The history of the Americas is soaked in the deaths of over 100 million natives, holocausts, misappropriation of land, oppression and slavery.
The politcal thinker Sampie Terreblanche writes:
"Americans have not been prepared – at least not until recently – to acknowledge that the United States has ever been an empire. During the Cold War the concepts of empire and imperialism had negative connotations derived from Lenin's theory of imperialism. In this period the Americans regarded the United States' position in the world as one of primacy, leadership or hegemony. We can, however, put forward the argument that the white inhabitants of North America were already strongly disposed towards territorial expansionism in the decades immediately before and after the American War of Independence (1775–1783)...
After independence in 1783, the new republic immediately embarked on the annexation of land west of the Alleghenies. Motivated by a strong imperialistic spirit inherited from their erstwhile British imperial masters, the settlers started an aggressive westward movement of land buying, land grabbing and territorial expansion. During this westward movement the Amerindians were swept out of the way and ultimately almost exterminated. The westward expansion of American territory under control of the settlers continued until the twentieth century. Today the original 13 colonies constitute only 7 per cent of the territory of the United States in 1783." (Western Empires, 2014: 433)
According to Martijn Konings, the United States was an imperial power at home long before it was an imperial power in the world:
"[The United States'] nineteenth-century expansion was marked by a speed and rapaciousness that has few precedents in world history and contrasts starkly with America's relative lack of interest in overseas territorial expansion.
This 'internal' expansion was a profoundly bloody affair that obliterated entire civilisations and was, from the beginning, at the heart of the political projects of the American ruling classes.
At the same time, however, America's imperialistic impulse was driven by and justified in terms of unusually progressive objectives of modern ideas, i.e. the maintenance of popular independence and republican self-government rather the glory of the crown." (Panitch and Konings, 2009: 50)
The 2013 WIN/Gallup poll (Worldwide Independent Network of Gallup International) is the only comprehensive international poll available publicly asking the cardinal question of which country is "posing the greatest threat to peace" in the world. It reported:
"The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%). Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat."
The poll report itself was never published online, summarised only as a press release, presumably because the answers were so negative regarding the US government, a major financial contributor of Gallup's polling. A subsequent "End of Year Survey 2014" was done, it did not report anything on this particular question.
American Contribution to Civil Conflict and Wars
When considering America's roles in flaming civil and international conflicts and wars, and the consequential issue of refugees, the consequences are staggering. Even by the roughest estimates, tens of millions are refugees from US led and backed invasions and wars.
Iraq:Following America's 2003 invasion of that country and overthrow dictator Saddam, Wikipedia cites:
"Roughly 40% of Iraq's middle class is believed to have fled. Most are fleeing systematic persecution and have no desire to return."
Libya: After America's 2011 bombing campaign and the resultant killing of dictator Gaddafi, the Le Monde article of May 14, 2014 states:
"Estimates of their numbers vary between 600,000 and one million by the Tunisian Ministry of Interior. If we add those, many also settled in Egypt, they would be nearly two million Libyans today outside the borders of a total population estimated at just over six million inhabitants."
Syria:After American bombing, following its campaign with dictatorial allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia to overthrow the dictator Bashar al-Assad, Wikipedia states:
"To escape the violence, more than three and a half million Syrian refugees have fled the country... As of February 2015, Turkey has become the world's biggest refugee hosting country with 1.7 million Syrian refugees and had spent more than US$6 billion on direct assistance to refugees."
"As of March 2015, Al-Jazeera estimates 10.9 million Syrians, or almost half the population, have been displaced... 3.8 million have been made refugees."
Ukraine: Following the February 2014 American coup overthrowing democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, the magazine National Interest in its 4 February 2015 issue, supported the headline "The Great Exodus: Ukraine's Refugees Flee to Russia," stating:
"According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as of December 2014, upwards of 430,000 Ukrainians had applied for refugee status or other forms of legal residency in Russia. The refugees who come unofficially, i.e. not registering with the FMS, make it difficult to count the total number of Ukrainian refugees in the country, however."
Around another half-million refugees are estimated to have fled elsewhere inside Ukraine, and over 50,000 deaths occurring, almost all civilians living in areas the Americans were bombing. Officially termed "terrorists" for living in an area voting 90+% for Yanukovych, the man whom Obama overthrew.
Philippines: Joseph Massad in his book 'Islam in Liberalism' documented the massacre of Filipinos at the hands of the American military.
