Posts tagged empire.
— Arundhati Roy (via delucazade)
“We came, We saw, We destroyed, We forgot” by William Blum
An updated summary of the charming record of US foreign policy. Since the end of the Second World War, the United States of America has …
1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
2. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.
4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
In total: Since 1945, the United States has carried out one or more of the above actions, on one or more occasions, in the following 69 countries (more than one-third of the countries of the world):
- British Guiana (now Guyana)
- Congo (also as Zaire)
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- East Timor
- El Salvador
- Germany (plus East Germany)
- North Korea
- South Africa
- Soviet Union
- Vietnam (plus North Vietnam)
- Yemen (plus South Yemen)
The first democratically elected government the CIA overthrew was actually Iran’s in 1953 through Operation Ajax. Democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadiq and his National Front Party planned on nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now known as BP). To protect British interests, the CIA and MI6 overthrew Mossadiq, reinstalled the Shah, and set up a secret police known as SAVAK. Until the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Shah and SAVAK killed over 20,000 Iranians.
The World Trade Organization, for example, uses the imperial threat of sanctions to help American corporate interests trample the will of local governments in order to exploit host nations for profit. Likewise, the United Nations — which certainly does a lot of good, important work — is still structurally rigged with a security council to make sure America has outsize imperial influence in proportion to its population.
While Crowley is correct that “a lot of democracies have come into the world in the last 30, 40, 50 years,” many of those democracies have emerged in spite of America’s imperial ambitions — not because of America’s non-imperial benevolence (think: Latin American democracies emerging in the face of Reagan administration meddling, or Egypt’s move toward democracy in spite of the Obama administration’s backing of dictator Hosni Mubarak). Additionally, more democracies might have come into the world if the U.S. hadn’t been propping up dictators.
Finally, the idea that we wouldn’t end an imperial occupation if we were an empire not only assumes that we actually are leaving Iraq (a shaky assumption, to say the least), but also glosses over the fact that forcibly bringing another nation into our sphere of influence, or fully propping up a client government, is also a part of the imperial project — it’s just more polite than a full-on military occupation.
Almost every characteristic we Americans associate with “imperial” nations exists in our own. Disproportionate spending on our military while domestic standard-of-living spending is neglected? Check. Permanently stationing our military in forward positions all around the globe? Check. Forcibly deposing leaders who don’t accede to our goals? Check. Propping up despots who turn their local countries into clients of our project? Check. Threatening military action against other nations that are not compliant with our imperial aspirations? Check.
Crowley and his establishment colleagues would have us believe we just woke up one day and found ourselves “the lone superpower in the world” rather than admitting that the position is the calculated result of empire building. They downplay our imperial behavior as mundane statecraft — as he put it, simply “throw[ing] our weight around.” But whatever euphemism you prefer, it’s undeniable that America is an empire — and it’s undeniable that the airing of this simple truth is highly inconvenient to those who represent the empire. It’s inconvenient to them because they fear the empire’s serfs might not be so supportive of our government’s long-term ambitions if they discover what those ambitions are.
[Post via GOOD]
[Post via GOOD]
You’ve no doubt heard by now that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is up to no good, and this time it goes far beyond the everyday flubs and lies of Fox News. After news broke that Murdoch’s British paper News of the World had hacked into the cellphones of numerous British citizens,the story’s grown to suggest that perhaps American phones were hacked as well.
In retaliation, British activist Chris Coltrane registeredBoycottMurdoch.com to try and attack the business savvy Murdoch where it would hurt him most: his pocketbook. It’s a good idea. It’s also going to be downright impossible for anyone who consumes media of any kind in today’s world.
A list of News Corp’s holdings are below. We publish this not to deter you from punishing News Corp, but to help you better understand what it means to boycott a major company in the modern, synergistic world. As you read, consider that this list is heavily abridged.
TV: Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News Channel, Fox Kids Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Classics, Fox Sports Net, FX, the National Geographic Channel, The Golf Channel, TV Guide Channel
Radio: Fox Sports Radio Network
Books: HarperCollins (which publishes JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Lemony Snicket, JG Ballard, and Neil Gaiman)
Magazines: TV Guide, The Weekly Standard, Maximum Golf, Barron’s Magazine
Newspapers: The New York Post, Wall Street Journal, The Times(UK), The Sun (UK), The Australian (AU), The Herald Sun (AU), The Advertiser (AU)
Websites: Foxsports.com, Hulu (part ownership), Scout.com, The Daily
Film studios: 20th Century Fox (Avatar, The Simpsons, Star Wars, X-Men, Die Hard, Night at the Museum), Fox Searchlight (Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, 127 Hours, Black Swan, Little Miss Sunshine)
Sports (part ownership): Los Angeles Lakers, Colorado Rockies, Australia and New Zealand’s National Rugby League