Last week Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro described the United States as, “the most criminal empire in the history of mankind”. Whether such a statement is true, one cannot deny the US has repeatedly topped polls of international opinion on the subject: Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?
Time and again the global community have overwhelmingly voted the US as “the greatest threat” to their existence. In one such WIN/Gallup poll from less than four years ago, the US garnered three times the votes of second-place Pakistan.
Such decisive results are hardly reported in the Western mainstream, it would be ill-advised to inform unsuspecting Westerners of useless facts – instead they are disappeared down George Orwell’s memory hole.
As a consequence of the predictable survey results, perhaps the question should be framed rather differently – “How can nations be secured in the face of the US threat?” Seeing as how pollsters such as the Gallup company and Pew Research Centre are headquartered in Washington, that seems unlikely.
The investigative journalist John Pilger wrote of American aggression, “The trail of blood is endless: from the subjugation of the Philippines and Central America, to the greatest terrorist attacks of all, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; from the devastation of Indochina, such as the murder of 600,000 peasants in neutral Cambodia, and the use of chemicals and starvation against civilian populations, to the shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane, and the bombing of prisoners of war in a mud fort in Afghanistan. The documentation of American terror is voluminous”.
The US is the only nation to have ever been convicted by the World Court for international terrorism (in 1986), against Nicaragua during the Ronald Reagan era, under the old “war on terror” pretext. The destruction wrought against Nicaragua by US-backed contras – terrorists – was so severe that the World Court had no other option. These unwelcome facts have again been consigned to historical oblivion.
Backing up the claims Noam Chomsky, Emeritus Professor at MIT, said, “There are many terrorist states in the world but the United States is unusual in that it is officially committed to international terrorism, and on a scale that puts its rivals to shame”.
In the Middle East, the perception of America is even worse – with about two-thirds of respondents saying they hold a “very unfavourable” view of the US. Israel, the US’s right arm in the region, has also long been viewed negatively in the Middle East. Examining the respective grisly records, this is hardly a revelation, while Iran barely features on its neighbours’ threat scope.
The US has repeatedly invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, while Israel has attacked Lebanon, Egypt and Syria, all with US support – not to mention Israel’s occupation of much of the Golan Heights (Syrian land) and Palestinian territories, and their treatment of the inhabitants there.
Pilger again reveals that, “Palestinians have been denied a right to return to their homes, in breach of numerous UN resolutions and international law… The BBC refers to Israel’s policy of assassination as ‘targeted killing’, the euphemism used by Israeli spokesmen. It is rarely reported that of the hundreds killed and thousands wounded in the Second Intifada [Palestinian uprising], 90% have been Palestinian civilians, 45% have been under 18, and 60% were shot in their homes, schools and workplaces”.
In November 2003, before the Iraq war’s implications became clear, Europeans viewed Israel as “the No. 1 threat to world peace”. Such were the results of a survey conducted by the European Commission, which prompted “outrage” from the Israeli embassy in Brussels, and much apologising from squeamish European politicians. It is unwise to upset the master across the Atlantic.
In the time since, citizens in the US, Britain and Canada often claim Iran to be the biggest threat to peace on earth – a rare insight into how successful Western propaganda has been. Across centuries Iran have no record of having outright invaded another country, nor do they possess weapons of mass destruction like nuclear warheads. Within the past century the US has attacked numerous sovereign nations, breaching international law with little respite.
North Korea is another bogeyman of the West, but as with Iran, these views have little basis in reality. In the last 60 years and more North Korea have no record of having invaded another country – during the Korean War more of the North’s towns were destroyed (by the US) than either those of Germany or Japan during World War II. Despite this, most Americans currently regard the DPRK as “a very serious threat” to their country.
Yet who is being threatened? There are thousands of American troops situated in South Korea, perilously close to the North’s border – along with aircraft, artillery and ships. Considering America’s foreign policy record, and past destruction of North Korea, Kim Jong-un and colleagues have every right to be agitated. They continue to act out of fear.
As does Maduro, with the Venezuelan leader demanding last week that his army “have the rifles, the missiles, and the well-oiled tanks at the ready”. Maduro expressed humanity’s future “cannot lie in the threats of nuclear strikes or military invasions”. The US possesses thousands of nuclear weapons and are the only state to have used them, on Japan.
In 2016, the US military expenditure was 50 times bigger than Iran’s, for example, a statistic that goes without mention. The US is away into the distance when it comes to military outlay, almost three times that of second-place China – and about nine times that of Russia. The disparity is set to widen further.
Not satisfied with last year’s arms budget of $611 billion, the US Senate recently passed a $700 billion “defence policy bill” – which in turn “back[s] President Donald Trump’s call for a bigger, stronger military”. The proposed $90 billion enlargement is greater than Russia’s entire military expense for 2016 ($69.2 billion).
Possessing by far the largest military machine on earth is still not deemed substantial enough. This sends a signal and the message could hardly be clearer: the US is set to increase its military operations. The world has been warned.
The first major steps can be witnessed in the growing presence of American soldiers in Afghanistan under President Trump. Bob Corker, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Sunday, “But are we likely to have troops in Afghanistan for the next decade? Sure.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.