american interventionism

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

— 

Smedley Butler on Interventionism

Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

You know what’s horrifying and just really shitty?

Steve was this wide-eyed boy hellbent on changing the world by fighting in this horrible war to protect the innocent people from bullies

Then he wakes up 70 years later and quickly discovers that his precious America is Problematic AF™

What he fails to realize - of course - is that it was always problematic, he just got swept by the tide of media-induced patriotism and hatred for the Nazis

(not unjustly so, but I can give you a whole essay of why America’s conduct was no fucking better in ww2 and neither were its reason for joining the war…except, of course, the holocaust was a uniquely Nazi atrocity)

So he wakes up, SHIELD collapses because it’s corrupt af and the gov is full of HYDRA

And then Steve Rogers - the defender of the innocent - goes ahead and employs the logic IDENTICAL to that of the Problematic America™ : his intervention in other countries’ domestic affairs is now justified because HE believes it is MORAL, the other nations’ opinion of his behavior is irrelevant because He Knows Better, oversight is a ridiculous corrupt idea because those overseeing Him are too Corrupt but He is always Right and can never mess up,

And basically he is the Lone Ranger carrying the torch of Liberty and Morality and no one has the right to interfere in his conduct even when it causes collateral damage because the ends justify the means

So really, Steve Rogers is not the Better America, the America It Was Meant To Be….no, he’s America as it is: self-righteous in its quest for justice as it chooses to interpret justice, with no regard to those this justice is supposedly meant to protect

4/5 Stars.

The Sympathizer is above all an examination of duality. The narrator is a man of two minds—a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist double agent who arrives in America as a refugee following the Vietnam War. Here, he is torn between these competing parts of his own identity: communist and anti-communist, French and Vietnamese, foreign refugee and American.

As he so aptly states at one point, the Vietnam War is “the first war where the losers would write history instead of the victors.” The loser, of course, being America, which always seems to dominate the narrative. And so begins the examination of a different duality: as much as we Americans like to delude ourselves with stories of our altruistic interventionism and exceptionalism, the sobering reality is that there is no clear “right side of history” in regards to the Vietnam War.

And while America has striven to own this history in a myriad of ways—in our books, in our movies—The Sympathizer, importantly, shifts the perspective, giving a voice to the Vietnamese people.

In sharp, searingly clever prose, Nguyen presents a complex analysis of these various dualities. For those of us who have been fed white-washed versions of history in which America is always Doing the Right Thing, forever the Hero, The Sympathizer disrupts these delusions. It’s a social satire, a spy thriller, a critical commentary on American interventionism and exceptionalism.

But lest you think it’s merely a defense of Vietnamese Communism, it’s not: Nguyen is less concerned with taking sides than holding everyone appropriately accountable.

Alas, this is one of those books that I appreciated much more than I actively enjoyed reading. It’s brilliant, it’s a masterpiece—there’s no doubting that. But for me it was a laborious undertaking. The majority of it is told as a confession (our narrator having been captured) and stylistically this means long blocks of text, little dialogue, and no quotation marks. The story itself is often amusing, but sometimes tedious. And yet, the concept is vital and illuminating.

This is a 5-star book that was a 3-star experience for me, which is why I’m choosing to rate it in between.

anonymous asked:

how is tony self indulgent and self serving when 117 nations want to prevent more american interventionism and steve doesn't even consider it! rhodey is right, dismissing the wishes of 117 NATIONS is incredibly arrogant, if anyone's being selfish its steve (im not tryna come at you, im just sick of people blaming tony)

okay let’s go

SPOILERS FOR CIVIL WAR 


Alright first of lets not pretend like the proposed oversight for the avengers is not also American led and run; the person they answer to is the American SECRETARY OF STATE. all the sokovia accords propose to do is add the avengers to the imperialistic military arm of the American bureaucracy that polices the world - an industry that Tony used to fund and propagate and that rhodey and his suit is still a part of. Like lmao you really think if the govt of Burundi is like ‘hey can you lend us an avenger to end our military coup’ and the CIA who is backing the dictator is gonna be like 'haha sure we’ll send scarlet witch right away’

The proposal of govt oversight for the avengers/superheroes is flawed because THE GOVERNMENT IS CORRUPT. This is well established in universe (HYDRA!!! FUCKING HYDRA!!!!) it is INCREDIBLY egotistical of Tony to tell all his friends that oversight is the best choice for them when he is a BILLIONAIRE who can EASILY influence the govt and use its very corruption to render that exact oversight moot for himself. Tony will do what Tony wants to do. This is proven time and time and time again (this is the entire goddamn plot of iron man 2. Like literally.). It’s proven IN THIS VERY MOVIE when he goes off after cap on his own in the final third. Tony gets called out by one grieving mother and he’s having a rough patch in his relationship so suddenly he’s like YEP WE NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE like really? Hes all for detaining Bucky and refuses to believe that cap could be right, he locks scarlet witch up because she’s a ~danger~ and he’s all for laying the blame of Lagos at her feet but

WHO

FUCKING

CREATED

ULTRON?????

