Isadore Guvamombe writes regarding AFRICOM:
It is a fact that American foreign policy has attracted the retaliatory attacks the Americans love to call “terrorism”. Having tried to effect illegal regime change in over 50 countries in addition to invading 35 others in 56 years, the U.S. made its bed and so must lie on it.
. . .
Most worrisome is the fact that the U.S. always tries to protect its interests by military means to the extent of pursuing illegal regime change on liberation movements, with the hope of replacing them with stooge regimes.
This is not something new. In the 20th century the people who were most willing to do the work to create more egalitarian and more democratic government in many developing countries called themselves Communists, especially during the independence movements and decolonization following World War II. The US worked to undermine and overthrow them around the globe.
Military “stooge regimes” have been the US government of choice for most of the world for some time. And in many of these cases, the reason was that the US perceived an economic threat to corporate interests from the communists. And in many cases there was a genuine threat. Liberation movements were working for the betterment of ALL the people, not just some, not just corporations and their shareholders. Liberation movements were looking for a just return for work, and fair distribution of resources.
Corporations harnessed US anti-communist sentiments for their legislative and economic agenda. The corporations, and the American people, would have been better served to work out fairer means of distributing wealth and resources. In the long run, the US achieved the opposite of what it claimed to want. The US accepted, and often facilitated the severe repression of the vast majority of their people under military governments throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia, stopping political progress dead. The US only questioned those governments where it perceived some threat to US corporate interests.
In his book The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World, Vijay Prashad writes about the US undermining and helping topple the Guatemala government in 1954:
Some US government officials in the field bemoaned their cozy relationship with oligarchies and militaries against the Communists. for example, the deputy chief of the U.S. embassy in Guatemala in the 1950s, Bill Krieg, noted that the reactionary forces were “bums of the first order” who “wanted money, were palace hangers-on,” while the Communists “could work, had a sense of direction, ideas, knew where they wanted to go.” They were “honest, very committed. This was the tragedy: the only people who were committed to hard work were those who were, by definition, our worst enemies.” The CIA and the old social classes crushed the Left in many parts of the darker nations, enlivened the old social classes, and later – much later – found that they had created a monster they could not control.
(The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World, ISBN 978-1-56584-785-9, p.164)
Most US military interventions have been to protect US corporate interests. And the long term effect of many of these interventions is to create enemies among people who might otherwise be natural allies, friends and supporters, the kinds of people who share the values the US professes to maintain. The US support for military regimes and oppression has earned much resentment throughout the world. Long term, this has severely harmed US interests and endangered US citizens. That upwelling of anger and resentment is what Prashad calls the monster the US cannot control.
No corporation left behind is not something new in US history, see these words:
“This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.”
1876—Rutherford B. Hayes, who became President of the US in 1877.
Or see the words of President Eisenhower, who famously warned his nation and the world about the military industrial complex in his farewell speech as president. This was after he spent his entire administration locking the military industrial iron triangle into power.
Unfortunately, there is another phenomenon Prashad describes in the Third World since World War II that has also happened in the US. Military expenditures went up as a portion of national budgets and as a proportion of GDP, domestic savings went down, along with drastic cuts in social spending. Eventually political perception shifted:
. . . security and defense had come to be reality, whereas social development became idealistic.
(The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World, ISBN 978-1-56584-785-9, p.174)
Calling social development idealistic is to say it is a pleasant fantasy, not something we should hope to see in our lifetimes. Therefor, “security and defense” (ever increasing militarization) becomes the only “realistic” policy. But social development is the major value in the opening sentence of the United States Constitution, the Preamble. It is the reason for the Constitution, and the reason why the country and the Constitution must be defended. I hope the US can return to its founding principles, and return the blessings of liberty to posterity. I have emphasized those words that directly establish social development goals: