02 August 2017

The myth of American 'greatness'

Al Jazeera English

As the world has by now been made painfully aware, Donald Trump's preeminent goal as president of the United States is to "make America great again".
But for many students - not to mention victims - of international history, the burning question remains: when exactly was America great?
The answer is surely not to be found in the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945, the lethal chemicals used to saturate Vietnam, or the unexploded munitions that continue to maim and kill people in Laos decades after the secret US war on that country.
Nor, presumably, would Latin Americans slaughtered by US-backed dictators and death squads be able to provide many clues as to the whereabouts of America's historical "greatness".
Ditto for Iraqis, Afghans, Yemenis and other civilian populations consistently over-represented in the US-inflicted "collateral damage" category.
On the domestic front, too, the whole concept of greatness has been rather elusive - unless, of course, we take it to mean a centuries-long tradition of crushing Native Americans, blacks, and everyone else whose dignity can be comprehensively violated in the service of elite socioeconomic domination. READ MORE AT AL JAZEERA ENGLISH.