As both Christian and Muslim Filipinos resisted the American occupation, the American campaign of the Philippines during Roosevelt’s presidency (1901-9), proceeding from 1902 to 1913, would target them both without discrimination. The most infamous example of the violence inflicted on Filipino Muslims by American troops was the Moro Crater Massacre of March 1906, when hundreds of Muslims, including scores of women and children, were butchered.
US army general Leonard Wood, who led the American troops in their campaign and had been appointed as governor of the Moro province from 1903 to 1906, urged the extermination of all Filipino Muslims as he considered them fanatical.
After the massacre, Roosevelt sent him a letter:
“I congratulate you, and the officers and men of your command upon the brave feat of arms wherein you and they so well upheld the honor of the flag.”
A century later, in June 2009, US president Barack Obama addressed the entire “Muslim World” from Cairo University at which Roosevelt had spoken. Obama also quoted the Qur’an, not once but three times, and greeted his audience in Arabic: “assalaamu alaykum.”— Like Roosevelt, Obama wanted to provide a theological justification for an American-sponsored policy, namely the imposition of a “peace” between Palestinians and Israelis that preserves Jewish settler-colonialism and occupation at the expense of Palestinian rights.
To do so, he spoke of how the
“Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the [Qur’anic] story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon him) joined in prayer.”
In doing so, Obama was clearly stating, in Zionist fashion, that the Jewish colonizers of Palestine are resisted because they are Jewish and not on account of being colonists, hence his call for tolerance and ecumenical peace rather than for an end to Jewish colonialism.
Allies Turned Enemies
Around 15 million lives were lost during World War I (1914-18), with around 60 million lives lost, both military and civilian, during World War II. Most casualties were from China and the USSR. China estimates its losses at approximately 20 million deaths, and 26 million in the Soviet Union.
Both countries were allies of the US during WWII, now categorised as enemies of the US, as threatening the Western World. Germany and Austria lost around 8 million people and Japan more than 2.5 million people. The US and Britain respectively lost less than half a million lives (around 400,000).
Loss of Life from American Military Interventions
The American public probably is not aware of these numbers and knows even less about the proxy wars for which the United States is also responsible. In the latter wars there were between nine and 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.
But the victims are not just from big nations or one part of the world. The remaining deaths were in smaller ones which constitute over half the total number of nations. Virtually all parts of the world have been the target of U.S. intervention.
The overall conclusion reached is the US has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of 20 to 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered around the world.
American Spoils of War
The book "After Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Tragedy and Humiliation" highlights American and Australian brutalisation of women on the Japanese mainland (pp. 66-69)
“There was a far darker side to the U.S. and allied occupation of Japan, one which is little mentioned in the vast majority of histories – American or otherwise. When Japan surrendered in August 1945, mass rapes by occupying forces were expected… [despite setting up of a comfort women which recruited or otherwise trafficked desperate women to brothels] such crimes were still common and several of them were extremely brutal and resulted in the deaths of the victims. Political science professor Eiji Takemae wrote regard- ing the conduct of American soldiers occupying Japan:
U.S. troops comported themselves like conquerors, especially in the early weeks and months of occupation. Misbehavior ranged from black-marketeering, petty theft, reckless driving and disorderly conduct to vandalism, assault, arson, murder and rape. Much of the violence was directed against women, the first attacks beginning within hours after the landing of advanced units. In Yokohama, China and elsewhere, soldiers and sailors broke the law with impunity, and incidents of robbery, rape and occasionally murder were widely reported in the press [which had not yet been censored by the U.S. military government]. When U.S. paratroopers landed in Sapporo an orgy of looting, sexual violence and drunken brawling ensued. Gang rapes and other sex atrocities were not infrequent [...] Military courts arrested relatively few soldiers for their offences and convicted even fewer, and restitution for the victims was rare. Japanese attempts at self-defense were punished severely. In the sole instance of self-help that General Eichberger records in his memoirs, when local residents formed a vigilante group and retaliated against off-duty GIs, the Eighth Army ordered armored vehicles in battle array into the streets and arrested the ringleaders, who received lengthy prison terms.’
The U.S. and Australian militaries did not maintain rule of law when it came to violations of Japanese women by their own forces, neither were the Japanese population allowed to do so themselves. Occupation forces could loot and rape as they pleased and were effectively above the law.
An example of such an incident was in April 1946, when approximately U.S. personnel in three trucks attacked the Nakamura Hospital in Omori district. The soldiers raped over 40 patients and 37 female staff. One woman who had given birth just two days prior had her child thrown on the floor and killed, and she was then raped as well. Male patients trying to protect the women were also killed. The following week several dozen U.S. military personnel cut the phone lines to a housing block in Nagoya and raped all the women they could capture there – including girls as young as ten years old and women as old as fifty-five.
