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Corporate Globalization Resistance

Research Paper On Foreign Animosity Towards America
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            The screams of innocent Vietnamese women and children permeate the air as they are mowed down by U.S. machine gun fire. Burning bodies of kindergarten students scramble to be put out in the boiling rivers as radiation slowly peels off the skin of others. American foreign policy has been the world’s top supporter of violence and terrorism since its conception in 1776; from the genocide of Native Americans to the fifty-million murdered and stolen from Africa in the overall slave trade. (Zinn 26) The actions of American foreign and domestic policy along with its intentions and “achievements” will clearly indicate the source of growing foreign animosity. Corporate globalization and its hegemony have brought inexplicable pain upon the masses of the developing world while exploiting the domestically impoverished as well. The enforcer of this hegemony has been western, mainly American, military force and economic institutions; the likes of which have consistently combined to establish a permanent “war economy”. Any independent nationalist or populist movement that arises in a developing nation, whether through democracy or revolution that creates democracy, and rebels against our corporate/imperial interests than we subsequently overthrow them in a coup that imposes a right-wing dictatorship. This puppet dictator’s purpose is to turn back social spending for the impoverished, corporate regulation, environment laws, and workers laws while increasing privatization to make the markets, workers, and resources of his country easily accessible and exploitable for foreign investment. As the previous constitution, parliament, elections, and rights are quickly dissembled, the dictator has thousands of workers unionists, peasants, political dissidents, and suspected “communists” murdered, arrested, and tortured with U.S. government approval, backing, and participation. The intentions of US invasions and interventions, from early “gun boat diplomacy” in Latin America to Iraq, is the establishment of indirect control of developing nations to create a source of cheaper resources and labor while flooding their markets with our surplus and overpriced manufacturing goods. Global poverty and increasing inequality has been the result of these policies that place the world’s resources into the hands of a very few while twenty-four thousand a day starve to death and over half the world lives in extreme poverty (“Poverty Facts”). Thus the millions killed and billions more severely affected by these policies justifies the foreign animosity towards America.

 

            Supporters of Western Imperialism argue that these measures of supporting fascist dictators and terrorism were unfortunate but necessary in “fighting Communism” and defending freedom and democracy. They claim that just because one is elected doesn’t mean that they are democratic leaders if they don’t rule by democratic means; after all, Hitler was elected. So one must ask, what is so evil about totalitarian communism that supposedly drives U.S. politicians to fight it with such zeal and passion? While simultaneously citing Communism’s “authoritarian” aspects, they praise totalitarian Fascism as a mean to dispose of it. Thus alternative motives to “freedom” and “democracy” must be accepted as neither in the literal sense were clearly the case for the “Anti-Communism” of the elite. The main difference between Communism and Fascism are the classes and the interests they serve to protect; while Communism threatens the interests of the rich and lifts the working class poor into power, Fascism murders and exploits the poor to ensure the safety and maximized profits of the elite. The big corporate interests and its global hegemony of service to them is what drove and continues to drive the foreign policy of America. Likewise, one cannot ignore the fact that none of the regimes that were overthrown and replaced with fascism were totalitarian or Communist but Democratic and reformist liberals that were merely attempting to better the conditions of their people. When used by the elite, democracy and freedom really means the rule of corporations and freedom for them to do what they like in other countries no matter the dire social consequences for the people.

 

            In 1947, we subverted and rigged the election in Italy, whose Communist party had overwhelming popular support (Blum). In 1951, the first democratically elected president of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, came into power and was poorly received by the western powers for his reformist agenda and nationalization of the country’s oil supplies including the British owned and operated Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. In 1953, Britain and the U.S. organized a coup to place Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as the Shah, into power for a brutal 26 year dictatorial reign. (“Mohammed Mossadegh”) Jacob Arbenz, one of the first democratically elected presidents of Guatemala and a social reformer, was overthrown by a CIA coup for attempting to nationalize lands owned by the powerful United Fruit Company. United Fruit had gone to Congress screaming “Communism!” when their profits were threatened and covert military action followed along with a bombing of Guatemala’s capital city. (“Guatemala Killing Field”) In 1973 the CIA-created coup overthrew the democratically elected socialist reformer Salvador Allende and imposed military general, General Augusto Pinochet, as dictator (Blum).

