Coastal Post Online

July 2001


A Nation In Denial

By Karen Nakamura

The American spy plane downing in China is only one example of the state of denial that's becoming a serious problem in this country. What America is faced with, even though it will deny it, is the nearly universal condemnation of our actions by countries all over the globe. Our rudeness, arrogance and tendency to lord it over everyone else has worn thin from China to Egypt to Canada. Our refusal to sign on to the Kyoto Protocols, our refusal to censure Israel and the Bush administration's attempt to revive the cold war are just straws breaking the camel's back.

As is typical with main stream media coverage, there was little discussion on why the US was there spying in the first place. The same held true on the aviation tradition of defensive planes buzzing intruding planes to make them land or leave. And, it was only Chris Matthews, syndicated columnist and MSNBC

scandalmonger, who made the possible connection in tactics between the Bay of Tonkin incident and the Chinese spy plane ramming. Of course, he happened to be in Vietnam at the time.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident is important here because it signaled the United State's full involvement in the war in Vietnam. George W. Bush is obviously trying to revive the Cold War, possibly a hot war, a possibly profitable hot war. According to first reports, a North Vietnamese fishing boat purposely rammed a US patrol boat in the Gulf of Tonkin near Hanoi. America was outraged and sent in ground troops. Only later was the truth revealed. A North Vietnam boat did not ram the American boat. Rather, it was the US government using an internal accident as a ploy to convince Americans to enter the war. It worked.

This tactic was also used in the Spanish-American War in Cuba when a boat was sunk in a Cuban harbor and blamed on the Spaniards. Similar tactics have been used other times throughout history. Why isn't it possible a similar set up happened in the spy plane incident? Why the denial to at least check it out?

In the article published April 8 in the San Francisco Chronicle, entitled "This Is Not Your Country," Matthews extolled, "We in the West.... recall the era of European colonialism with nostalgia... Yet beneath the seductive surface of all the old colonial worlds was the willingness to ...enforce its rule, to torture and

execute the colonized. What [the formerly colonized nations] demand is recognition of their sovereignty."

American planes, ethically, have no right riding China's coast line. But ethics is no longer a consideration. What has become obvious is that keeping a certain chosen few, (rich, white males) in power is all that matters, no matter how inept or flawed they may be. Hereditary seats in Congress and in the Executive branch are becoming commonplace. To achieve what conservatives call "maintaining the American Way," the establishment will lie, cheat, steal elections and destroy any opposition by whatever means necessary, including intrusion into and threatening sovereign nations.

"This is our country" is being increasingly heard among countries offended by our riding roughshod over their sovereignty. More and more often, countries in need call on the Europeans for help, not the United States. African nations have built their own military forces. Resentment in Japan towards Americans grows

as soldiers rape their young girls and efforts to remove US troops fail. The Philippines chased us out of an air force base several years ago. Do we really think India or Pakistan would welcome us? Is England still our lap dog?

Our refusal to recognize the plight of Palestinians, our denial that Israel is doing anything criminal, our insistence on expanding our "spheres of influence" are not highly regarded by the rest of the world. Our intrusion into Asia and Eastern Europe, our refusal to allow Russia to join NATO, our military presence in the Middle East, are all actions of the greedy racing out of control. These are not actions of a democracy dedicated to bringing about equality to all people. To claim less powerful countries have rights too is poo-pawed as being naive.

Most Americans would deny the United Nations was sending a message to the US when it kicked the US off the Human Rights Commission. For Senate Majority Leader, Trent Lott, to exclaim, in response, that the US is one of the standard bearers of human rights is the height of hypocrisy and a denial of his

own voting record.

The greatest denial is ignoring why this country was founded. When commoners found they could no longer tolerate the oppressive tactics of the rich and powerful, they founded a nation based on equality for all. What the present government is refusing to face is that "You can fool all the people some of the time,

and you can fool some of the people all the time but you can't fool all the people all the time." It's time the right-wing realized that.




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