Such behavior was far from unique to American soldiers. Australian forces conducted themselves in much the same way during their own deployment in Japan. As one Japanese witness testified: ‘As soon as Australian troops arrived in Kure in early 1946, they ‘dragged young women into their jeeps, took them to the mountain, and then raped them. I heard them screaming for help nearly every night.’ Such behavior was commonplace, but news of criminal activity by Occupation forces was quickly suppressed.
Australian officer Allan Clifton recalled his own experience of the sexual violence committed in Japan: ‘I stood beside a bed in hospital. On it lay a girl, unconscious, her long, black hair in wild tumult on the pillow. A doctor and two nurses were working to revive her. An hour before she had been raped by twenty soldiers. We found her where they had left her, on a piece of waste land. The hospital was in Hiroshima. The girl was Japanese. The soldiers were Australians. The moaning and wailing had ceased and she was quiet now. The tortured tension on her face had slipped away, and the soft brown skin was smooth and unwrinkled, stained with tears like the face of a child that has cried herself to sleep.’
Australians committing such crimes in Japan were, when discovered, given very minor sentences. Even these were most often later mitigated or quashed by Australian courts. Clifton recounted one such event himself, when an Australian court quashed a sentence given by a military court martial citing ‘insufficient evidence,’ despite the incident having several witnesses. It was clear that courts overseeing Western occupation forces took measures to protect their own from crimes committed against the Japanese – crimes which were largely regarded as just access to ‘spoils of war’ at the time by the Western occupiers.
As had been the case during the war, underreporting of rapes in peace- time due to the associated shame in a traditional society and inaction on the part of authorities (rapes in both cases occurred when Western militaries were themselves in power) would lower the figures significantly. In order to prevent ill feeling towards their occupation from increasing, the United States military government implemented very strict censorship of the media. Mention of crimes committed by Western military personnel against Japanese civilians was strictly forbidden. The occupying forces ‘issued press and pre-censorship codes outlawing the publication of all reports and statistics “inimical to the objectives of the Occupation.”’ When a few weeks into the occupation Japanese press mentioned the rape and widespread looting by American soldiers, the occupying forces quickly responded by censoring all media and imposing a zero tolerance policy against the reporting of such crimes. It was not only the crimes committed by Western forces, but any criticism of the Western allied powers whatsoever which was strictly forbidden during the occupation period – for over six years. This left the U.S. military government, the supreme authority in the country, beyond accountability. Topics such as the establishment of comfort stations and encouragement of vulnerable women into the sex trade, critical analysis of the black market, the population’s starvation level calorie intakes and even references to the Great Depression’s impact on Western economies, anti-colonialism, pan-Asianism and emerging Cold War tensions were all off limits...
While the brutality of American and Australian militaries against Japanese civilians was evident during the war and in its immediate aftermath, it did not end with occupation. The United States has maintained a significant military presence in Japan ever since and crimes including sexual violence and murder against Japanese civilians continue to occur.”
American Coups of Elected Leaders
The US has a long-standing tradition, questionably based on the Truman Doctrine, of removing democratically elected rulers for commercial and ideological reasons. In 1947 Truman claimed he would "support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."
After the civil war, the Southern states and Northern States knew that the South couldn't survive without the benefit of slaves. So the North looked away as the Southern states found loopholes to give them power to maintain a control on minorities to ensure that they could keep black people enslaved even after the civil war. By instituting various laws that would be almost solely used on black people to ensure that they could not escape the slave states and be in return imprisoned by these new pig laws, such as:
They essentially created so many asinine laws that ended up re-enslaving thousands of black people. People who wanted to escape these slave states were caught by the police and then locked up, then laws allowed the police to send prisoners out for "work-programs" at plantations.
Be it Blacks, Native Americans, Irish, Mexicans, labor-union organizers and even "white foreigners", the police were not developed/formalized to protect them, but to protect the properties of the ruling class. To utilize the police to subjugate and control minorities.
Black people were brought to do the textile work in the north and the agricultural work in the south. The north utilized the police to stop any union forming, to maintain and protect the properties and products of the ruling class. While in the south the police were utilized as slave-patrols. Where they were predominantly used against black people to capture and imprison any "non-owned" black people who wished to run away from slave states or leave slavery.
The south essentially were the first to socialize slavery in a sense. Because now they didn't need to pay for feeding, maintaining and housing slaves anymore. The police and state would handle that.
This basic system of "slavery" has continued to this day. Imprisoned slavery.
