While writing a previous book about U.S. imperialism, my research let me to observe that many of the U.S.’s wars, large and small, were started for reasons that were only exposed later. Often, the U.S. government spokespeople proclaim that its army is invading a nation for ‘humanitarian purposes’; to ‘support democracy’, or for some other reason that would be difficult to contend against. However, frequently after such an invasion, the truth is exposed and the true reason for the military action was either to gain power, profits, or both.
Whenever the U.S. goes to war, the populace supports it; my goal in writing the current book “Propaganda, Lies and False Flags: How the U.S. Justifies Its Wars” is to present to the readers the fact that the U.S. citizenry is duped every time, with the hope that some people may come to recognize and accept this truth. The more people do so, the less frequently the U.S. will go about the world, spreading death, carnage and suffering. Government officials have no desire to end their quest for ever more power and profits, disdaining human rights and holding international law in contempt as they do so. Change can only come from an educated populace.
As I stated, the United States has been at war for 227 years of its 244-year history. It is currently at war in seven countries and its special forces operate in 149 countries. Ironically, the US accuses other nations, including Iran for pursuing wars in the region. This major military presence around the world is the manner the United States government uses to intimidate and threaten any and every nation that refuses to do its bidding. The fact that U.S. government spokespeople dare to accuse Iran of pursuing wars in the region is the height of hypocrisy. Outgoing Secretary of Defense Mike Pompeo has said that Iran is the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world. Iran has not invaded another nation since 1798. The United States has invaded and overthrown at least thirty countries since the end of World War II. It currently supports anti-government terrorists in Syria; supports the brutal Saudi Arabian onslaught against the people of Yemen; finances the oppression and killing of Palestinians by Israel, and worked, unsuccessfully this time, for the overthrow of the government of Venezuela. This is only a partial list of its current crimes against humanity; a detailed list is much longer and can be found in the book I mentioned earlier.
Many scholars believe that the US is in decline. For instance, recently Richard Hass wrote that the “post-American era” has begun. The U.S. has used its military and economic might to run roughshod over the entire globe, but with other nations, mainly China and India, growing in economic power, and many nations increasing their military power, including China, India and Iran, U.S. power and influence in the world is declining. The administration of Donald Trump has furthered that decline; his ‘America First’ policy made the U.S. an even worse global citizen than it had previously been. European allies have begun bypassing the U.S. in trade and military agreements with other nations, and their diplomats have stated plainly what they should have known all along: the U.S. cannot be trusted.
The situation in the United States continues to deteriorate. The institutionalized racism that is so much a part of the government, especially in what is generally called ‘law-enforcement’ and what passes for a judicial system, has become a strong area of focus, starting with the nationwide ‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstrations across the country. These gatherings were absolutely essential after the populace, both Black and white, would no longer ignore the constant murders of unarmed Black men, women and children by the mainly-white police force.
This was followed closely by Trump’s attempts to delegitimize and discard the votes of mainly-Black neighborhoods in the so-called ‘swing states’ that decided the election. Voter suppression is nothing new in the United States, and minority voters have been disenfranchised since the nation’s founding. While laws were passed that were meant to end this, the white power structure has found many ways to circumvent those laws to maintain their power.
Additionally, several people were elected to office who support the most far out and incredible conspiracy theories. Many of them attacked the U.S. Capitol building earlier this month, at the behest of Trump and others who have fanned the fires of false claims of voter fraud for months. This has further reduced trust in the U.S. government, and has exposed the strong racial divide that exists in that country.
Incoming President Joe Biden, who supports such international crimes as Israel’s occupation of Palestine and all of Israel’s apartheid policies, will be hard pressed to unite the country. He was a safe bet for the Democrats to nominate, since his ‘middle of the road’ policies were deemed not too intimidating for many voters. But the diehard Trump supports will never recognize the legitimacy of his presidency, and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which grew in strength and numbers in this most recent election, will, as it should, oppose his policies that don’t serve the people. If he is to bring the U.S. to some semblance of justice and democracy, he must be willing to take bold action at home to correct decades-long injustices, and abroad, to end U.S. support for constant war and oppression. There is little evidence that he will be willing to do either.
Waging war is one method that heads of state use to distract the populace from domestic issues. During the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, President George Bush’s popularity skyrocketed; he had been a generally unpopular president prior to that time, coming to office after losing the popular vote to his opponent, former vice-president Al Gore.
Trump did not start any new wars during his time in office, but had he been re-elected, an invasion of Iran was likely. However, one must not attribute the fact that he didn’t start a war to any belief he had on diplomacy over war; it is more likely that he, or at least his advisors, recognized that there was little desire for war among Congress, and a war with Trump’s most likely target, Iran, would prove disastrous for much of the world, including the United States. Trump’s foremost interest was in how people view him, and entering a disastrous, unwanted war would not have encouraged any but his adoring base to support him. Had he believed the people would praise him for such action, he would have done so.
Biden entered office with multiple issues facing the U.S., the most immediate one the out-of-control pandemic that Trump only worsened by ignoring. Domestically, Biden must also do something about the racism in the U.S., income inequality, and a host of other issues. Globally, the U.S. must re-enter the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), the Paris Climate Accord and several other vital agreements Trump violated, as well as re-build the trust of U.S. allies. None of these will be easy, and it is hoped that the growing influence of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which will control all three branches of government at least until 2023, will force him to institute real, substantive change. However, those who have been entrenched in power for years, and sometimes decades, will resist any real change.