Ultimate Sacrifices Commemorated
Who really knows what the CIA is up to? It obviously takes an interest in foreign nations. The U.S. does not simply close its eyes and ears to anything outside its borders. But why do these three letters upset foreign nationals like no others? You can read about it in the newspapers or other forms of the dissemination of news. Americans are routinely arrested for either being in the CIA or suspected of same. You can see a reflection of the true phenomenon in the movies. An American in a foreign country is okay until he or she is fingered, rightly or wrongly, as a member. I am only bringing out what is in the public eye. Outside the U.S., as well as inside, the intelligence-gatherer and so-called unwanted meddler are considered evil. Representatives are subjected to the worst kinds of hostilities. But the greater point is that anti-American political wannabes strive to improve their careers by somehow "outing" employees of an essential American institution. A CIA operative is almost always treated automatically as though guilty. Of what? Who knows?
It is really only a part of a larger process that almost mechanically vilifies the U.S. As a result, anti-Americanism has long since become the preferred route to success. In fact, as an opportunity, whether personal or collective, it has never been more promising. There were times when it was more expedient to cozy up to the U.S. The "world's only superpower" still has its exponents. But by and large, it is easier and perhaps, from a perverted point of view, wiser, to work up a brainless crowd into an anti-American frenzy. The impression one gets from such an accumulation of global anti-Americanism is that greater amounts of people think the world would be better off without us. To return to the subject at hand, it is not uncommon to hear how wars, famines, epidemics, and the slaughter of innocents are somehow attributed to the CIA without providing any evidence in support of these wild theories.
Khrushchev and Castro
Nikita Khrushchev became the First Secretary of the Communist Party in 1953, then Premier in 1958. He is best known for (1) the de-Stalinization of Russia, and (2) the Cuban Missile Crisis. Both patriotism and a firm belief in communism made him a favorable choice over others. Above is a nostalgic video of Khrushchev at a famous 1960 meeting in the U.N. His desk-pounding objection to criticism by Macmillan, the Prime Minister of the UK, over Russia's "colonization" of Eastern Europe, has no equal. An untranslated video precedes this one in which Khrushchev sounds as though he were denouncing America as imperialistic. In a famous speech, he declares "we will bury you", though the exact interpretation seems to have been lost in translation. One can only note how at home, in Moscow, he spoke against Stalin, then, across the ocean, in New York City, he spoke against America, especially its embrace of capitalism.
In fact, the video below shows the tragic misjudgment of how entrenched Castro had been in Cuba with help from the USSR. As to the blunder in the Bay of Pigs, various explanations have been offered. Simultaneously, worries lingered over, if successful, the U.S. being driven, in retaliation, from Berlin. Despite the missiles that eventually arrived in Cuba, historians quote the Soviet Premier's consistent contempt for nuclear weapons. One biographer records, to paraphrase, that the idiots who would use them have not yet been born. But hindsight, purportedly 20-20, might be somewhat skewed. The Cuban Missile Crisis was, and remains, the biggest stand-off the world has ever known. Many think the missiles were set up to force America to pull down its missiles placed in Turkey. The more one studies the confrontation, however, the more opaque it becomes. There is no transparency. Why was there no air cover in the Bay of Pigs? Why were Marines not sent in? Supposedly, it would only have been a matter of days to wrest Cuba from Castro. But to conclude, for the sake of a brief hub, the entire fiasco ended with both Russian and Cuban anti-Americanism fully intact, perhaps even more powerful than before.
In "State of Emergency", Patrick Buchanan describes how Mexicans are advancing into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, based partly on history taught in Mexican schools. Their revisionism is at variance with our standard version. It is pro-Mexican, naturally. There is nothing wrong with that. But it is also anti-American, despite NAFTA, etc. In a strange twist, Mexico's unwarranted and unjustifiable claim to large swaths of land forfeited either in battle or by means of purchase is being aided and abetted by American sympathizers. Apologists might consider how the influx includes an escalation in the drug trade, already well out of control. Hence, Trump's Wall, which has been controversial since the beginning. Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), based in Los Angeles, by way of Salvador, is a large, widespread, and violent drug-gang. In addition, there are also indications that not just ex-, but active Mexican soldiers, are involved in cartel movements across a border whose validity Mexico's current educators dispute.
