Archives For big stick policy

repost from 2004, it will be interesting to come back to this in another 4 years

i was having a conversation on sunday night and one of the questions that came up is `why do people seem to hate america?`

i think the simple answer to that question would be foreign policy. i grew up in a post colonial society and one of the benefits of physical colonialism is the remainders of efforts at civilisation. hence in the caribbean we`re still working with an english school system. the benefit of that is a broad spectrum of almost unbiased learning opportunities.

american colonialism is mental. people aspire to live the american lifestyle and while it`s not a bad thing with perspective and temperance, the portrayals people see outside and even to some extent in the US are unrealistic. the american dream has become more and more intangible with each passing generation but is still the carrot dangled in front of us all to encourage us to continue toiling. deep down we know this, but still keep on, because giving up on the dream is tantamount to failure.

the amercian dream is taking everywhere in magazines, in movies, in television and mostly in the foreign policy. otherwise know as `we know what`s best for you`, it`s been a tool of colonisers for aeons, it`s not new and the US is not the only guilty party. it`s a human condition, been going on forever. the problem is, in most other cases there is a tangible left behind, education system, water works, art, morals, government, something.

the problem with the american system is that there are no tangibles left behind. other than the failed dream and resentment. because america as a colonial power only started coming to fore recently, everything else had pretty much been done already. so it was a matter of rearranging other colonial powers toys in the sandbox.

what better place to start than close to home, the monroe doctrine and the latter roosevelt corollary established a pattern of behaviour that is still rippling through the caribbean region until today.

haiti, cuba, el salvador, panama. all these countries have had direct and deliberate interference in their governance. what happened there as is happening now, is the administration at the time was unhappy with government in power and aided either directly or indirectly the removal of said powers, replaced them with someone favourable with them and then walked away.

it`s ok for a while, but when the dreams and promises don`t materialise and people realise they are being used, they tend to get more than a little resentful. their anger in the immediate tends to be directed at the parties installed primarily but there is still the loathing and hate directed at the US.

yes this is an oversimplification, but all it requires is a little reading and a tiny bit of experience to see where certain foreign policy decisions are always likely to turn around and bite you. this not so much as biting the hand feeds you but some cases trying to get back at the hand that was force feeding you.

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