By Gustavo Arellano
By Aimee Murillo
By Matt Coker
By Vickie Chang
By Matt Coker
By LP Hastings
By Michael Goldstein
By R. Scott Moxley
When Hitler and Hirohito plotted planetary domination, America stepped in and saved the world. Then we helped Germany and Japan rebuild because that's the kind of Joes we are. Since the big war, we've doled out more foreign economic aid, taken in more immigrants and offered refuge to more asylum-seekers than any other country in the world. We like to think of ourselves as the planet's big brother, not the neighborhood bully.
So it really pisses us off that—from Argentina to Zaire, from South Korea to Paraguay to the Sudan, for that matter—people who should want to be our friends and kiss our asses seem, instead, to regard us as evil.Us! Evil! We do everything we do in the name of fighting evil—ask the president. Yet they burn our flag, say awful things about us into loudspeakers and carry around large puppets meant to mock us. What is their problem? 1. For starters, for about the past 60 years, we've lectured the world on democracy while we've coddled dictators, feudal monarchies, military regimes and/or racist governments that supervise terror campaigns against their own people. Granted, we've done this only in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, the Philippines, Portugal, Rhodesia (a.k.a. Zimbabwe), Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, South Vietnam, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Uruguay and Zaire (a.k.a. Democratic Republic of the Congo). I may be missing a few, but the point is people have kinda noticed a pattern. It's hard to be our enemy, but it might be harder to be our friend. 2. We've been especially hard on our neighbors to the south. We even worked with Nazi scientists after the war in the name of fighting communism in Latin America, smuggling the likes of Nazi doctor Klaus Barbie into Bolivia, where he helped torture political dissidents, students, labor organizers and other "subversives." Barbie's techniques were exported to other Latin American nations fighting U.S.-backed dirty wars against their own people, including Argentina and Brazil. We overthrew democratically elected governments in Guatemala and Chile and trained thousands of Latin American thugs at the U.S. Army's School of the Americas in Georgia, including Panama's Manuel Noriega, Guatemala's Héctor Gramajo, and Salvadoran death squad founder Roberto D'Aubuisson. 3. We have been a tad forceful in our use of diplomatic and economic pressure to force struggling Third World nations to adopt austerity measures that punish the poor in order to qualify the nation for bank loans that primarily fill the pockets of corrupt foreign bureaucrats and U.S. corporations doing business abroad. They—by which I mean the poor—don't go for that. 4. As dependent as we are on Middle East oil, we've ensured that the region remains the last bastion of feudal-style monarchies, devoid of free elections, civil rights for women, or any other semblance of democracy—there's that word again. 5. Some people—some—see it as hypocritical that we pledge our commitment to world peace while we sell more weapons on the world market than any other country. Israel receives more U.S. weapons than any other country and uses them against rock-throwing Palestinian teenagers, whose struggle for independence is backed by the United Nations. Other top U.S. arms recipients in recent years have included autocratic, military-led client states in El Salvador, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia and, um, Iraq. Okay, so the angry foreigners may have some points. On the other hand, how about that 1980 Miracle on Ice, huh?! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
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