Certainly the US is one of the world’s major developed economies, with only 5% of the world’s population but with some 23% of world economic output. And of course it is by far the largest military power in the world today. America has a broad reputation of supporting concepts such as human rights and freedoms, an unrestricted media, social justice, and so on.
US democracy at work. “Captain America” campaigning for election. Can you imagine a Chinese President dressed in a Chinese flag like a circus monkey, making a complete ass of himself, by begging for votes? Why would China want US-style “democracy”? The highest level of US universities still provide an exceptional quality of education.
The US has most of the large pharmaceutical firms and is a world leader in chemicals and petrochemicals.
The US leads the world in electronics, and also in military industrial production – arms and weapons.
Hollywood makes great films, and General Motors, in spite of all its problems, was still the world’s largest auto manufacturer until 2008.
There is no question that the US has been a great nation that made many genuinely great accomplishments, discoveries, products, and produced the world’s highest standard of living.
By contrast, China is still in large part a developing nation with many successes behind it and many challenges still to be met. Many Chinese feel their country fares poorly in comparison to the US (and with the West generally), and are often defensive and even apologetic about the status of their nation in the world today.
Feeding this defensive posture is a flood of negative attention toward China in the US media, from the generally critical coverage of a wide range of issues to the recurrent small trade disputes and the constant US pressure on China to revalue the RMB.
But There is Another, Darker Side to This
The US is a prominent and powerful nation whose activities affect all of us. This is especially true because embedded in the US psyche is is an overwhelming tendency to project that power throughout the world, to achieve whatever foreign policy aims it may have. The power projection encompasses equally the realms of military, politics and economics.
But we are accustomed to hearing only favorable commentary about the US, primarily due to an extensive and effective PR campaign. However, this ‘common knowledge’ so often delivered, offers only a superficial and misleading picture of America.
The US has demonstrations, protests and riots too – big ones. This one attracted more than 100,000 people. They were very angry to learn that their salaries and pensions would be cut, and their unions abolished. Not nice. Obama said he would help, but no … To obtain an accurate understanding of the US in the world today, and to properly assess and appreciate its relationships with other nations, it is necessary to delve further into the building blocks of America’s foundation.
There is another side, a darker side, to this great nation, one that receives little press or media attention, but is still part of the whole.
The US has an unfortunate habit of dealing forcefully and harshly with other countries, in order to accomplish its commercial and foreign policy aims.
It often bullys much of the world with implied or real threats of military intervention or of serious economic punishment.
An example is the European Gallileo GPS system which would have been superior to that of the US, but outside its control. It is on record that the US government told the Europeans that if the the satellites for that system were launched, the US would shoot them all down. The Europeans buckled, and Gallileo will be rather useless.
US trade protectionism is legend worldwide, though the US preaches free trade at home and most Americans believe their country is the freest of all traders.
The CIA applying freedom and human rights to an Arab. Note the electric shock instrument at his genitals. Look at his face and see how he’s screaming in pain. The US intervenes and interferes in the affairs of many dozens of nations on a regular basis.
It often uses military invasion as a final resort to deal with countries that will not accept the US as their leader or that threaten commerical access to raw materials and markets.
The list is endless, with the results often brutal and sometimes savage.
The US Dollar is still the world’s reserve currency, which gives it a huge and unfair advantage over all other countries, an advantage that the US uses with abandon to further its domestic and foreign policy objectives.
The US can issue debt or print money (QE2) to inflate itself out of financial difficulty, thereby simply passing on its pain to the rest of the world.
America has an almost totally deregulated and unsupervised banking system which has been responsible for all (or almost all) of the world’s major financial crises, including the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the 2008 worldwide financial meltdown.
Many current domestic aspects of America are troubling, alarming and even frightening. The Tea Party movement is a serious sign that the US political scene is being hijacked by Right-Wing Christian extremists, a development which contains great danger for the world because it is always the extreme Right Wing in any country that sees war as a solution to everything.
With the Patriot Acts and the existing paranoia in that country, the US is showing many (and frightening) signs of becoming a fascist police state, and this, combined with the overwhelmingly powerful military and the Right-Wing extremism, cannot be good for anyone anywhere.
Who Are You, and What do You Really Stand For?
Jon Huntsman, the US Ambassador to China, looking to see how much trouble he caused. Many in China view this man with anger and contempt. The information below provides some insight into the way other parts of the world see the US, in some ways as it really is, and not as the US media portrays it at home.
It contains lists of facts that are not known to be in dispute.
It is a description of the vast difference between the perception of a great country by its population at home, and that of the rest of the world.
The list contents are not intended to be “Anti-American” or confrontational.
Certainly most Americans are fine people, and we suspect that most (more than half) do not approve of their government’s foreign policy adventures that have caused so much pain in the world.
And we feel sure that few Americans are proud of the existence of their CIA’s torture manuals.