 

            In the 1950s and 60s, Indonesia’s president Sukarno’s increasing ties to the Communist Party was seen as a threat to U.S. hegemony in the region, including it with Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Sukarno had led the Indonesian independence movement from Dutch imperialism and was attempting to reform Indonesia. In 1965, General Suharto used the September 30th Movement, a small scale affair that killed twelve people and was blamed on the Communist Party, to lead a US backed coup against the nationalist regime and initiate a mass murder of one million people suspected to be “pro-communist”. During the murder campaign, American diplomats had compiled a list of 5,000 names to give to the Indonesian military in rooting out “Communist sympathizers”, reminiscent of the McCarthy era. The CIA described the purge as “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century”. As a result, the immense mineral wealth and resources of Indonesia were open to U.S. corporate access, investment, and geopolitical authority due to Indonesia’s regional location while Suharto begged for foreign aid, “defended foreign capital from Indonesians”, privatized resources, cut social spending, etc. In 1975, the Suharto dictatorship invaded the newly independent East Timor with direct orders from Henry Kissinger and Gerald Ford, killing over 200,000 civilians or one-third of the population in the invasion and 27 year occupation. (“The Mass Killings In Indonesia”) Similar coups have been launched against democratic, reformist regimes on an international scale in Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Brazil, Peru, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Syria, Lebanon, Haiti, Panama, etc. Democratic elections have been subverted and rigged by the U.S. government in just as many, if not more situations (“Dossier on America”)

 

            Israel, an important strategic state of the empire, is funded with an annual three billion dollars of U.S. foreign aid, surpassing any other country and help making their military among the global elite. (“Swelling Cost of Israel to US”) They put the aid dollars to use by bulldozing, bombing, and shooting up Palestinian towns and people while creating a propaganda system that displays themselves as the victims of “violent terrorism” when angry Palestinians strike back. Israel has illegally occupied much of Palestinian territory and terrorized the civilian population with routine checkpoints, incarceration, and harassment but levels entire Palestinian towns to the ground, massacring the citizens. The U.S. supported Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, carried out by Ariel Sharon, left over 20,000 people dead and leveled West Beirut with cluster bombs and chemical weapons. Afterwards, Sharon allowed Lebanese militia to enter the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila, under tight Israeli control and watch, and massacre over 2,000 people. (“Limited War In Lebanon”) Most foreign animosity in the Middle East is directed at continuous U.S. support and maintenance of Israeli terrorist attacks and illegal imperialism of Palestinian territories.

 

            After the 1954 coup of Guatemala’s democratic leader, Jacob Arbenz, the U.S. imposed over forty years of viscous dictatorship on its people. Up to two hundred-thousand had been killed from massacres, bombings, chemical weapons and other forms of brutality upon the peasants in which the US had supported and carried out. (“Guatemala Killing Field”) In the late 1970s and throughout the 80s in El Salvador, a similar military dictatorship was brought about by US imposition and murdered over eighty-thousand of its people through military action of its National Guard and paramilitary death squads trained by the CIA. Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as the Shah of Sha, was brought into power of Iran through the CIA coup of its democratically elected leader Muhammad Mossadegh in 1953. The Shah’s dictatorship lasted 26 years and was known for a particularly brutal rule in which up to seventy-thousand political dissidents and supposed “communists” were murdered. The purpose of the Shah’s rule was to open up Iran’s oil resources for foreign exploitation and provided a geopolitical position in close proximity to Russia. (Blum) In Argentina, we brought an anti-Semitic, Nazi-like ruler, General Jorge Rafael Videla, into power through a coup in 1976 and continuously supported him in his “dirty war” on the people of Argentina. Videla suspended all political and union activities and tortured student activists, union leaders, and any dissidents in secret detention camps. Over twenty-thousand had been murdered in the “disappearance” campaign of dissidents and “communists” and its also well known that the contras of Nicaragua were trained in Argentina during Videla’s five year reign. (“Argentina’s Dapper State-Terrorist”) In 1973, General Augusto Pinochet would be placed into dictatorship through a CIA-backed coup of democratically elected socialist leader Salvador Allende and go on a reign of terror upon labor leaders and dissidents in which three-thousand were murdered and thousands more arrested, tortured, and exiled (Blum). Similar dictatorships arise through U.S. creation, participation, backing, and supporting in Haiti, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Columbia, Indonesia, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Greece, Congo, Honduras, the Philippines, South Vietnam, Iraq, and others. (“Dossier on America”)

 

