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U.S. Shows Many Characteristics Of Global Bully

U.S. Shows Many Characteristics Of Global Bully

By Sherwood Ross

We Americans like to think of our country as a democracy when, tragically, sadly, it has become a tyranny. Just because we enjoy the right to vote and speak freely does not mean we are not trampling the liberties of other nations. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines tyranny as “to govern or use authority harshly or cruelly.” That definition fits the USA today. The facts suggest the country has many characteristics of a global bully:

# The Bush Administration is waging a war of aggression in Iraq based on the Big Lie. Bush scorned impartial UN inspectors who found no WMD in Iraq but acted on intelligence from agents who told him what he wanted to hear: go to war. Between 40,000 and 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead; 2,500 U.S. soldiers killed, 16,000 wounded; and a bloody civil war ignited.

# President Bush pumped up annual military spending from $343-billion to $440-billion -- about as much as all the rest of the world’s military spending combined. Add $44-billion for 15 intelligence agencies and the warfare budget approaches half a trillion dollars! What's more, the N.Y. Times reports, the Bush Administration is spending $1.5-trillion to develop 80 deadly new weapons systems.

# The Pentagon today spreads its intimidating presence through 700 known military bases in 130 countries from Okinawa to Iraq. USA has appointed itself global policeman even as it refuses to submit to World Court jurisdiction or sign the treaty against global warming. It was no accident the the UN’s name was jeered at the Republican convention. Bush’s backers believe USA is above world law and that they are superior to other nations.

# President Bush holds thousands of captives indefinitely without charge and denies torture. But “The Nation” reports, "prisoners have been kicked and punched, their bones broken. Their heads have been hooded, wrapped in duct tape and smashed. Their flesh has been seared with the chemicals in fluorescent lights. They have been frozen to death, suffocated, hung upside down until dead, starved, electrically shocked and waterboarded."

# The U.S. has a history of trampling the sovereignty of other nations. As “Global Policy Forum” reports, the CIA between 1960 and 2004 helped overthrow the governments of the Congo in both (1960 and 1965); Laos, (1962); Ecuador, (1963); Brazil, (1964); Indonesia, (1965); Ghana, (1966); Cambodia, (1969); Chile, (1973); and Haiti, (2004). It attacked Cuba in 1961 and sponsored Death Squads in El Salvador and Nicaragua in 1981.

# USA is the world’s arms sales’ leader, about $15-billion a year, almost as much as the rest of the world combined. President Bush has no qualms about selling warplanes that can carry nuclear bombs to both India and Pakistan.

# The U.S. has lavished $6-trillion on nuclear arms. It has nearly 10,000 nuclear warheads that can be detonated via ICBMs, long-range bombers, and submarines. Yet it threatens Iran ---with an annual military budget of $3.5-billion---with possible nuclear attack even though authorities say Iran is five to ten years away from making atomic bomb No. 1.

# American culture reeks of death, from violent video games to Hollywood films. It has astronomical rates of crime and murder, pens a record 2-million men in prison, and is one of the few nations to still impose the death penalty.

# In his New York Times column of May 15, 2006, Bob Herbert says President Bush is on the road “to totalitarianism.” He explains: “Hallmarks of totalitarian regimes have always included an excessive reliance on secrecy, the deliberate stoking of fear in the general population, a preference for military rather than diplomatic solutions in foreign policy, the promotion of blind patriotism, the denial of human rights, the curtailment of the rule of law, hostility to a free press and the systematic invasion of the privacy of ordinary people.”

In sum, the most powerfully armed nation in history is launching aggressive wars abroad and marching down the road to totalitarianism at home. One valuable response to consider is a non-violent boycott of U.S. products until Bush quits Iraq. The boycott was successfully employed by India’s Mahatma Gandhi and America’s Rev. Martin Luther King. It is an honorable, non-violent, act of conscience every individual can take who believes in peaceful conflict resolution. #


(Chicago-born Sherwood Ross has worked in the U.S. civil rights movement and for daily newspapers and wire services. sherwoodr1 @y )

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