Mar 21, 2011

US Foreign Interventions: Folly or Bully

During the 60s to the 70s, when the US was involved in the Vietnam War, the phrase 'Make peace,not war' and 'Give peace a chance' were used by the Americans to denounce the government of its involvement in a war that brings no benefits but deaths to the thousands of young American soldiers.

The massive protest in front of the White House by the thousands of Americans, from the students to the ordinary at the height of the Vietnam War, has stunned the government so much that it reciprocated by using force to subdue the protests.

In one of the speeches on TV in 1970, President Nixon put on a brave front and declared:'We will not be humiliated and defeated by the North Vietnamese'. And to the chagrin of the Americans, he even expanded the war into Laos and Cambodia, triggering massive protests.
And hardly had the words settled in the mind of the Americans, the North Vietnamese took over Saigon and the Americans fled South Vietnam to eat humble pie at home.

Th current involvement of the US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is akin to deja vu of the Vietnam War albeit with a difference: there is oil to fight for. Never mind the thousands of American soldiers who are killed on duty. As far as the US government is concern, it is a price worth paying for.

The military might of the US army is the most powerful in the world and with its strong advocate of democratic values, has make the US as a country for many to either look for protection or guidance. Hence, like a big brother, it further hedges its military might around the world.

The rise of India and China as the new economic power house has make the US government to rethink its policies towards these countries. The economy of China has overtaken Japan and is poised to overtake US as the biggest economy in the world. When China unveiled its ability to build stealth fighter plane, the US like the rest of the world is awed. Maybe there are more technological advances which the world has not seen yet. And together with its military force, the People's Liberation Army, which is the biggest in the world, China is now being view as a new superpower:from economy to military.

The huge trade surpluses of the Chinese economy with the US has being a thorn for the US economy for years. And to shift the balance of trade to its favor, the US has tried to pester China to devalue its currency, blaming it as the main source of the imbalance in trade between the two countries.

Will China kowtow to the Americans?

While China is exploring for greater economic pie through diplomatic ties throughout the world, the US is interfering in world affairs through its military might, with Libya being the latest.
The outcry of the Arab League of the attack by the French,British and the US forces is indeed a cause for concern. Such an attack is being perceived as an attack by the West against the Muslim world.
And such perception, when dangerously played up by the many Osamas, will give rise to further extremist attacks against the West.

What is the cost of human suffering that can be considered justifiable for war?

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