There are many who see the world as we once knew it, shifting strangely out of focus as though a deviant gene had infected our little planet with a rogue species able to enter unhindered into the control rooms of the strongest defences of our civilization. Over the years, we have enjoyed much wonderfully imagined science fiction with aliens from outer space attacking our hard won freedoms but this attack is much closer to home.
For example, in the Pentagon, decisions are being made that at times seem to come from a madhouse. How else to explain the gusto with which they spend and spend their fellow citizens’ money. We are told that in the backward corrupt Afghanistan, the Pentagon boasts of spending £612 million pounds sterling in backup costs per person per year on the front line, for soldiers or those building up a civilian infrastructure from scratch. Pity, then, the poor dedicated leader of a nation who normally has his feet on the ground, who is swept up by the force of those whose concern is where to strike next. This nation, of course, is the United States of America (USA) from where these days, looking stern and haggard, their Secretary of State reminds us that they are the greatest power on earth. She is right but unfortunately using this power can bring tremendous suffering for the common man and women of this planet trying to survive on what has been called “The three Bs”, a bicycle, Bibi (wife) and bread.
We ask ourselves how Bill Gates can personally be paying for vaccinating millions of Africans while the US Government is not paying for flu vaccines for its own citizens? Instead we see the White House counter-terrorism chief John Brennan, like someone out of a Dr Strangelove remake, boasting of their war progress. When is the United States government going to realize that the biggest danger to its people is not Islamic terrorism but hurricanes, epidemics, earthquakes, and other natural disasters and that its most destructive enemy is not a terrorist but NATURE?
And let’s not forget how recently the USA was seen as the friend of all free nations. Now even the Greeks, whose ancestors gave us the concept of ‘democracy’, chorus “Yanks go Home”. None of us really want to see massive hostile gatherings holding up banners cursing the USA. The American people do not deserve this venomous response stirred up by their politicians. These are the people who died in thousands on the beaches at Normandy and Pacific islands, saved Europe from economic ruin with the Marshall Plan and, let’s be truthful, incidentally saved the world for democracy. So what has gone wrong that instead of eventually intervening to end others’ wars they now insist on starting their own and instead of helping repair destruction caused by others, they are now causing their own. No more “Jaw! Jaw!” Only “War! War!”
It is said that only 15 per cent of Americans own a passport, no doubt believing that they are already in the best country in the world. Few young Americans today would be able, if asked, to locate Iran, Syria, Libya or Thailand on a map. In a country where there are few national newspapers or radio programmes and most news is relatively local there is little need or interest to learn about other countries.
Over the years most of the world has come to hate all American intervention because it is recognised that self -interest is always the underlying reason, to do with trade, oil, money or political power. Even in matters of foreign aid, there nearly always seems to be a political return. The poor US citizens do not know the extent of the damage that their countries commercialism-at-all-costs is costing the world. World peace, world economy, Third World countries, the environment and international co-operation, are all victims of the USA’s blatant greed.
So there we have it: Greed! But wait a while! Is it survival?