earth. Anyone that resists their domination is viewed as the enemy and they will soon ask the US government officials, whose campaign for election they financed, to punish such heads of states through boycotts and sanctions. This has been the case of Fidel Castro of Cuba who said from the very beginning, "the economy of Cuba belongs to the Cubans and not to American industrialists." It has been the case of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela who was instrumental in providing the hungry with food and the poor with a piece of land to have and to cherish, and the list goes on and on.

One of the U. S. foreign policy consists primarily in the establishment of as many military bases in as many nations as possible. Nowadays, this American nation has military basis in over 140 nations. Their presence is supposedly to protect such nations from a possible enemy attack. Even here, who is the enemy? The surrounding nations have also American military bases. A recorded history of 6,000 years of civilization teaches us that the purpose of the military has always been the same, namely, the promotion of struggles and wars.

Military Training for Destruction

If we were to examine carefully the kind of training soldiers get, we will soon discover that they are never trained to grow food for the hungry, to provide medicine for the sick, and to build schools for children. They are always trained to inflict crucial pain and to kill tens of thousands of innocent people. Just a brief analysis of the American invasion of Iraq says it all. Besides, every reason the American President gave to justify his invasion of Iraq proved to be false.

What is tragic in the invasion of Iraq lies here. It has been properly verified that during the first three years alone under American military occupation, more innocent people suffered crucial pain and were even massacred than during the previous 30 years under Saddam Hussein! In addition, the U.S. military has destroyed the infrastructure of virtually the entire nation with people having no houses of their own anymore, with their electricity gone, with their refrigerators destroyed and with no food to preserve as a result along with enormous misery that has been inflicted almost beyond repair.

Moreover, United Nations sources tell us that under Saddam Hussein, 10% of the children in Iraq died of hunger every year. Since the Americans invaded Iraq the number of children dying yearly of starvation has doubled by going up to 20%. This is the real America that most people in the world have come to know. It is an ambitious nation that is bent to control the entire world. It is a nation that may be compared to a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing. It is a country that while it professes belief in God, it disregards virtually everything that God stands for especially when it comes to tolerance and love for one's neighbor.

The U. S. government officials need to realize that they were elected to preserve and safeguard the rights and needs of the American people against the abuses of big corporations. The American people and those of the whole world want to see the U. S. A. curbing drastically the products of the weapons industry, which has emerged as the greatest enemy of our earthly society. The United States foreign policies should be supported and endorsed only after they emerge with a viable program of international disarmament and arms control, the elimination of landmines, and the dismantling of all nuclear weapons.

Dr. Charles Mercieca is President of
International Association of Educators for World Peace(IAEWP) dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education,Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament. He is Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University of the United States and residing in the States.






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