Saturday, 1 March 2014

America vs. World

How travelers see the United States

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel shocked many media pundits and defense industry supporters this week by proposing that the American military budget and spending should be reduced to World War II era. The US spends more on its defense and military than the next 13 countries combined. This is common knowledge among Americans both young and old. In response to Hagel's proposal, Former Vice President Dick Cheney during an interview on Fox News, went so far as to chide President Obama on providing food stamps over cutting defense spending to the troops. Ironically military families also rely on food stamps as much as their fellow civilian countrymen. Social welfare within the United States has been frowned upon as inconsistent with America's often celebrated hyper capitalist society and society's towing the line of American exceptionalism. Now known as the Horatio Alger myth (without a hint of irony) many Americans have grown up to belief  that every citizen should rely on themselves financially and socially without government aid hampering their self made success. The economic recession has all but put that myth to rest. Families living at the receiving end of financial crisis are reconsidering the benefits of a welfare state like the ones that exist in various European countries. The government shutdown has reinforced those benefits.

Project for the New American Century Part 1: See the rest here

Despite, the still bleak state of the country's economy, President Obama, a few senators, the defense industry and Pentagon has turned their focus to threatening Russia for stepping up its military prowess in Ukraine and other rising regional power ie China and Iran with use of force via UN sanctions or indirectly bluffing with military force. The US still sees itself in exceptionalist terms as the World's Policeman. Since 1823 Monroe Doctrine which launched the American Empire, the US has used political intimidation via coups, excessive bombings, media demonization, sanctions and shaming to force its enemies "rogue states" into transforming into pro Western Democracies that is accommodating to US/EU sensibilities and cultural influences. It took decades for Americans to acknowledge the country was an empire or an imperialist. The US has shown no sign of ending its imperialist policy without fighting the rise of a multipolar world both metaphorically, physical and symbolically. The US military is still on the standby just in case Russia or another rising power moves against NATO. Never mind the economic recession, high unemployment in major cities and a long overdue protests against the reduction of unemployment benefits, rising student debt and gentrification pushing long term residents out of their homes while pushing rent and taxes through the roof. The article below is compliments of Margaret Kimberely at Black Agenda Report.

Freedom Rider: America vs. the World

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