It is Your Country
where the banks in Ohio own more than 30% of all the homes in the state.
where more than 25% of all homes are below the waterline in terms of mortgage value, and another 25% very near it.
with tens of millions of unemployed who need more than a year to find any kind of job.
that has eviscerated its own middle class and where something like 25% of the people are now living below the poverty line.
that disparages the educational systems of others, but where 40% of your own people can’t find the US on a map of the world. And 75% can’t find Canada.
where the income disparity is now reaching levels that used to exist in South and Central America 100 years ago.
that has the most expensive, yet most dysfunctional health care system in the world today, one that still doesn’t cover half of the people.
where the average life expectancy is 50th in the world – just above Albania, and infant mortality 46th in the world – worse than Slovenia.
that has crippling budget deficits that will likely hamstring the next generation, and where 49 of 51 states are nearing technical bankruptcy.
with a deregulated financial system fuelled by easy money and driven by greed, that has caused most of the world’s financial crises from the Great Depression onward. Read More
that trashed the Bretton Woods Agreement – exporting ruinous inflation that ended in a devastating worldwide recession.
that destroyed Japan’s economy by forcing it to sign the Plaza Accord.
that ravaged the world economy in 2008 and is now doing it again, exporting inflation and hot money to the world with your QE2. Read More
that has totally de-industrialised itself to the point where you no longer make anything anyone wants to buy, but somehow cannot understand why you have a trade deficit. Read More
where spying on citizens has become normal, where the NSA and CIA intercept, assess and store more than 1.7 billion personal emails and messages every day.
where personal freedoms and the right to privacy are disappearing monthly in your apparently never-ending ‘War on Terror’.
where the “multi-party democracy” of which you seem so proud, now seems to be perhaps the most dysfunctional and conflict-ridden government in the world.
that shows 12 of the 14 warning signs of becoming a Fascist Police State. Read More
A Peculiarly American Version of ‘The Rule of Law’
You preach the rule of law, but seem to believe you are a law unto yourselves. You obey your own laws, but those of no other country.
Murder, or ordering a murder, is against the law in every country in the world, but US presidents (including Obama) regularly order the murder in another country of someone they don’t like.
Your courts seem to assume they have jurisdiction over any civil or criminal matter that originated or occurred in any country in the world. Your corporations and citizens increasingly take advantage of this to sue foreign companies (with assets in the US) in totally foreign matters, forcing enormous expense to protect US assets from the well-known vagaries of your civil justice system.
Without a legal basis, you increasingly and regularly confiscate or sequester funds or assets belonging to whomever earns your disapproval. No foreign country, corporation or individual is free from this reach.
You use the World Court to prosecute those you don’t like, but refuse to recognise or submit to it when someone doesn’t like you.
You ignore all international law and invade other countries at will.
You establish secret and illegal torture prisons in other countries, and secret prison ships on the world’s oceans – because you can’t do that in your own country due to your ‘rule of law’.
You send your CIA into foreign countries to kidnap people and export them to be tortured.
We see you as Intensely Militaristic, Inherently Provocative, Combative and Violent
US citizens own more than 30% of all the world’s guns and small arms.
Each year, about 55% of all new guns manufactured in the world are purchased in the US.
US citizens own more guns (270 million) than do all the police forces and military (225 million) in the entire rest of the world.
US citizens are only 5% of the world’s population but own almost as many guns as all the citizens in the entire rest of the world combined.
The US is by far the largest merchant of death in the world, being responsible for over 68% of total arms sales. Russia is second at 17 %, and China is at 3%.
The US has invaded more than 50 other nations more than 150 times, almost all in unprovoked circumstances.. Read More
The US has only 5% of the world’s population but more than 25% of the world’s murders.
The capital city of Washington D.C. (to us, a small town of only 500,000) is known as “the murder capital of the world”.
The US has only 5% of the world’s population but more than 25% of the world’s prisoners in jails.
The US spends more on its military each year than the entire rest of the world combined.
It is in the US where the police pump more than 50 bullets into an unarmed man, and the courts claim it “wasn’t an unreasonable use of force”
It is the US that has frequently resorted to ‘false flag’ missions to justify launching a war that had no other justification – the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, the Gulf of Tonkin incident in Vietnam, the yellowcake uranium and ‘proof’ of WMDs in Iraq … Read More
It is your country that used its military to hijack the Kingdom of Hawaii so that a few private citizens could own the plantations – Bob Dole’s relatives among them.
It is your country that used its military to hijack the Isthmus of Panama from Columbia so that you could own the Panama Canal in perpetuity after it was built.
We see that this is how the US government spends its tax revenues:
Science, Energy & Environment: 2.5%
Health Care: 20%
We are generally aware of your (apparently theological) principle of American Exceptionalism – the belief that you are superior in all ways to other peoples, nations and cultures, that your way is the one way, the “right” way, the only way, the way God intended when He created the universe.
The first corollary to this principle appears to be your sense of universal and exclusive entitlement – in fact, the right (presumably granted by your god) to treat the entire world and all its people as vassals in your feudal empire and its human lives as fuel for your engine of global domination.
Your senators increasingly presume the right to travel to other countries to interrogate politicians of another sovereign state about legislation or policy decisions made that did not happen to please the US.
