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The Suffering and Havoc Inflicted by U.S. Foreign Policy and Military Action  

 

Everyone who has followed world political and military history knows how the United States has been responsible for much of the devastation and destruction around the world after the end of the 2nd world war.

Is it a changed country today with President Donald Trump? One can only hope so.

U.S. Military in South East Asian seas

Why I am coming out with this warning is that there is presently a U.S. attempt to isolate and undermine China through its allies in Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia, and possibly India.

We can see this in the way in which U.S. ships, planes and missiles are patrolling the Southeast Asian seas as if this was part of the Gulf of Mexico. There is also ring of U.S. military bases in this part of the world which has long targeted China as its arch enemy. Most recently, the U.S. has been actively engaged in provoking trouble in the South China Sea where China is in dispute with the regional countries.

We in Malaysia should avoid being used by the U.S. in its efforts to contain or challenge China. Let us assert our national sovereignty and protect our independence by all means. But let’s not take sides in the big power dispute, bearing in mind the history of U. S. war crimes in all over the world.

U.S. atrocities in the Middle East

For those in Malaysia who are irrationally anti-Chinese and favour the U.S., they must not forget the U.S. record of atrocities in the Middle East where the ouster of Saddam Hussein and bombing of Iraq was carried out on false pretences. Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass distraction.

The U.S. created suicide bombers

You can imagine thousands of Muslim children whose parents were killed by the US, would have sworn on their parents’ graves that they would take revenge. As a result, suicide bombers were created, who were innocent victims of the unjustified brutal military actions by the US and other western nations, and their Saudi-led allies.

It is necessary to look at the recent past history to see how much damage the U.S. foreign and military policy has inflicted.

  1. S. intervention in South America

U.S. interventions in Latin America in recent decades have included of course the long running attempt – now being continued again under President Trump – to destroy or undermine Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

It has also been targeted at countries such as Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Chile where the US feels it has the right through the Monroe Doctrine to decide on which type of government should govern the various countries that are found in the Americas.

As a result of US intervention – either militarily or through its right wing proxies – Latin America has had to suffer under a succession of military dictatorships which have killed hundreds of thousands of their own nationals and impoverished their countries.

50 years ago, John Kennedy, President of the US admitted that “we (the US) have not only supported a dictatorship in Cuba – we have propped up dictators in Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic. We not only ignored poverty and distress in Cuba – we have failed in the past eight years to relieve poverty and distress throughout the hemisphere.”

U.S. atrocities in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

In Southeast Asia, the impact of the U.S. especially with its military intervention in Indochina has been so mind boggling that it is important to keep reminding ourselves of its cost. One source has suggested that there was up to 3.8 million violent war deaths in Vietnam for the period 1955 to 2002.

According to figures released by the Vietnamese government in 1995, there were 1,100,000 North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong military personnel deaths during the Vietnam War (including the missing). The Vietnamese government released its estimate of war deaths for the more lengthy period of 1955 to 1975. According to the Vietnamese, Communist battle deaths totalled 1.1 million and civilian deaths of Vietnamese totalled 2.0 million. These estimates probably include battle deaths of Vietnamese soldiers in Laos and Cambodia, but do not include deaths of South Vietnamese and allied soldiers which would add nearly 300,000 for a grand total of 3.4 million military and civilian dead.

Apart from Vietnamese, between 240,000 and 300,000 Cambodians died during the war. 20,000-62,000 Laotians also died

U.S. dropped more than triple the 2.1 million tons of bombs during World War II in Indochina

The repercussions from the Indochina war continue today. The U.S. dropped over 7 million tons of bombs on Indochina during the war—more than triple the 2.1 million tons of bombs the U.S. dropped on Europe and Asia during all of World War II, and more than ten times the amount dropped by the U.S. during the Korean War.

500 thousand tons were dropped on Cambodia, 1 million tons were dropped on North Vietnam, and 4 million tons were dropped on South Vietnam. On a per capita basis, the 2 million tons dropped on Laos make it the most heavily bombed country in history. The New York Times noted this was “nearly a ton for every person in Laos.”

In Laos alone, some 80 million bombs failed to explode and remain scattered throughout the country, rendering vast swathes of land impossible to cultivate and killing or maiming 50 Laotians every year.  Former U.S. Air Force official Earl Tilford has recounted “repeated bombing runs of a lake in central Cambodia. The B-52s literally dropped their payloads in the lake”. The Air Force ran many missions of this kind for the purpose of securing additional funding during budget negotiations, so the amount of tonnage expended does not directly correlate with the resulting damage.

Are Pentagon contractors driving U.S. foreign policy?”

Lawrence Wilkerson, retired U.S. Army colonel and former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, gave a lecture at Iowa State University titled “ Are Pentagon contractors driving U.S. foreign policy?”

He said that the military-industrial complex has two lobbyists for every member of Congress and continues to drive the U.S. war economy in Washington D.C.  In 2013, the top five Pentagon contractors – Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, and General Dynamics – all invested $53 million to influence Congress (source Open Secrets).  In return, they were awarded $142 billion in contracts.  Lockheed Martin dominated the pack, receiving over $44 billion in contracts that year.

“If war goes away, so does your profits, so does your shares, so does your stock,” Col. Wilkerson said bluntly.

There is little doubting the capacity of its military-industrial elite and complex to do enormous harm to our part of the world.

 

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