Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
I’ve been waiting a long time to see a story like “U.S. arsenal offers lesson in chemical arms disposal” (Japan Times, Sunday, September 15, 2013), because it reminds us that America has its own chemical weapons, too. I already knew it, but it is important to see it in print as an educational tool for Americans who forget, or probably just don’t know, that their country is among the world’s biggest manufacturers, stockpilers and users of weapons of mass destruction, of which chemical agents are one. The hypocrisy of the U.S. trying to disarm Syria of its chemical arms is breathtaking. First, because the U.S. has more of the same than anyone except Russia, effectively discrediting anything that Washington says. Second, because whether the Syrian government used chemical weapons or not, what is happening in that country is a civil war, and the rest of the world would do well to stand back and let the Syrians work it out amongst themselves. Getting involved in other countries’ civil wars is a recipe for disaster. Third, because who is America anyway, a global policeman for the rest of us? Well, I didn’t vote for them.
In broad terms, America is arguably the greatest user of weapons of mass destruction as well. I’m not only counting chemical agents used during WWI, carpet bombing of civilian populations with conventional explosives and the two atomic bombings at the end of WWII, but the continuing use of anti-personnel mines, cluster bombs, and depleted uranium coated artillery shells, the three of which the Pentagon refuses to abandon and each of which satisfies the definition of a weapon of mass destruction. Using them places America on the list of international criminal nations, and makes American warriors and politicians war criminals, not heroes.
Rather than being a force for virtue, democracy and international stability the U.S. is arguably more the contrary. U.S. foreign policy actually makes the world a more dangerous place, a place of regional proxy wars and fascist dictatorships. It is bound to become more dangerous in the future as rival powers rise and America violently tries to sustain its hegemony by trying to suppress or dominate others while proclaiming for all to hear that it is the real force for good in the face of evil, rogue powers. In fact the truth will be the opposite. It already is. Despite its fabulous appeal America arguably is the worst country in the world.
Published on Thursday, September 19, 2013 as "U.S. makes world more dangerous."