Despite efforts to stem the tide, Mexican immigration has gained momentum. The U.S., as well as the Western World, is pre-occupied by an Islamic insurgency that defies to date any accurate description. Communists believed that communism was inevitable, regardless of what the U.S. or other anti-Communist countries did or thought. Islamic extremists probably have a like-minded attitude, though they take pains to speed up the process. Co-existence is not its battle cry. Just as half the world, after the fall of Communism, re-entered the churches it had been forced to abandon, Islam is basically in the midst of asserting a one-world religion to control the one-world government that used to get a great deal of attention. Notice the difference in tactics. Islamic extremists are shockingly violent, while Mexicans basically and imperceptibly displace populations. As Buchanan points out, Whites are gradually leaving California. At the same time, the percentage of Blacks who call California home is decreasing.
Whereas Russia's stance toward the U.S. is sometimes ambivalent, Red China is much less so. For years, the U.S. sought to influence China to devalue its currency, to no avail. It has no policy of appeasement when it comes to the U.S. Strangely, at least according to some of its military personnel, it does not despise the U.S. so much as feel that its destruction would be universally lauded, as though self-explanatory, if mostly in the East. To accomplish the goal, it has begun to carve out a somewhat anti-American philosophical approach. Two colonels of the People's Liberation Army have written about both military and non-military war being waged together, hand in hand. Their analyses of not just the U.S., but Russia, too, in terms of weaponry, so important to gauge strengths and weaknesses, is quite interesting. It is not the most destructive forces that are prioritized so much as various systems of weaponry, bundled together. These are actually called upon to achieve nationalistic aims.
China is a large, highly populated nation, that gets only a fraction of the air time given over to U.S.-Russian relations. However, it is no longer the sleeping giant of Napoleon's famous quote:
“China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.”
It is already taking place. So much remains to be seen, however, that it is futile to speculate. Its position vis-a-vis North Korea is, at best, ambiguous.
Good Guys and Bad Guys
Lately, the news media seems to have given up on western lingual themes. As far as we are concerned, we are the good guys. But much of the earth thinks just the opposite. I merely mention the discrepancy. It is virtually meaningless except that to ignore the ever deepening distrust and accompanying disbelief is to ensure an unrealistic view of what is going on. No one inflamed by Islam to the point of a violent suicide mission is able to accept a dialogue between East and West, much less, Middle East and West. The potential for a terrible catastrophe beyond our imagination is much higher now than ever during the 70-year reign of the Evil Empire. The latter fought the U.S., democracy, and capitalism with a cleverness and intransigence that was usually more defiant than anticipated. We saw the domino theory become real, nation by nation, without being able to do much to prevent its taking place. But communists worked stealthily, infiltrating campus radicals, working upon the underclasses, and making use of spies, many of whose identities probably remain secret. By way of contrast, the Islamic Jihadist will stop at nothing; he acts without civilized restraint.
In the coming years ahead, I would be surprised if radical Islamic terrorism actually abates. It appears to be strengthening as well as getting fuzzier. For instance, Assad is technically the legitimate leader of Syria, yet his use of chemical and gas attacks on his own people has outraged the Western world. To him, it is likely none of our business, unless Russians join in to reinforce our more compassionate point of view. Further, we cannot, as an alternative, master the art of maintaining control of a war-torn Middle Eastern nation any more than the much-maligned U.N. All in all, it is impossible for us to regain a benign, paternalistic, noble image. We are not regarded as the good guys in Syria despite Assad's very inhumane antidote for rebellion.
Culture Clash: Something Like This
Yankee Go Home
It is often useful to turn to fiction to explain a bizarre phenomenon. Whereas the inoculations against polio that are cited in the video clip above were a clean, charitable prevention against a childhood disease, peoples of a different culture rejected them as an unwanted interference. The manner in which they rectified the situation is narrated rather than shown to mute the horror spoken by the charismatic Kurtz (Brando), the character in the movie gone rogue. His reference has to do with something else altogether, but it serves the purpose at hand, too. More than just relativism is at stake. Two kinds of thought processes clash, both of which are equally right, or, perhaps, wrong, as the case might be. There are no good guys. There are no bad guys. Forget your westerns. But the medical serum, along with needles and vials, are thoroughly detested, albeit by a superstitious lot. Parents do what they unanimously believe is required, however savage. Kurtz, in his sermonette, tantalizes us with the subjection of morals to deeds, that are, to him, imperative, as well as past judgment.
Well, maybe this segment of Apocalypse Now (1979) is not quite relevant. But it shows a conflict of values that results in an element of anti-Americanism. Eradicating disease is something we do, along with other nations in the First World. It is somewhat sobering to realize that there are literally billions of fellow-inhabitants who have not yet been converted to a modernistic way of thinking or set of values. Hence, it is possible to equate, in certain circumstances, anti-Americanism with ignorance. This does not solve the problem, but a problem it is.