         Yet adherents to US global imperialism maintain that America stands for peace, justice, democracy, equality, and freedom. They point to the “liberation” of women in Afghanistan, the people of Iraq, and many other wars as showing America’s dedication to higher values. They say America is trying to make the world safe from terrorism and hate while spreading freedom and democracy everywhere it “liberates”. They point to America always being on the “good side” such as siding with the allies in World War II and going on the side of “freedom and democracy” in the Cold War. But lets look at some of the facts of America’s foreign policy in the Cold War and its War on Terror to see if it really stands for peace, liberation, and democracy. The country of Vietnam was attempting to gain its independence from French imperialism under the National Liberation Front headed by Ho Chi Mihn from 1946-1954. Temporarily after World War II, the Vietnamese were free and Mihn wrote several letters to the US president asking for support and help in Vietnam’s new independence with no reply. Instead, the US backed France’s war against the Vietnamese liberation movement all the way until when France lost and the NLF succeeded in gaining power. The U.S. carried out covert activity in Vietnam, splitting Vietnam into two and imposing a dictator, Ngo Dinh Diem, onto South Vietnam who suppressed all dissidents and forced peasants off their land into “concentration camps”. In reality, there was no civil war among the populous but support for the Communists/Nationalists was almost universal in Vietnam. The Vietcong was popularly supported in South Vietnam and the government of North Vietnam was as well. The South Vietnamese dictatorship along with the U.S. army waged war on the people of South Vietnam through chemical weapons, massacres, and massive bombings of villages and infrastructure. By the end of the war, twice as many bombs were dropped on Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos as were on Europe and Asia in World War II and “an area the size of Massachusetts” was covered with poisonous chemicals from biological warfare. Cambodia and Laos’ own nationalist movements made the U.S. suspect North Vietnam’s support for the regimes and brought about bombing campaign on their people as well. A total amount of four million civilians had died in the war on Indochina with the complete economic infrastructure of all three countries annihilated and countless more effected by disfigurement, chemical poisoning and starvation. (Zinn 409-507)

 

            In 1979, the Sandinistas toppled the Somoza dictatorship after a “dynasty rule” of over 46 years since the Marines had invaded in 1912 and placed him into power before exiting in 1933. The reformist regime drew considerable worry amongst the Reagan administration that attempted to portray it as a form of “Russian-influenced Communist dictatorship” which was attempting to invade all of Latin America. The elections held in 1984 by the Sandinistas were disregarded in a “knee jerk reaction” by the U.S. media and the Reagan administration but received international praise for their legitimacy. The CIA-created “contras”, which were composed of former Somoza supporters, led a terrorist war against Nicaragua in which the people were termed as “soft targets” and over 30,000 of them murdered. In 1986, the U.S. was declared a war criminal by the World Court for its mining of the Nicaraguan harbors by the CIA. By the 1990 elections, the economic infrastructure had turned back to pre-Sandinista form from the Sandinista gains due to the destruction caused by the war. The Nicaraguan people, “war-beaten” and openly threatened with increasing retribution by the U.S. if they were to “vote wrong”, voted in support of the U.S. backed opposition party and the Sandinista revolution came to its end.   (“The Decline of the Democratic Ideal”)

 

            In 1980s Iraq, we had supported Sadaam Hussein, provided him with chemical weapons, and worked with him to make him our puppet and hand over the resources of his country to US-based multinational corporations.  Although the massacres of his people cannot be blamed totally on the U.S., the way its leaders have acted in response to this would be like providing a gun to someone you know who was a mass murderer and then claiming immunity to any blame put on you for murders that he committed with your gun. When it turned out that Sadaam wasn’t producing results and cooperating with corporate interests, US attitude towards Hussein began to slightly sour and fully turned around when he disrupted oil interests by invading Kuwait in 1990. (Perkins 182-188) After the war (slaughter), in which over 200,000 Iraqi civilians and soldiers were murdered, the U.S. supported genocidal sanctions by the U.N. which resulted in the deaths of over a million people, including 500,000 children, over a 12 year period. In 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq claiming to have intelligence pointing to Sadaam’s weapons of mass destruction that proved false and turned out to have been concocted. Proof for the connection between Sadaam’s administration and Al-Queda has yet to be shown and this myth has been thoroughly debunked due to the high ideological differences of the two groups regarding religion. The war has resulted in 128,000 and more Iraqi civilians dead with the infrastructure of entire cities destroyed, thousands injured, and thousands more in exile. The U.S. has used chemical weapons on civilians, hired mercenaries and death squads to murder, abduct, and hold hostage innocent civilians, cut off all access to basic needs in cities unless the people comply to U.S. demands, forced people out of their homes in the middle of the night, jailed them for no reason, denied them due process, and tortured or raped them.

