Americans Battle Weary
We present and encourage progressive Caribbean views of Caribbean and world affairs.
As President Barack Obama dances around the issue of military engagement in Syria, astute observers are convinced that Americans are battle weary. Hence vacillation is replacing the eagerness once associated with the world’s most powerful country. Those who have followed, direct or indirect, American military expansionism since the end of the Second World War would simply say: it’s about time!
While those who support America’s foreign policy, would claim that America has been busy “policing the world” and “spreading democracy”; we would argue that it has been busy engaging in toppling anti-American governments and leaders. Those who have fairly good memories would remember the turmoil that America engineered in Latin America, with the sole purpose of removing those leaders it considered to be leftists, socialists and communists. Closer to our region, we recall the invasion of Grenada and the elimination of the People’s Revolutionary Government.
America maintained military outposts in peaceful islands such as Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago because it saw the growing influence of Cuba in the region as a direct threat. As the cold war dissipated and virtually came to an end under President Regan, America, having temporarily succeeded in weakening the Soviet Union, turned its attention to the Middle East and other regions that were then perceived as the next threatening group.
As they say, the rest is history and the eagerness to stamp out militant groups and governments in that region and those it considered to be anti-American (remember Latin America), resulted in full fledged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars have been rather unpopular and in order to garnish public support, the spectacle of terrorism and another 9/11 act, has been used to impress upon the American public, the importance of military engagement.
However , as misplaced or brutally opportunistic American foreign policy is, we are not blind to the fact that while the psychological burden of two ongoing wars has obviously taken its toll on the American citizens , there are millions of people, who still see America as the land of opportunity. With all the social and economic imbalances and inequalities, evident in the society, there are still those, who with good personal cause and reason, believe that some things are only possible “in America”.
Hence, while we question its wisdom and often are at variance with its methods, we recognize its vast power. And we are equally aware, that while Americans may be battle weary, they still believe that their way is always the right way. And hence they will continue efforts to prove that belief to be true, not only to themselves but to the world. Within that belief, whether or not we agree, is America’s trump card.
However, we are very cognizant of the fact that might is not always right. That is why we maintain that the Caribbean must remain a zone of peace.