Thursday, June 2, 2005

#122 American Imperialism

Musings #122
May 29, 2005
20th of Iyyar

American Imperialism

The United States is an aggressively imperialist country. This is defined as extending its political and economic influence around the globe.
When I was growing up in America, we were taught that Imperialism is bad, evil. The native populations are discriminated against in favor of the imperialist ruler.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Imperialism is a policy of extending the control or authority over foreign entities as a means of acquisition and/or maintenance of empires, either through direct territorial or through indirect methods of exerting control on the politics and/or economy of other countries. The term is used by some to describe the policy of a country in maintaining colonies and dominance over distant lands, regardless of whether the country calls itself an empire.

Think about what's happening in the world, especially here in the Middle East. The United States didn't think twice about conquering Iraq and dictating what type of government it should have. Thousands of people were murdered in the bombing, no apologies by the Americans. And the number of American dead in the Iraq War, as of 31-5-05, is 1,732 . I'm no pacifist, but I can't figure out the point of the war, except as imperialist aggression by the Americans. For me personally it seems so ironic and absurd to sound like Communist propaganda from the 1950's. I spent my adolescence demonstrating against the USSR's discrimination against Soviet Jewry.

One of the great myths is American economic support of Israel. If you read the fine print you'll discover that all Israel gets is coupons to spend in American stores. This is the imperialist-capitalist way of subsidizing American businesses. Instead of the Israeli military buying from Israeli producers, they use the coupons for American products. This causes the Israeli businesses to go bankrupt, close down and fire workers, which increases unemployment, weakens the economy and makes Israel even more dependent on American aid.

And now we have these pathetic scenes of the Israeli Prime Minister going to the American President asking permission to develop and defend our country. Unfortunately, our government is not acting like an independent state. If the politicians don't have the confidence and strength to govern us as a strong, independent nation, let them resign.

This week I heard Rabbi Yigal Kamenetzky of Gush Katif speak. He told us that at the time of the Exodus from Egypt, the people weren't ready, mature enough to be in Eretz Yisrael. That's why they immediately sinned and had to wait forty years. Afterwards I went up to him to ask if our getting the state so soon after the Holocaust is a main cause for today's problems. He said yes.

I think that those who established the state were too affected by the murder of the Six Million by the Nazis to be good national rulers of an independent country. Even today, they haven't gotten over the mindset of the Judenrat who thought that working with the Nazis was the best way of surviving. We've needed more than forty years to recover and reach maturity. It's interesting to realize that the youth who are at the forefront of today's struggle were born forty years after the Holocaust ended.

All isn't lost. We can overturn the unjust laws. We can cancel Disengagement.

Batya Medad, Shiloh
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Unknown said...

Although you and I do not agree generally on the settlement situation, I must say that you are absolutely correct concerning the agenda of the United States. I too am an American living in another country; in my case it is Canada. It took me a couple years of living outside the U.S. borders to realize exactly how imperialistic my country is.

In my own editorial comments in the Gantseh Megillah I have railed against the Iraq mis-adventure. I also truly believe that all of the so-called assistance the U.S. gives Israel is soley self directed. It raises my faith in the Israeli public to read your most honest and no-holds-barred evaluation of our countries self-serving interventions in the world.

Esther said...

I'm rather disappointed in this (and right after I plugged your site). :(

I'm no pacifist, but I can't figure out the point of the war, except as imperialist aggression by the Americans

Read Natan Sharansky's book to get some insight into it. Democracies don't attack other democracies. It's in all of our (especially Israel, never mind Iraqies themselves) best interests to have Saddam out of power in Iraq. Also, all those dead Iraqies that you list....most were not killed by American bombs but rather by charming neighboring homicide bomber insurgents sent by Iran, Syria, the PA, etc.

Batya said...

It takes more than elections to make a democracy. What's going on today in Israel and many other countries is "an elected dictatorship." The Prime Minister demands strict obedience from his ministers and/or coalition partners.

True democracy is domething else.

Esther said...

While I agree that what Sharon is doing has been dubious at best, to attack America as imperialistic seems very wrong to me.