American Imperialism for the New Age

by Eric Portelance
December 5 2003

         In recent months, the American-lead “War on Terrorism” has been at the forefront of the media.  CNN and other popular broadcasting networks have seemingly been talking about it twenty-four hours a day for the past six months, and it isn’t over yet.  George W. Bush has been leading a wave of imperialism in the United States, which has angered many and mislead many more.  We are returning to an era of propaganda, censorship, and lies.  It doesn’t only affect the United States, but it also affects all of their allies.  It’s time for the lies to stop, and for Mr. Bush to be punished for the many times he has mislead innocent people into war against a fictitious enemy.
        In the weeks before the war on Iraq was officially declared, Bush was putting the propaganda wagon into full motion.  Pictures were released of supposed nuclear bunkers and weapons of mass-destruction.  The media was being fed false information in order to justify the war to the American people.  Some saw through these lies and protested against a possible war.  Others claimed it was unpatriotic to criticize the administration while at a time of war, but that is only undemocratic.
        It seemed like anyone and everyone was a target after September 11th 2001, which really rocked the boat in the US.  First, there was the invasion of Afghanistan, because Bush had now deemed it necessary to invade countries in order to find only a few individuals.  That was a failure, and Bush decided to finish off what his father had started.  He claimed that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al-Qaeda, was stockpiling “nucular” weapons, as Bush calls it, and many other crimes which gave him the right to invade Iraq.
        Months later, we’re still waiting for the smoking gun.  The most powerful weapons found in Iraq were a few barrels of fertilizer.  You could almost hear the Republicans saying “Ah-ha!” when those were discovered.  Of course, we also now know that Hussein did not have ties to Al-Qaeda, or any other terrorist agency for that matter.  The weapons he did have were the ones the Americans had given him when he was one of their allies all those years ago.  Ironic, isn’t it.  The American ideology: create a problem, lie and fix it years later attributing the problem elsewhere.  
        It doesn’t stop there.  Bush has alienated many of the US’ key allies and trading partners because of this war, including Canada, their biggest trading partner.  Bush has been in office for two years now, and hasn’t made a single visit to Canada yet, one of their biggest allies, and the ones who they should hope to have good relations with.  However, in the real world, things don’t work out quite so well.  With Bush’s implementation of his “with us or against us” philosophy, he has imposed a silent boycott of Canada, almost like a child.  According to him, it’s the American way or the highway.
        In reality, this doesn’t work, and the proof is in Iraq.  Bush declared the end of “major combat operations” eons ago, and yet, more soldiers have died since then than during the said combat operations.  The situation in Iraq is worse now than it was during the Baath party’s rule.  At least there was a minimum standard of quality of life, where running water and electricity were available in a large city like Baghdad.  Of course, now it isn’t even about the weapons, because Bush claims it was never the issue in the first place, another lie.  He says it was to remove Saddam Hussein from power and institute a democratic regime.  Unfortunately for Bush, the American way doesn’t work for everyone, and never will.  Almond and Verba’s famous study on political culture states that there’s not one perfect solution to the world’s problems.  What works for one country won’t work for another, and instituting an American-style constitution is the last thing a country like Iraq needs.  It will never work.
        Don’t even mention Afghanistan.  The puppet government in place has no power or rule over the country whatsoever.  The condition there is also worse than before the war.  The opium production and trade has once again started, and the country is ruled by warlords and bounty hunters.  I would hardly call this a success for the United States.  They have proposed a new draft constitution for the country, but it’ll never work.  How can you enforce a constitution if you have no control over the country?  They’ve pretty much abandoned their military support in the region, leaving it to rot, like so many other failures in the past.  We don’t hear any more talk about Bin Laden or Afghanistan at all, for that matter.  What ever happened to finding Bin Laden “dead or alive”?
        Through all these lies, the American government still hasn’t learned any lessons.  They are pointing the fingers at more nations, such as Saudi Arabia and North Korea, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some action taken in one of those countries in the future.  The Democrats, on the other hand, have nothing to say during this time, simply because of how American politics work.  If you criticize, you are seen as unpatriotic, and with an election coming up in a year, they don’t want to jeopardize their chances.  There’s been no talk of impeachment either, and presidents have almost been or have been impeached for much smaller offences than lying to the American citizens.  Bush proclaims the superiority of the American democracy, and yet, the United States doesn’t seem very democratic at all at times.
        The solution to these problems is that Bush has to go, one way or another.  Thankfully, the voters are starting to see this, and the polls are turning against him.  They have to leave Iraq, and let the UN or another organization without a hidden agenda fix the damage the US has done.  The best scenario would be that he does a repeat act of what his father did in the early 90s, and so far, the similarities are almost eerie.  It’s almost a certainty that Bush won’t get re-elected in 2004, and I certainly hope not, for it would be a tragedy to have such an incompetent leader the head of the world’s most powerful country for yet another term.  Although, with the way the vote went in California, it wouldn’t be that big of a surprise.