The prison industrial complex has multiple facets to it and multiple agencies that support it for their own benefits.
You have the private prison corporations. During 2014-2017 Private prisons cost the US tax payer 2-4 billion over 3-4 years. During 2018 it cost 5 Billion USD. Private Prisons are paid 750 USD per CHILD they hold in the south. One facility can hold up to 3,500 kids, thats about 2.4M USD per day. There are 110+ private prisons in the US.
They also own many "after-prison" programs where talking AA, Narcotics programs, halfway homes, mandated prison programs, prison clothes, prison food and equipment. So the incentive for them to maintain a high prison population is high.
You have the politicians. Nixon was perhaps the one who really sealed the deal with regards to societal portrayal of police and black communities. Nixon domestic advisor was proud to announce publicly that they were lying about drugs in black neighborhoods so that they could police black neighborhoods and arrest and beat their leaderships and disrupt any organization and collective power building that those minority groups could achieve. This guy gleefully stated that they would deliberately portray black people as heroin and drug abusers thugs and gangsters to align white people with republican ideologies.
This association lead to loss of social programs and tax money going from helping communities grow to policing communities to remain the same. Throughout the generations afterwards the association of Black people and Drug abuse was hand in hand. Reagonimcs and crack cocaine sealed the deal as for-profit 24 Hours News came about lambasting and supporting republican ideologies by misrepresenting issues of black communities from specific perspectives. During Reagan’s last year in office the African American poverty rate stood at 31.6%, as opposed to 10.1% for whites. Black unemployment remained double that of whites throughout the decade. By 1990, the median income for black families was $21,423, 42% below white households.
This lead to a feedback loop, where politicians would come in, use the medias portrayal of crime as justification to give less in social programs which lead to more people having to rely on criminal behaviors to sustain themselves, which lead to further increased policing and further loss of social programs and loss of local opportunities etc etc. The republican party deliberately wants to under-fund minority communities so to maintain their talking points. So the incentive for republicans and certain politicians and judges and DAs to come out and stand against crime and support the police is high.
You have the Police Union Leaders & Corrupt Cops. Being a cop is a lucrative opportunity if wanted. Some cops can get up to 250k with overtime in a year. They have no incentive to change. They dont want to change. Because this system rewards them. If there is lack of decrease of crime, then there will be an decrease of funding for the police. There will be limits to Overtime a officer can charge. There will be limits to the equipment and tools that police can purchase and where they can purchase from. There will be a lack of available positions and lead to downsizing if there is a decrease of criminal behavior.
Union leaders know they get cushy pensions and fat checks. They have no incentive to change things. There is no way they will change the way they do things. Union leaders have such a hold on community politicians to the degree the politicians fear going against them.
The system is designed to keep people enslaved to benefit a select few.
How does America see itself?
Americans are taught and thus believe their country is a force for good in the world. On 28 May 2014, Obama repeated a highly distorted image of America to graduating West Point cadets:
"America continues to attract striving immigrants. The values of our founding inspire leaders in parliaments and new movements in public squares around the globe. And when a typhoon hits the Philippines, or schoolgirls are kidnapped in Nigeria, or masked men occupy a building in Ukraine, it is America that the world looks to for help. (Applause.) So the United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come."
If America is "the one indispensable nation", all other nations are "dispensable." They notice that, even if Americans do not.
The history of the Americas is soaked in the deaths of over 100 million natives, holocausts, misappropriation of land, racism, oppression and slavery. This pattern has been ongoing and systemic. To the families and friends of victims it makes little difference whether the causes were US military action, proxy military forces, provision of military supplies or advisors, or other ways. They had lost loved ones, whether to become refugees and how to survive. And the pain and anger is spread even further. Some authorities estimate there are as many as 10 wounded for each person who dies in wars and over 37 million displaced. Their visible, continued suffering is a continuing reminder to their fellow countrymen.
Americans are taught and thus believe their country is a force for good in the world. The American system is neither benevolent nor benign.
David Stannard, American Holocaust
Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States
Global Research, www.globalresearch.ca
John Perkins, Revelations of an Economic Hitman
Joseph Massad, Islam in Liberalism
Sampie Terreblanche, Western Empires, Christianity, And The Inequalities Between The West And The Rest 1500–2010
Great answers start with great insights. Content becomes intriguing when it is voted up or down - ensuring the best answers are always at the top.
Questions are answered by people with a deep interest in the subject. People from around the world review questions, post answers and add comments.
Be part of and influence the most important global discussion that is defining our generation and generations to come