Invade And Conquer In The Name of Capitalism

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Invade and Conquer in the name of Capitalism

Isn't it amazing that as we marveled at the vast empires of history it was rarely–if ever–pointed out that the United States was a larger and more powerful empire than any of those? Rome's empire was also essentially marked with military bases, but nothing in comparison to what we have going on. One of the announcers during the Super Bowl this year gave praise to the U.S. troops in over 176 countries around the world. That was the number I heard. There are only 192 countries on the planet!

Most of us kind of shrug our shoulders, as if this was some thing we just sort of inherited naturally. I heard one talking head on Bill Maher's show repeat the old line that our "empire was thrust upon our shoulders." We're just naturally the greatest people on earth and naturally countries want us around the world to make sure things are running smoothly.

But once you really start opening your mind up to what having an empire really entails, you can't help but see the gross injustice of it all. We are essentially playing a game of global monopoly where we made up the rules, dealt all the good properties to wealthy investors in London and New York, and are in charge of the bank. Want to buy something important like oil? Sure, no problem. Just buy a bunch of U.S. dollars with your devalued currency and then you can buy it. And let's just say you go and decide this is bullshit and you're going to play LIFE, we'll kill you!

Between 1898 and 1934, the Marines invaded Cuba 4 times, Nicaragua 5 times, Honduras 7 times, the Dominican Republic 4 times, Haiti twice, Guatemala once, Panama twice, Mexico 3 times and Colombia 4 times.–Bill Blum, Killing Hope

The standard routine was to have the marines stick around long enough to set up a brutal dictator who would be then supress his own people. He'd be armed to the teeth of course, usually with the help of U.S. taxpayers. Then along come U.S. businesses: Standard Oil, United Fruit, Domino Sugar, and Anaconda Copper to name a few of the old players.

The Marines returned when called upon to enforce slave-like working conditions and put down strikes, protests, and rebellions.–Bill Blum, Killing Hope

This is fundamental to current issues like sweatshop labor and immigration reform. On the one hand we cry about the out-sourcing of jobs, but it's a direct result of our empire, too.

George W. Bush isn't the first president to lie to us about the real reasons for going to war. In fact the patterns don't really change much. We supposedly went to war with Spain to free Cuba. Apparently we invaded Vietnam to protect it from the Vietnamese, which we gladly killed two to three million. And just one more example. President Woodrow Wilson told the American people that we were entering World War I to make the world "safe for democracy." However, Wilson's ambassador to England was a little more candid when he explained that entering World War I was:

…the only way of maintaining our present pre-eminent trade status.–W.H. Page, 1917

Stir up some trouble, cause an "international incident", and let the propaganda machine do its job, and before you know it U.S. troops will be invading country X to install democracy and liberate the people. We might kill millions of your citizens, but we mean well.

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Published in: on April 19, 2006 at 10:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

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