Did you watch the Taliban video of the extraction of US Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl? Its all over the internet.
America is losing it. A friend is losing it. I feel like grabbing America and wringing its neck and screaming,” Wake up, man, it is time for you to stand up and do the right thing! Saving private Bergdahl is not doing the right thing.” But I’m scared. If I wring his neck, I’ll probably get whacked.
An American friend once made a comment on one of my pieces which happened to sound particularly harsh on America. “Why do you hate America so much?” she asked in anguish. I wish there was a way I could tell her that I love America more than she can ever imagine.
If you love someone, how are you supposed to react when you see that person making an ass of himself repeatedly? Look the other way? Say nothing? I am a conscientious objector who happens to be a citizen of another country. If I was American, I would still be a conscientious objector. Would my friend then see me as being unpatriotic?
I am one of the last few who still stick by America actually. Can’t say the same about most others round the world. A 2013 Global WIN/Gallup Survey of citizens of 65 nations worldwide, across a cross-section of the societies there, showed that the US is seen as the biggest threat to world peace, ahead of even Pakistan and China.
Today more than a thousand US military bases form a virtual ring of steel and gunpowder around the world, stretching from Greenland to Iceland, through the UK, Germany, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and down into the Gulf. In total, the US Military has bases in 63 countries, with 260000 military personnel deployed in them.
American troops may have left Iraq but the bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Turkey host 350 combat aircraft, as a part of a huge naval task force with hundreds of battleships, guided missile frigates, destroyers, a 100000 ton Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier and over 35000 combat-ready personnel.
The sheer scale of things can be seen from the contracts for supplying carrots and potatoes to overseas US bases worldwide that run into millions of dollars and the inevitable wasted food that could keep a medium-sized city in a developing country permanently well fed.
The surface of the earth is seen by the US as a battlefield. It is a vast territory to conquer, occupy and exploit. To this end, America divvies the World up into geographic command units through which it aims to control the entire bulk of humanity. This hegemony, the network of US Military bases throughout the world outnumbers Russia’s foreign bases by 50 to one, while the Chinese built their first overseas base only in 2011. (the European Union has none).
Out of it’s 300 million citizens, just 30 percent have passports and more than half of Americans have never traveled outside the US. I read a commentary somewhere that claimed that a 2003 survey showed that 64 percent of all Americans had a ‘fear of unfriendliness’ as the top concern about travelling abroad. In effect, while America rules the world, its ordinary citizens cower, unable to gather the courage to venture abroad, feeling like they are under siege from hostile sentiments outside, across the seas.
Geography of course is a boon, fortunately. Vast oceans on two sides and friendly militarily weak countries on the other two. Americans have never been made to suffer what most of the world has endured, in the conflicts of the 20th and the 21st centuries. No American cities were besieged, no Americans were enslaved or starved and not one American village, town or city was burned.
The question therefore needs to be rephrased, to ‘Why do we let our political and business leaders get us into a frame where most of the world have negative feelings toward us?’
There was a certain chumminess that was on display in the Bowe Bergdahl extraction video. Cringe-producing smiles, handshakes and waves between the Taliban and those three suspiciously attired Americans who resembled Mexican roadside romeos with bandanas. One looked a bit like the Tamil film star, Rajnikanth. Okay, I understand that the extraction had to be done in a peaceable manner but was grinning and shaking hands with raw evil in turbans, necessary?
And Bergdahl? He stood around lamely looking like one of those bible-belt rednecks with a hangover. He appeared well-fed. “Look at all the trouble you caused, shithead,” one feels like screaming at him, “If it wasn’t for that phoney leave-no-soldier-behind (except-Vietnam-MIAs) rule, you would be a sex slave for one of those sado-masochistic Afghan warlords with a richard bigger than a mule’s.”
Meanwhile, in their desperate thirst for heroes, the US won’t stop at anything. The White House will project even a crud as sorry as Bergdahl as a returning hero. And the so-called free press shall lap it all up. Innocent till proven guilty. I wonder how exactly they intend to prove Bergdahl guilty of desertion. Put Mullah Omar or Sirajuddin Haqqani on the stand and wait for them to say he came in for a hookah of hash? Heck, with all those handshakes on display, who knows?
Anyhow, what do you say for ‘Kichikoo’ in Pashtun?