American Foreign Policy

I just saw Michael Moore debating US action in Iraq on the BBC. Former New York mayor Ed Koch was also on the show-he came off as a doddering bumpkin. Moore said a couple of things that bear repeating:

  • One of the most patriotic things you can do is question your government. I totally agree with this. History proves time and time again that we build a better nation by questioning the status quo and lobbying for change.
  • If the US goes (back) into Iraq based only on the possibility of nuclear weaponry manufacture, it’s a precedent for pre-emptive strikes. Particularly if the US acts without strong support from its allies, the American government will basically be advocating wilful acts of violence against foreign peoples without international backing or substantive evidence.

Furthermore, where’s the evidence? Maybe I’ve been out of the loop over here in Ireland, but I never heard a shred of evidence linking September 11 to Osama Bin Laden. Sure, there are matters of national security, where will we be if a nation is allowed to hide behind the guise of priveleged information every time it wants to enact foreign policy? If Bush were to show the world evidence of Iraq’s nuclear program, they might be a little more open to his current warpath.

Lastly, I can think of no better way to encourage a repeat of September 11 than invading another Middle Eastern nation. Hands up, everyone who believes America can protect herself from further acts of terrorism?

Regarding Ed Koch, he had the audacity to state that he thought the best two memorials in the world were the eternal flame to Kennedy and the Vietnam Memorial. It is precisely this sort of ethnocentric view that irritates the rest of the world about Americans. I think a statesman (and I use the term loosely) from any other nation would go out of their way to name memorials in other countries, if for no other reason but to demonstrate how worldly they were. I get the sense that ‘worldly’ is a dirty word to the Yanks.

To end off my anti-American tirade, I’ve gotten really tired of the American media and public constantly referring to “a changed world” after September 11. You know what? Their country may have changed, but that doesn’t mean the whole world did, does it? Here’s a stat that bears mentioning: Every week, roughly 1500 Afghans die as a result of a 20-year war in their country. That’s 1.5 million people in a single generation. Did their deaths ‘change the world’? How many rock stars are playing benefit concerts for them?

Ultimately, with the US talking war and restricting civil liberties (and Canada being right next to the US), I’m glad to way across the Atlantic. I leave off this post with a Bob Dylan quote:

Democracy don’t rule the world,
You’d better get that in your head;
This world is ruled by violence,
But I guess that’s better left unsaid.

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