Sunday, August 31, 2014

The U.S.: A Split-Personality Superpower

Mark Fiore is one of my favorite editorial cartoonists, creating short animated videos every week. This week's cartoon suggests the US is "a split-personality superpower, condemned to wander the earth for all eternity fighting our other selves."

A couple of Fiore’s examples: When ISIS overran the Iraqi military positions a month or so ago, the Iraq soldiers ran away and abandoned their equipment, including tanks. You can see the ISIS militants having some fun with their new toys in the VICE documentary on ISIS. Now when we bomb ISIS we're bombing our own military equipment.

In the last couple of weeks Egypt and the UAE have bombed Libya a few times, and even though they're our "allies" and their troops were trained by the U.S. and use our military equipment, they denied to the Obama Administration that they'd done it.

A lot of good money to be made by supplying the armies of the world with the tools of their trade...

The split personality metaphor works in another way: most Americans believe our country is a positive force for good in the world. We vastly overestimate the amount of the federal budget that goes to foreign aid. We complain about having to be the world's policeman. Yet we're blind to the fact that we are the world's biggest exporter of weapons which means a substantial portion of our economy depends upon continuing war and violence in the world. The U.S. is badly in need of therapy to face some hard truths about its personality.

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