 

            Supporters of US global hegemony claim that America’s economic and social influence has lifted many out of poverty while contributing towards the betterment of humanity. That America’s spreading of technology and markets has been a positive in developing Third World nations. Once we go over what is popularly called “globalization” nowadays and how the traditional debates have masked the reality of imperialism we can see clearly the main source for expanding global poverty and inequality. Globalization is the term used to describe corporate neoliberalism by many of its dissenters and used for a multitude of issues by the mainstream media, including the elimination of trade tariffs, the outsourcing of American jobs, and the hegemony of the world cultures. The nationalistic attitude of the working class is manipulated by mainstream liberals to turn people against corporate globalization by focusing on these minute issues while distorting or ignoring the larger frame of the overall debate. Under the banner of “free trade” to put the people of the world on an “even level”, the corporatists force Third World countries to eliminate trade barriers while the developed countries hypocritically maintain the protectionist tariffs that had ironically assisted in their own development. This creates a wave of surplus goods and agricultural crops that flood the markets of the developing nation, eliminating many jobs from domestic small

businesses and farmers that can’t compete. Though the devastating affect this doctrine alone has on the economies of the adherent nations, it is merely scratching the surface of the overall oppression and naked exploitation brought about by the system of neoliberalism.

 

            Beyond eliminating trade tariffs between nations, worker and environmental laws and regulations, taxes on the rich and corporations, minimum wage, social spending, nationalization of social services and resources, and other means of assisting the poor and weak of society are seen “trade barriers” that must be liberalized to increase foreign investment. The working class poor are set in a “race to the bottom” for who will work for the least wages and worst working conditions; worsening the lives of workers everywhere. (“Structural Adjustment Policies”) The result of the weakened labor regulations and minimum wage requirements spreading globally is in the fact half the world, nearly three billion people, lives on less than two dollars a day. 1.3 billion people live on less than one dollar a day. (“Poverty Facts and Stats”) The free movement of public capital is signature of these nations as billions in tax dollars are raided by corrupt leaders and multinational corporations and transferred to foreign bank accounts. (“Structural Adjustment Policies”) Large loans were forced onto the public of Third World nations, due to the lack of public consent or democratic consultation of their US-imposed puppet dictators, by international banks so as to subject the people to debt while the money from the loans was transferred to the wealthy and US based multinational corporations. The multinationals received large “contracts”, mostly by force of the World Bank, which were overblown projects to be carried out for increase of “economic growth” while the “unsuspecting” country took in huge loans that they could never repay.  The goal of the construction and energy contractors was to convince them that the economic growth would have brought about far more than what was necessary to repay the loans but in reality, the economic growth never reached the height predicted in inflated economic predictions and never benefited more than the richest in society. Like mafia “loan sharks”, the World Bank/IMF reached in for their “pound of flesh” on the indebted countries by imposing structural adjustment policies that relieved part of the debt. The structural adjustment policies force the principles of neoliberalism, described above, which rob the people of control of their resources and take away any sort of government benefit or protection of its people and country. Thus heavily indebted countries become stuck within the trap of imperialism due to the greed of their “puppet leaders” and elite who rake in large profits along with the multinational contractors at the behest of the public fund. (Perkins ix-xxi)

 

            The interest-free or low-interest loan is made to seem attractive by the Third World leaders than, just like modern day credit card companies, when the bare minimum payments are made on the loans the interest rates suddenly shoot up trapping them into debt slavery forever. What is called debt servicing is when the World Bank eliminates the need of the country to pay back the basic loan but just pay back interest on a regular routine. This is very profitable for western nations and their private companies. The developing world now spends $13 on debt repayment for every $1 it receives in grants. Foreign aid never reaches the poorest of areas and barely reaches anywhere besides private contracting companies and international bank accounts; it is merely used as debt relief that is transferred from the U.S. treasury to U.S. banks and often comes with the price tag of forced trade liberalization. (“Global Ghetto”)

 

