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America: The World's Big Brother

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Over the last one hundred years, America has felt the need to help the other nations in the world who don’t have the means to help themselves. You can’t blame them though, when a country is primarily one of Christian belief and wealth, you should expect as much. Has America gone too far though? The US has funded, provided troops, and aided countries seeking their freedom from Vietnam to Panama. Today we have troops in over 150 countries and spend hundreds of billions of dollars every year on our military. America is effectively bankrupting itself through careless spending on foreign conflicts.

Let’s take a look at the wars the US has engaged in starting with World War I. Realistically, the war had no major threat to America but the country felt the need to go help out, to “fight the good fight.” It cost the country $334,000,000,000 (334 billion) and more than 100,000 men. Another example is The Korean War. Once again, North Korea posed no threat to America, but Americans felt the need to “spread the ideals of democracy.” Well, the spread of democracy cost us $341,000,000,000 (341 billion) and more than 30,000 Americans lost their lives. Then there was the big political quagmire that was Vietnam. A similar setup to the Korean War and, once again, it proposed no true threat to America but America felt the need to “stop the spread of evil.” Stopping the spread of evil cost $738,000,000,000 (738 billion), 50,000+ American lives, and we didn’t even succeed. Now we are engaged in a “war on terror” in Afghanistan and Iraq, which so far has cost us more than A TRILLION dollars and 6,000 American men and women have lost their lives. James Madison once said “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes … known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” Look at America today, one of the most despised countries in the world, nearly almost engaged in war or foreign conflicts, has a 14 trillion dollar debt and internal issues that have led to things such as the current day Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread throughout the nation.

The right thing to do is not always the best thing to do. Americans in general want to help out poor, war riddled, and starving countries but then they neglect the internal problems. With so many troops sent and money spent in other countries, the US has become disregarded as a secondary priority. We are at a point where we can simply no longer afford to help other nations out as we do now. The money that could be used to increase school budgets, to feed the hungry, and to provide homes for the poor is being spent on bullets and tanks to go fight for other countries. Some of these countries don’t even want our help, but we still force our idea of “freedom” upon them. Justice is decided by the eyes of the beholder, who are we to interfere in other countries when we don’t like the way their current government is working out? Most of South Vietnam didn’t believe in America’s idea of “democracy,” as you’ll find in Frances Fitzgerald’s Pulitzer Price winning “Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam” The Vietnamese have a different cultural and historical background, so their ideal of government is different than ours. Communism seemed good in their eyes. It would be like China invading us because Liberals were about to win an election and the Chinese government didn’t like Liberals. It is downright ludicrous and irrational. So America would rather make other countries accept our way of life instead of taking care of the problems within our country.

America shouldn’t revert to its isolationist way of post-World War I though. If America had intervened earlier with the obvious growing threat in Europe, World War II could have been avoided and millions of lives would have been saved. There’s a key difference between that and the rest of the needless conflicts we’ve involved ourselves in; The Axis Powers were a global threat, some unorganized terrorist holed up in a cave in the middle of a foreign desert is a regional threat. As said in John Mueller’s article “How Dangerous Are the Taliban?” the terrorist in the Middle East are no longer as organized or much of a threat, especially for the amounts of money America is spending on dealing with it. When looked up logically, the attacks of 9/11 did not supply the US with a valid reason to invade an entire nation. Americans reacted based on emotion instead of logic. Sunni’s and Shiites have been killing each other for a thousand years, is it logical to have Americans tied up in this conflict? Is it logical to have so many troops stationed in Europe when there is no global power in that region that currently proposes a threat to us? America is reacting to the 21st century with a 20th century response. This is the most stable time in the history of the world as Fareed Zakira shows in his book “The Post-American World.” The Communism we feared in the 50’s hit its peak and is now fading out like another global trend. The USSR collapsed, therefore, currently there is no army that could provide a true threat to America beside China, who would never consider war with the US in the first place. Why? Because China needs America to buy its goods or there are no jobs in the country, and no jobs would lead to another revolution, the last thing the Chinese government wants. There is also better communication throughout the world and more knowledge of the past readily available to the average citizen; those translate to the chance of another Nazi Germany incident being relatively low. America no longer needs to station troops in other countries for protection, but for example, if some country in Africa needs America’s help desperately, then the US military should go in only with a joint task force, deal with the situation, and leave. Small casualties, small amounts of funds used, and it looks good for America’s global image.

America has for too long been the “big brother” of the world, there to help anyone else when they trip up, get bullied, or start fighting with another kid in the world’s sandbox; therefore, The US in its current situation is only sinking itself deeper into the sand by having so many troops and government funds sunk into other kid’s sand castles throughout the world. As history recalls, Americans didn’t care too much for the British occupying their land and forcing their ways upon them and ended up revolting against them; how long until the world does the same to America?





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Dmed55 said...
Mar. 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm
I believe that what David expressed in his book is a living nightmare that no child should ever go through. It's amazing that a child was brave enough to deal with the results of this situation. Whether it's in the past, present, or future.
 
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