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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/16/11

America: Once the Most Respected Nation in the World; What Happened?

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If Korea was the beginning of our militaristic machine, and Vietnam greatly escalated its scope, then the terrorist attack on 9/11 can be considered as the event that capped the entire process and locked America into its current agenda of perpetual war.


Our government always needs some kind of bogeymen in order to justify its wars; during World War II the bogeymen were Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo -- and, yes, they were that and a whole lot more. More recently it was Saddam Hussein, then Osama Bin Laden, and now it's Libya's Gadhafi. Which country and which designated bogeyman within it will be the next target? Stay tuned because it could be Yemen, Syria, Iran or any nation in the Middle East, Central Asia or who knows where.


Currently the U.S. and NATO have about 150,000 troops caught up in a large quagmire in Afghanistan and Pakistan while, at the same time, the U.S. is trying to make deals with the governments of both Afghanistan and Iraq to maintain a military presence in those nations for many decades to come. We continue to spend massive amounts of taxpayer money on our military empire while these same taxpayers would like that money spent on domestic needs, including the repair of our rapidly deteriorating national infrastructure.


I think the nations of the world are looking at America and what it is doing and just shaking their heads in utter disbelief -- and in fear. Is this the very same country for which they formerly had such great respect and admiration? They wonder how much longer all this aggressive U.S. military action will continue around the world, and if they could be next target on the list.


Remember when the "Acting" President Ronald Reagan said, " America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere." Does anyone still think that this is the way that the world views America today?


A further question might be to ask: does America even care whether it is respected by the other nations of the world? Do we really care what they may think about us? Well, I'd answer that in two ways: I'd say that the majority of Americans would like to regain the respect of the world that this nation once had and that they don't particularly like being viewed as hostile and belligerent.


In the case of our government that's an entirely different matter. By all its aggressive military actions around the world it appears that it is not concerned about having the respect of the world; it has a set agenda that involves military control over specific regions of the world, and it simply wants the nations of the world to accept that fact and not to interfere with how its being carried out.


The leadership of our government may not be the least concerned about respect because, in this highly dangerous world, power is what counts and that it has. Respect, therefore, is not an important issue to our leaders. But things have a way of changing quite dramatically, as history tells us. The day is fast approaching when America's vast military empire will have to be drastically scaled back because our failing economy and our financial instability will no longer be able to sustain it. All the meaningful indicators are telling us that a huge financial crisis is imminent.


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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on OpEdNews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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