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AMERICA - A FORCE FOR GOOD?

27-08-2008

Uncle Sam

The recent Stirrer Forum discussion on whether or not we hate the the Yanks prompts Barbara Panvel to assess the state of the world's last remaining superpower.

Message board topic – “Do we hate the Yanks?” asked the Stirrer’s editor.

Webmaster answers, “No of course we don't. We love 'em. It's their government we have a problem with and their incredibly inept foreign policies.“

Some will remember the late Margot Hutchison of Moseley, who for many years was a living reminder of the best in America.

After the 1991 Gulf War, an American student of similar calibre, told me that she had been one of hundreds of thousands in New York protesting before the outbreak. She later found out that huge demos had taken place in other American cities but had not been reported in US or the other countries, adding ruefully, “If only we’d known that we would have carried on - but we thought we were alone”.

This was very effective media management – far from inept.

In his latest book Jonathon Porritt says that American society has become ‘strange, illiberal and divided’ and gives evidence of this, concluding that:

globalisation today is nothing more than an instrument of US policy . . . there's now an increasingly clear diktat that a nation is either fully signed up to globalisation, US-style, like-it­-or-not, or is just one step removed from being identified as part of the ‘Axis of Evil’.

The 'triumphalists' in America are intent not just on re-engineering economic and political life in the US, but on making the world over in its own image. This can be seen in its ever more ruthless manipulation of the machinery of international governance (through the World Trade Organisation, the IFC, the World Bank and so on), through its systematic hostility to the United Nations and everything it stands for, and through its rejection of a host of key treaties and international agreements . . .

To have so comprehensively lost America as an international 'force for good', at a time when the world needs more than ever that kind of energy and generosity of spirit that America brought to bear on post-war Europe in the twentieth century, has to be just about the most depressing aspect of a world that has, quite literally, gone to war on itself.

He ends:

The image of The Last Chance Saloon inevitably comes to mind ...

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