            The IMF imposes currency devaluation as “economic medicine” for Third World countries in debt. This causes people who have worked their whole life saving up to suddenly lose the value of their money overnight and slip into poverty. Once the currency is devaluated the country is then given instructions from the IMF on fighting inflation while ignoring that devaluation was the primary cause of it. It instructs the nation to export more of its resources which go onto the global market in a huge price war against other nations that are just coming onto the market with similar cash crops. What results is the resources from poorer nations become cheaper which is good for Western companies and consumers with the amount of exports needing to increase just to maintain a stable currency and earn foreign exchange to pay off debts. Governments therefore must spend less and decrease domestic consumption, making drastic cuts on social programs rather than military budget due to the highly lucrative defense contracts earned by western companies. They also cut public sector jobs which has a double effect on government spending and consumption; if people don’t have jobs to make money then they can’t consume. (“Structural Adjustment Policies”) The lack of consumption in developing countries can be seen in the fact that 20% of the population in the developed nations consumes 86% of the world’s goods. (“Poverty Facts and Stats”) Overtime the value of labor decreases, capital flow becomes volatile, unemployment increases, consumption decreases, inequality increases, poverty increases, social unrest increases, and eventually the entire economy collapses through capital flight from the removal or decreasing of financial regulations. This was seen in the late 90s when the economies of the Asian “tigers” and many other nations collapsed. (“Structural Adjustment Policies”)

 

            Foreign animosity towards America is a result of the US government’s policies and the effect they have on the state of the world today. We pump toxins, chemicals, and major pollutants into the waters and fumes into the atmospheres of the Third World nations who host our multinational corporations. We build dams on the rivers of poor, indigenous farmers and take lands of native tribes to cut down their forests for development, practically killing off the ancient cultures and endangered animals that reside within. According to UNICEF, 30,000 children die each day due to poverty and they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world.” The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (a quarter of the world’s countries) is less than the wealth of the world’s three richest people combined. In 1960, the 20% of the world’s people in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20% — in 1997, 74 times as much. A few hundred millionaires now own as much wealth as the world’s poorest 2.5 billion people with the combined wealth of the world’s 200 richest people hit $1 trillion in 1999; the combined incomes of the 582 million people living in the 43 least developed countries are $146 billion. (“Poverty Facts and Stats”) We see the results of the globalization of the American system today running rampant and destroying the world and its people. The elitists of our nation have wiped out, enslaved, and impoverished entire races and groups of people for the sake of attaining and maintaining this global system that subjects the human race to misery for the wealth of a few. It is not too late to overthrow this system and replace it with one that is beneficial for humanity as a whole and the environment of our planet as well before it destroys the human race and the whole world with it. The apathy of the American people towards global issues has led to growing foreign animosity against us as well for allowing our government to do what it does and often praising them as well. We must make a safe, peaceful, just, and equal world for our children to live in; you can’t change the past but you can make the future.

 

 

1. Asadi, Muhammad “Constructing a Global Ghetto: Racism, the West, and the Third WorldRationalReality.com 2000 http://rationalreality.50webs.com/ghetto.htm

2. Blum, William. Killing Hope. Monroe, MN: Common Courage Press, 1995.

3. Chomsky, Noam “The Decline of the Democratic Ideal.” Chomsky.info May 1990. http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199005--.htm (11/03/05)

4. Chomsky, Noam “Limited War in LebanonChomsky.info September 1993 http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199309--.htm (12/1/05)

5. “Dossier on AmericaNeravt.com November 2002 http://www.neravt.com/left/DossieronAmerica.pdf (11/15/05)

6. Francis, David “Economist Tallies Swelling Cost of Israel to US” CSMonitor.com 12/9/02 http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1209/p16s01-wmgn.html (12/1/05)

7. Gurvich, Marta “Argentina’s Dapper-State Terrorist” Consortiumnews.com 8/19/98 http://www.consortiumnews.com/1990s/consor17.html (12/1/05)

8. “Making Guatemala a Killing FieldThird World Traveler http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/US_ThirdWorld/US_Guat.html (11/13/05)

9. “Mohammed Mossadegh.” Wikipedia 26 April 2003. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mossadegh (11/03/05)

10. Perkins, John. Confessions of An Economic Hitman. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishing, 2004

11. Roosa, John “40 Years Later: The Mass Killings in IndonesiaCounterpunch 6 November 2005. http://www.counterpunch.org/roosa11052005.html (11/03/05)

12. Shah, Anup “Poverty Facts and Stats.” Global Issues 11 June 2005. http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Poverty.asp (11/03/05)

13. Shah, Anup “Structural Adjustment-A Major Cause of Poverty” Global Issues 24 June 2005 http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/SAP.asp#ASpiralingRacetotheBottom (12/01/05)

14. Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States. New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 2005.