They’re called the SOKOVIA ACCORDS but I don’t see ANYONE calling Tony what he is: a damn war criminal and literally responsible for EVERYTHING ultron did because he was the one who decided to play god. There’s a world of difference between someone like Tony and someone like Bucky, whose body is used against him and every crime he “”“commits”“’ is a crime against him, too. Like ????

tony legit says that he hopes the accords will provide ‘middle grounds’ for him and pepper like lmfao…… it’s 100% self serving like legit everything he does. ridic. 

Let’s not even get into him drafting spiderman. Like I honestly understand varying opinions on the rest of his characterization in this movie but that shit is just straight wrong lmao. Kid’s fifteen. Where’s Tony’s accountability on that front

honestly the way this movie and the marvel universe as a whole glorifies and caters to Tony is nasty. It’s in large part due to how much they value rdj of course but like as someone who isn’t drinking the iron man kool aid its just like ugh….. again? Tony’s trauma is given precedent over anyone else’s. Tony is absolved of crimes real and moral that any other hero/character would be judged for. Tony is given a free pass on legit everything and you can only put up for it for so long before his smug superiority makes you wanna punch yourself in the face

Argentina

Chile

Dominican Republic

Nicaragua

Brazil

IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED FOR OUR FREEDOM

50 years ago US-backed Coup d'État ended Brazilian democracy

On April 1, 1964 the Brazilian Army, the American State Department and the US military overthrew the Brazilian government and installed the first of many Cold War-era US-backed military dictatorships in South America. Following the coup, Congress was dissolved, the Constitution was suspended and the Army ruled the country for 21 years. The opposition was persecuted, driven undeground, into exile, tortured and murdered. Hundreds of leftists, students and unionists who were detained still havent been found. State terror reached a peak in the late sixties, driving thousands of dissenters into hiding and underground resistence movements, including hundreds of artists and scholars who were forced to flee the country altogether. Today we remember those who gave their lives for freedom and democracy and we struggle to bring the murderers and torturers to justice. Never forget!

Brazilians hold portraits of the missing victims of state terror, yet to be accounted for. To remember is to resist.

anonymous asked:

Unfollowing because you know nothing of politics and talk thru your ass. Bernie 2016, because i have common sense.

You know what anon, let me actually give you my political resume because it’s fun!

  • My father was a Fullbright professor in political science focusing specifically on Latin American politics, often delving into the topic of American foreign policy interventionism.
  • How did he get this distinction? By being a forefront leader in the liberal party of my home country. He was also a presidential campaign adviser and later became the most trusted adviser of several political leaders in my country!
  • I watched the most forefront political minds of this country in my living room since I was a kid! In lieu of wall art my childhood home was covered in precinct maps and campaign strategies!

But you know, lets put aside the fact that I probably knew more about politics by the age of six than you will ever know, let’s discuss my personal resume!

  • State awards for outstanding understanding of geopolitical politics for my work in Model United Nations in high school (an organization that I was also vice president of)
  • Two distinct awards for my writings on government surveillance and the war in Iraq, age 15 and 16 respectively.
  • Organized a voter registration campaign that registered 300+ students in two months, also just like, a passive thing I did as a sophomore in high school. 
  • Community service distinction at my high school graduation for my overabundance of service hours that I gave to the community, a significant chunk that I did volunteering at a veterans hospital.

But that’s like, shit I did for fun. You know as a kid. As an adult I’ve mellowed and goofed off by being

  • One of two organizers at my college in Atlanta that protested and petitioned members of the state congress to ban the passing of the HB87 immigration bill.
  • Lobbying for LGBTQ rights, reproductive justice, criminal justice reform, and gun reform on so many occasions it would make your head spin
  • Speaking out about immigration reform in front of two state committees.
  • Meeting with members of congress from Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee in their own respective state capitals to discuss separation of church and state issues.
  • Was employed for over a year as the main organizer for the Southeast doing grassroots works with secular students often facilitating and organizing their involvement with their regional politicians on issues of separation of church and state.

Not to mention having worked:

  • Two presidential campaigns
  • A national senate race
  • Three state senate races
  • Two state representative races

where I was a paid staffer for over half of those campaigns.

I’m not even going to bother outlining all the things I’ve done on a city level because honestly I can’t even remember! But you’re right, I’m so silly and ignorant! What do I know? I’ve only made the bulk of my living as an activist and political organizer!