Mon Oct 6th, 2008 at 02:30:31 PM EST
Jonathan Freedland wrote an article in the Guardian commenting on the response to a previous article he'd written. In this he suggested that the rest of the world will take a dim view if America elects McCain as President. As might be expected, a lot of responses centred around the frequently and vehemently expressed American view that it's their election and everyone else should keep their noses out.
Anyone who's read the nationalistic abuse heaped on non-citizens at dKos who dare to have an opinion on the USA won't be the least bit surprised that worse responses are likely from other quarters of the blogos. So really, what he said was no surprise (for us). But in amongst all of Freedland's disappointment at their reaction (and given what happened in Clark county in 2004 he really should know better) there was one sentence that struck me;-
So, Americans who say that since they don't poke their nose into our domestic affairs, we should stay out of theirs,
My immediate reaction was to ask where do they get the idea that the US govt doesn't poke its nose into our affairs ? Of course they interfere.
Ask the Irish about who funded Declan Ganley ? Or ask europe about him ? Why is there the widespread belief around europe that the UK merely acts as a trojan horse for US policies towards the EU ? How does the CIA operate rendition in europe with the complicity of european governments, even those supposedly in opposition to it ? How is it that europe is engaged in a spat with russia, in line with US policy, which is against europe's long term strategic interests ? NATO as the US Foreign Legion ? British military policy ? How many lobbyists stinking up Brussels are in the pay of US corporate and gevernmental interests ? You don't have to be remotely paranoid to recognise that it happens.
And this is just europe. I'm pretty sure that the 700+ military bases the US operates around the world are there to help encourage "conformity" and apply pressure where needed. As the Moon of Alabama commented on the latest US Army Field Manual for "Stability Operations" about the willingness of the US to aggresively interfere, or at least make it understood such inteerference is possible; -
The doctrine of military "stability operations" seems to be driven by two urges:-
i) to justify "intervention" in form of "stability operations" under the pretext of ill-defined "instability" whenever and wherever one likes.
ii) the U.S. military's organizational drive to encroach on foreign policy issues that should be the task of the State Department and to militarize all foreign aid
After all, the support the US "offers" countries such as Pakistan is intended to steer policies as required by US domestic political needs, plus the reality of support for rebels in countries that don't play the game. The resentments of the Middle East are much more about the US' support of repressive and dictatorial regimes than it is about Israel/Palestine (tho' that doesn't help).
So, what is it that these American commentators understand of the last 60 years of world history if they don't think that the US is constantly interfering in the domestic affairs of practically every country in the world ? After all, it's the prerogative of empire, the British were sending n the gunboats for the purposes of "persuasion and encouragement" for centuries. It's just more honest if you admit that's what you're doing.