On American Nationalism
Every time there is a discussion or mention of how many times the US has gone to war or has bombed other countries since WWII, some embarrassed liberal, who equates the US with himself or herself, makes a comment like: “There are worse places to live” (an actual reaction to a FB post I saw today), or along the lines of “We’re not the only country that’s done bad things”, or “others are no better”, etc.
First of all, before your sense of nationalism gets offended and makes you jump to the defense of your “country”, you should ask yourself what you understand by “country”. Do you mean its lakes, mountains, rivers, forests and animals? Is it that piece of the Earth with a border around it that’s called the US? Is it its people? What exactly is country to you that you feel has been insulted? Let’s be clear about one thing: the US government is not you, nor are the corporations that own and control it and are registered here as US companies (some with headquarters overseas to avoid paying taxes).
If by “country” you understand the people living within these borders, no one is accusing them of waging wars and bombing other nations; they themselves are victims of US policies; although, many of them do vote for politicians who support and push for wars and military aggression. But, those who do vote for such politicians, are misled and misguided enough to be also voting against their own interests and are therefore hard to put the main blame on, except for their naïveté and lack of consciousness and understanding. Besides, their voting doesn’t make much of a difference in the long term and strategic calculations, objectives, plans or operations of the Empire, which represents the interests of corporations and their shareholders. Politicians are put in office, by the sheer force of money, not so much to sketch a course for the Empire, but to give the system an appearance of democracy and to sell the policies to people.
Secondly, what does the issue of wars and militarism and bombings that are done for the Empire and are used to impose the interests of the corporations on people living overseas, has to do with whether this is a good place to live or not? It may very well be a good place to live – at least for many. There may even be jobs here that people in other countries may be willing to do to survive and may want to come and do those jobs, whatever they may be. We can even go as far as making the false claim that people living here have it good, that no one goes hungry, that there is no homeless, that everyone can get or afford to get healthcare, etc. and still be faced with the fact that this government has been massacring people in other countries, for decades.
So, what exactly is the point of saying: there are worse places to live? That we should not mention the truths about US policies? But, here’s why it’s important that we do: not only does bombing other nations do absolutely no good for the American people, it’s taking away from their wages, education, healthcare, infrastructure, jobs, and the safety of their food and environment. It also pushes the government to increase its surveillance of its own people to clamp down on resistance. It also creates ill will and prevents fraternity and understanding amongst people of different nations and creates conditions for pushing the world towards major, catastrophic and unnecessary wars. So, dear liberals, you can be proud of your “country” whatever you understand it to be, and accept the fact that “your” government has been massacring people overseas for decades without giving you any of the loots.