American lawmakers are a global force for good, one for which we should all be grateful…according to the Guardian.
Too often, according to Jonathan Freedland, the term “self-appointed global policeman”, when applied to America, is used in derogatory fashion because:
…it serves as shorthand for the arrogance of American power, invading countries and imposing regime change, charging about the world heedless of everyone’s needs but its own.
A war here or there, a fascist coup every now and then, these are just little foibles. The geo-political equivalent of putting the milk back empty, or clicking your knuckles. After all:
People are right to complain of the long history of US aggression and intervention in the lives of other sovereign nations…
“People” may be right to complain about it…but I don’t remember Jonathan Freedland, or his paper, complaining about it. Do you? In fact I thought he said the Iraq war had a “silver lining”?
And I’m pretty sure he was pro-intervention in Libya, “despite the risks”, right?
And I thought America SHOULD intervene in Syria, right Jonathan?
So people MAY be right to complain…but actually they would be wrong. In fact all of America’s interventions in the Middle East were correct on either a practical or moral level, before or after the fact. How fortunate.
But as I said…let’s put a pin in that. This column isn’t about Jonathan Freedland’s pathetic attempt to rebrand himself as a non-interventionist, it isn’t about geo-politics (where good old America should probably intervene more), this is about corruption and respect for law and order…where good old America does all the hard work for our benefit.
Now, the cynically minded might say that America being anti-corruption is rather like a hospital being anti-medicine, and that they pick and choose legalities like courses at a buffet…but that is just reflex anti-Americanism.
America is anti-corruption.
Just because America, a country with 5% of the global population and 25% of the incarcarated adults, relies on its massive prison population to subsidise its industry, and just because these prisons are being increasingly privatised doesn’t mean they aren’t anti-corruption.
And just because America has the greatest wealth-gap of all developed nations, a wealth gap which is growing all the time and has (according to Princeton) turned the USA from a democracy into an oligarchy, doesn’t mean they aren’t anti-corruption.
And just because, in response to a financial crisis, the USA government took $700 billion dollars of tax payer money and handed it over to private banks, via a bill that was basically forced through the senate with a gun to the nation’s head doesn’t mean they aren’t anti-corruption.
Washington lobbyists spending billions. Fixed elections to get the son of a former head of the CIA into the Whitehouse. Presidential candidates breaking election laws all over the country. None of that matters. Think of all the good they do!
They stormed FIFA. They fined HSBC for laundering drug money. They are investigating the Panama Papers. These are all good things, apparently. So says Jonathan, the master apologist. We should appreciate the benign arm of American law, reaching out over the oceans, swatting aside pesky ideas of sovereignty or jurisdictional limits, and bringing us all safety. After all, the idea that America is, as Jonathan put it…
charging about the world heedless of everyone’s needs but its own
…only applies to war. Obviously. They would never extend that policy to economics or the courts, would they?
They storm the offices of FIFA, not because Sepp Blatter refused to strip Russia of the 2018 World Cup, not to wrestle control of global soccer back to the Western powers, but because they hate corruption.
They start an investigation into the Panama Papers – which were leaked thanks to funding from various American foundations – not to implicate geopolitical enemies in China and Russia, but because they love peace and freedom and stuff. International tax evasion is a problem, domestic tax evasion using Delaware and Nevada less so.
They are the friendly Empire, the better than the alternative, the big smiling face of happy hegemony, and we should all be grateful to live under their sphere of influence….because to live outside it is much, much worse.
They make sure of that.