“The world trusts us with power, and the world is right.”
US President George H. W. Bush, State of the Union Address, January 28, 1992
The Cold War didn’t start with the aggressive territorial advances of Communism and it didn’t end with the end of Communism in Russia. The Cold War is a subtle extension of colonialism and, as such, it continues but with new justifications and obfuscations. This war to dominate those unable to defend themselves has been going on at least since Greeks first established preeminence in the known world and, as I understand it, even well before that.
Locally, the Cold War extends back to the French and Indian Wars and includes the Monroe Doctrine and its claim of dominance over the not-yet-colonized parts of the Western Hemisphere. Our participation in the Cold War might include the Louisiana Purchase, a transaction of dubious legality conferring ownership of land France had never seen let alone owned. “Seward’s Folly” might also be seen as an aggressive move against Third World citizens through purchase of vast tracts of land from foreigners who also had an unreasonable claim on the territory sold.
Admiral Perry threatening the Japanese imperial palace with his warships in 1852 and 1853 might also be seen as part of this unending fight we have with the nonindustrial world. We forced economic dependence upon them and, during the Great Depression and the Second World War, left them to fend for themselves; which they did, attacking Manchuria and China to get the raw materials no longer available from the United States.
Economic dominance was a significant factor in the First World War as we invaded Northern Africa and the Middle East and never really left, always citing Israel or Kuwait or the Suez Canal or our alliance with the Saudi royal family as an excuse to hang around the “Black Gold” found there.
So far, we haven’t encountered the limits to our greed; our quest for massive profits and vast fortunes. As we distance ourselves from actual ownership through holding companies and mutual funds, we also lose contact with our personal connection to these devious processes which continue to use warfare as an instrument of power and profit. Somehow, we still manage to believe the lie that our military efforts are promoting freedom and justice in the world; that the violence is, in some inexplicable way, good for those foreigners whose lives and property we destroy.
With over a million Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan and other parts of the Arab world and not a single valid Iraqi election or responsible or capable Iraqi leader installed, we still cling to the canard that our troops in some way saved someone’s “freedom” and were doing something that needed doing. Our President fired the guy who told him the truth. Bush believed lies that originated from the imagination of one informant and forced others to fall in line. I can’t believe this was accidental. All this was ostensible reality masking other, much more greedy and self-serving motivations which have, for at least several millennia, used up the youth and wealth of both invader and conquered pursuing power and profit for a select few.
If we were to look at things honestly, our foreign policy has rarely been enlightened or just. Teddy Roosevelt carried a “big stick,” but he never really spoke softly.
©David N. Dodson, 2015, Phoenix, AZ