In defense of America
They Treat Their Own equally Bad
I recently read a review of a book that examined the lives of people who subsist in the U.S. on minimum wage jobs with no health insurance and few benefits. What was interesting was that the reviewer was from India and while she was properly shocked an appalled by what she read, it set me thinking about something.
In so many countries the United States are seen as oppressors of the poor and supporters of the rich primarily as a means for achieving their ends in foreign policy. Needless to say this has made them widely unpopular in areas where there are masses of poor people held under the sway of a few wealthy individuals. It also makes these areas ripe breeding ground for potential terrorists. There is nothing like an empty belly, no hope for the future and a seemingly big and heartless enemy to rile up a mob. How do you think these people would react if they knew that this was not specific to foreign policy for the U. S., but just their attitude in general? That they treat their own population as badly and with little respect as any other population in the world.
Do you think any one would believe you first of all? The myth of the American economic superpower is so ingrained upon the mythos of the world that probably someone living in poverty in Afghanistan or Iraq couldn't believe that every American isn't living the high life. Sometimes your own propaganda machine works against you. Imagine if the American government admitted that millions of its people can't afford to get medical attention. That the vast majority of people live on foodstamps even if they work because their jobs just don't pay enough. That there are thousands if not millions of people in the United States living without housing, or in hovels so desolate that they fight off rats the size of cats.
What do you think that would do to the terrorist movements. Maybe there would be an outcry about the horrible conditions and movie stars and musicians would organize benefit concerts to relieve poverty in urban America. Or raise money for medical supplies for the millions who can't afford prescription drugs due to the lack of generic brand availability or programs to assist in their purchase.
Perhaps if the people in developing countries found out that the American deficit was into the trillions they would be less inclined to try and blow up buildings in New York and other places. Maybe they would organize telethons to help relieve the deficit. Of course they also might wonder how a government that can't afford to house, feed, clothe and supply medical care to it's people could still afford to bomb the crap out of them. But at least they would feel like they had something in common with the people who live in the U.S.A. There's nothing like sharing a common bond to generate sympathy for people you don't know.
It seems to me that the American government is missing the boat on the right propaganda attack. Instead of promoting democracy and their way of life as being the best, and backing that up with military might, they should be playing up their poverty. We're just like you they could say: millions go to bed at night wondering where their next meal is coming from, or how little Johnny is going to be able to go to the doctor for his dialysis. This whole might makes right thing is obviously not going to win hearts and minds, so they may as well go for the sympathy vote. I'm sure if they got their spin doctor's on it they'd see a marked difference in people's attitudes immediately.cheers gypsyman