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O say, can you see? The blood you have spilled in the Middle East?
When I think of America, three words come to mind. Power, democracy and freedom. America is the embodiment of everything other countries should strive to be — I mean, we call ourselves “the American dream” for a reason. But the problem is, somewhere between the twilight’s last gleaming and the rockets’ red glare, we lost the perilous fight. As a Political Science Major, I’m not quite sure the Founding Fathers would be exactly proud of the direction these politicians have taken our country. Our bombs bursting in air in the Middle East gave proof that we in fact have lost the plot written by our Founding Fathers, for the country they envisioned us to be. The freedom we fought and died for in 1776 is the same freedom we’re destroying in other countries. I ask you, how could the Founding Fathers be proud when hypocrisy runs our democracy and power fuels our thirst for greed?
Every four years we run to the ballots to vote for our favorite presidential candidate whom we believe is going to help our nation. They divide us into teams, Democrat vs. Republican, but the patterns throughout history have proven that every president, regardless of party affiliation, has done the same thing: Lie, continue to further destabilize South America, parts of Asia, and Africa and use taxpayer money to wage war on the Middle East.
On Nov. 4, former President Obama was interviewed by POD Save America, a political podcast hosted by former Obama administration aides, in which he commented on the Isreali-Palestinian conflict, “If you want to solve the problem, you have to take in the whole truth. And then you have to admit that nobody’s hands are clean. All of us are complicit to some degree.” Although it’s rich coming from him, I agree with him. It’s time we take in the whole truth! Although many Americans celebrate President Obama for being our first Black President, I’ve come to realize that what really happened is that the Democratic party used our identity and took the racial representation that we have been fighting for for so long and manipulated the reality of what he was doing. They twice convinced us to put a man in office who committed just as many, if not more, war crimes than all the other former and current presidents.
Actually, let’s take a trip through history really quick. In 1953, President Eisenhower supported a coup that overthrew Iran’s democratically-elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstated the rule of the Shah. The coup was carried out in response to Mossadegh’s decision to nationalize Iran’s oil industry, which was seen as a threat to British and U.S. interests. In 1973, President Nixon supported the overthrow of Chile’s democratically-elected President, Salvador Allende, and put in place military dictator Augusto Pinochet. The coup was carried out in response to Allende’s socialist policies, which were also seen as a threat to U.S. economic interests in Chile. In 2003, President Bush claimed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and deployed American troops there. After thousands of innocent Iraqis died, the truth came out that there never were weapons of mass destruction; it was all possibly a ploy for America to get Iraqi oil. Trump’s four-year presidency was plagued with many controversies over war crimes. His administration even went as far as sanctioning members of the International Criminal Court who began investigating American troops for alleged war crimes.
In 2011, when the former President of Libya was being bombed by the French and under attack by NATO, he stated in his last speech, “Now, I am under attack by the biggest force in military history. Obama wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American-style thievery called “capitalism,” but all of us in the Third World know what that means: it means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer.” Of course, Gaddafi was killed and since then Libya has gone from being one of the most prosperous countries in Africa to an extremely impoverished country that’s in an utter state of chaos. Watson Institute wrote an article called, “Costs of War” in which they stated, “The U.S. post-9/11 wars have forcibly displaced at least 38 million people in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya and Syria. This number exceeds the total displaced by every war since 1900, except World War II.”
I point this all out to emphasize the pattern. America enters a country that’s trying to do its best on its own, but we interfere with their progress because it doesn’t align with our interest, so we destabilize the country so it’s easier to control. Then our citizens scream about refugees coming into our country but we fail to remember that we are part of the reason they are displaced.
America, I pursued this degree to change the world, to change you. But now I understand — your problems are deeper than race, women’s rights or even Democrat vs. Republican. I understand that America uses its global power to ensure freedom, and democracy is only affordable to us and maybe to others if we benefit. We have lost our humanity to the consumption of greed. We point fingers at Germany for the Holocaust, we point fingers at Britain for colonization and we point fingers at Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, but fail to see how we, too, have destroyed countries and lives.
There is blood dripping off the side of the Himalayan mountains. It flows to the Euphrates River, down the Nile, and washes up on our doorsteps. But a storm is coming, justice will rain O’re the land of the free and home of the Brave.
Perpetual Kahindo is a third-year Political Science major. PK973548@wcupa.edu