Joey Tartakovsky’s article “Addressing Anti-Americanism: Values That Aid Our Nation’s Success Are Worth Defending” (Daily Nexus, April 12) is as prejudiced and irrational as its claims the “passionate anti-American crowd” is. Like most ill-researched and prejudiced essays on this topic, Tartakovsky’s arguments betray an ignorance of foreign cultures and of well-known U.S. foreign policy.
Tartakovsky’s long list of “routine anti-American denunciations” trivializes the counterargument, and makes it sound as though he is not even remotely familiar with it. By taking a quick tour of past U.S. foreign policy, perhaps we can raise the level of this discussion.
There is a tremendous amount of documentation, beginning with the Church Committee’s 1975 investigation of the CIA’s involvement in foreign conflicts, revealing that the CIA has for over 40 years sponsored terrorism and organized the overthrow of working constitutional democracies in Third World countries. These are facts, out there for anybody to see. Very conservative estimates say that these covert operations have resulted in the deaths of more than a million people.
Many people may not realize it, but both Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are monsters of our own creation. Saddam replaced Abdul Kareem Kassem (whose policies were not beneficial to U.S. interests) in a CIA-organized coup in 1963, and Osama was backed by U.S. money to fight the soviets during the Cold War.
The current Iraq war is nothing new – we are simply looking after our oil interests and installing a military presence in the Middle East so as to protect it. You see, another thing you may not have heard of is “peak oil,” which basically refers to the fact that there is only so much oil on the planet, and we are now reaching peak oil production. The upshot of this is that oil demand is about to outpace oil production. In other words, we need oil bad, and soon.
The people of other countries do have a right to be angry. Some of them may be irrationally angry, but many are angry because the real reason why the United States is a First World country is because it has been exploiting Third World countries for many years. They have a perspective that we do not – that is, they have a non-American press; a press that, unlike ours, is not owned by mega-corporations that have a financial interest in the exploitation of Third World countries.
All you have to do is read, Joey. Read independent press, and read the press of foreign countries. If you grew up in those countries, and you read the news they did, and you saw the things American soldiers were doing there, would you not also think of America differently?
You say that “America’s magnificent success lies precisely in its values.” Knowing all that I know about U.S. foreign policy, I sincerely ask you, Joey Tartakovsky – what values are those?
Orin Harris is a CCS physics major.