You preach democracy, freedom and human rights, but it is your country:
where the young man that apparently leaked information on atrocities and other acts to Wikileaks, is kept naked in solitary confinement and awakened every 5 minutes.
where homosexual rape is an approved and sanctioned ‘behavioral treatment’ in many of your prisons
that has invaded more than 50 other nations more than 150 times, almost all in unprovoked circumstances. Read More
that has installed, financed and supported more than 40 brutal dicatators over the past decades. Read More
that overthrew 13 legitimate functioning democracies, in order to install those dictators.
that has never removed a dictator for the purpose of installing freedom or a democratic government.
that has Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, the new secret prison at Baghram, the new “peace medicine” facility in Indonesia, and the secret torture prisons and prison ships all over the world. Read More
that supported all the savage brutality in your “colonies”, the massacres, the CIA-financed Death Squads, the hacking to death of millions of peasants in Indonesia.
that preaches democracy, freedom and human rights at home, but abroad seems to practice dictatorship, slavery and torture.
that apparently believes human rights are mostly reserved for White Americans, while Arabs, Africans and Asians are dispensable fuel for the engine of the empire.
Extracts From an Article by P. J. Buchanan
Here are some extracts from an article by P. J. Buchanan, who has been a senior advisor to three Presidents and a two-time candidate for the US Republican presidential nomination.
You can read the entire article here.
How the Chinese Must See Us – By Patrick J. Buchanan
Hu Jintao … must be thinking that maybe we Americans should stop lecturing them and take a closer look at ourselves.
Why should China abandon a trade policy that is working marvelously well for them, and adopt a trade policy that is failing dismally for us? Does that make sense?
Why should any nation emulate the U.S. trade policy (that) made us dependent on China and the world for the needs of our national life and the borrowed money to pay for them? Why would China, seeking to make herself an independent and self-sufficient nation, adopt a policy that cost us our independence?
And what are the Chinese doing in their ascendancy to first power on earth that we did not do in ours? As (we) put America first in our rise, the Chinese are putting China first.
Are (Americans) unaware we had the highest tariffs on earth to price British products out of our market and (built) new factories to produce the same goods we were then importing from Great Britain? Lest we forget, the Americans who turned this country into the industrial marvel of mankind were known as “Robber Barons.”
(We) demand to know why the Chinese are (claiming) islands in the South China and East China seas. Why are they telling us to keep our aircraft carriers out of the Yellow Sea and out of the Taiwan Strait? Who do they think they are?
Well, maybe they think they’re 19th-century Americans. Did not James Monroe and John Quincy Adams brashly tell the great powers of Europe to stay out of our hemisphere?
Hu Jintao got an earful from us on his human rights records. Stop the repression of Uighurs and Tibetans. Stop jailing political dissidents. Allow more freedom of the Internet and the press. But on his way home, Hu must be thinking to himself: Who are these Americans to lecture us?
Is this not the same tribe that enslaved black people for 250 years and segregated them for a century? Is this not the same tribe that drove the Indians off their lands (Editor’s note: killing 98% of them), then stuck them all in reservations? Are these not the only people in history to have dropped atomic bombs on defenseless cities?
How would we have reacted if Hu, instead of pretending he couldn’t hear the translation of that question about human rights, retorted, “We Chinese are also concerned about what we read of human rights at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, of renditions, torture and something called ‘water-boarding.”
When (the Chinese) look at the gridlock of American democracy, the pettiness of our politics and the failure of our policies, while they are on the move at home and all over the world, why should they want to be more like us?
We can’t win or end our wars, balance our budgets or control our borders. Great states like California and Illinois appear about to go belly-up. The U.S. government is running a third straight deficit of near 10 percent of our entire economy. We used our stimulus money to save government jobs (Editor’s note: actually, to save the bankers). They used theirs for bullet trains.
Time to see ourselves as others see us.
You Preach Free Trade at Home but Practice Protectionism Abroad
Contrary to what your newspapers tell you, your country has always been among the most fiercely protectionist of all countries, often with devastating effect on smaller economies.
It was one of your senators who claimed the United States grew economically strong and prosperous because of trade barriers, that the United States had “gone from an agrarian coastal republic to become the greatest industrial power the world had ever seen — in a single century. Such was the success of the policy called protectionism that is so disparaged today.”
It is your country that entered the industrial revolution by stealing the design of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and refusing to pay royalties on it.
It is your country that has the most blatant and offensive agricultural protection policies in the world – to the extent that your corporations can export rice to Haiti at a price lower than their own domestic cost of production.
It is the US that devastated Canada’s softwood lumber industry with an illegal protectionist measure, unparallelled in modern history, that cost more than 5 billion dollars, and then refused the WTO order to refund the money.
It is the US (and only the US) that forces all trade agreements with provisions designed to benefit only itself, then whines for a ‘level playing field’ when other countries outperform it.
It is through effective protectionism and political control that the US has kept Central and South America poor for 100 years.
What is the World Supposed to Think?
From the above, the “universal values” that you hold so dear, are quite obvious – not the ones you preach, but those you practice.
You consider yourselves leaders of the world, but why would anyone want to follow you?
Why would we want to adopt your values or your kind of government or economic system?
Perhaps you might explain more clearly exactly why we should want to be like you. The advantages are not apparent to us.
Written by 龙信明 (from bearcanada.com)