Other countries hate Trump!
So go the headlines. So goes the rhetoric day after day. All the people claiming that America was loved around the world until Trump came along.
Sorry, I have to burst that bubble of yours. You respect veterans? Talk to some of them. Oh, wait, you’re listening to one now. The difference with some is that THIS veteran did not join at 18, so I was less prone to indoctrination. I had already developed the ability to think for myself when I went in the military. I was literally told by my entire chain of command that I did not belong in the military because, “You ask too many questions” and “You think too much.”
Yes, I think to much. That is what the military thought of me. That should tell you everything you need to know about the military. But I digress.
So, riddle me this. If the world loves America so much, why do we have 1600 military bases globally? That number did not suddenly and dramatically increase since January 2017. To clarify, we have by some estimates roughly 1000 foreign bases and 600 domestic. That is a total of 32 military bases PER US STATE. In some cases, 32 bases would exceed the land mass of the state. In all cases, if those bases were positioned IN that state, the residents would not be happy about it. (Except military contractors, of course.)
What is the REASON stated for this many bases? “Defense”. Defense against WHAT? Against WHOM? If the US is SO popular and loved, WHY do we need the largest military force on the planet to “defend” 20% of the global population?
Back to the veteran issue. Ask any veteran who has spent time in other countries, even in peacetime, how well the US military is received. In EVERY country we have military bases, there are areas service members are not allowed to go because of the alleged dangers involved. Most military bases near populated areas in any country have somewhat regular protests right outside their gates. While in Germany in the 80’s in the Army, I saw protests at our post. We had 3 bomb scares while I was there. During two of those three, an actual bomb was found.
The US has not been popular in other countries at any time. Of course you will find businesses who are happy to have us there. Do you think they care about who is spending money? They care about the money. Many of those business people go home at night, thankful for our money but cursing us.
One of the biggest reasons we are unpopular is because they see our presence as a threat, a military occupation. We are not trusted. For good reason. They see what we have done to other countries. Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. They have suffered through US demanded sanctions which affect their own trade with other countries.
Yet even that takes second place to the petrodollar system. Most educated people around the world (and most developed countries have better education than we do) understand the petrodollar better than most Americans. While our politicians rage against currency manipulation of other countries by valid, legal means which even the US uses, the petrodollar system is the utmost form of currency manipulation. It literally inflates and perpetuates the value of the dollar based on the resources and trade transactions of other countries. Without it, the USD would have virtually no value whatsoever at this point in time. It makes the USD more valuable than other currencies. Toss in the fact that we have waged wars, destroyed countries, killed millions and caused numerous refugee crises for the sake of the value of our currency. So while most countries have come to accept this system at some level, they despise it.
Ultimately, people in other countries dislike the workings of our government. However, many dislike our people. Mostly for our ignorance of how our country works while we have access to more information than at any time in history. Not to mention that many Americans travel to other countries, behaving with arrogance and disrespect for their customs and traditions. They see us as rude and barbaric. In many cases, they are correct. (That goes back to behavior I saw from fellow service members in Europe, which I saw firsthand.)
Once again, keep in mind none of this began under Trump. Yes, he is making it worse with his behavior, which disrespects the leaders and citizens of other countries. Yes, he openly threatens other countries economically and militarily. However, compare that to the actions of GWB calling the UN “inconsequential”, the invasion of Iraq and on and on. Compare to the Obama administration caught spying on Merkel, expanding bombing from 2 countries to 7, illegal presence in Syria and on and on. The US has imposed our sanctions on other countries for many years.
Trump’s tariffs are just another form of sanction without being called sanctions. The biggest part is that the effects of the tariffs are now finally being seen domestically. Why? Because other countries started fighting back against tariffs. Because larger dollar sanctions have been ineffective and nothing as large as oil is possible any more without resorting to items which have a domestic impact.
Yes, Trump made it worse by withdrawing from the JCPOA. So? You think this is the first treaty or agreement we have violated, official or unofficial? Look back through history. Native American treaties? The Hidalgo Treaty? The Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty? Promises off the record to not expand NATO? Turning on NK when GWB called them part of the “Axis of Evil”? If you don’t know about these things, look them up. Or just look back at the Democratic primary in 2016. You think the Organizational Statement of the DNC is NOT a contract with our own people? You think it was not violated? How about gerrymandering? People in other countries understand that the American people cannot trust our own government, yet you think THEY do? Seriously? Seriously?
No, Trump did not destroy the trust or reputation of the US with other countries. He has simply revealed what they think of us. Just as he has revealed the misogyny and xenophobia which has existed under the surface in this country all along.
Until Trump began talking with NK and Russia, can you name the last time a US president personally sat in PEACE meetings with another country? Can you? If so, how long ago was it? How old were you at the time? Do I expect his talks to succeed? No, because they are not actually peace talks so far. They are mob threats.
We are not the “good guys” as we have been told all our lives. In school, by politicians, by the media. We are the terrorists of the world. The school bully holding our fists in other kids faces and asking if they trust us. Or worse, the skanks hanging on the bully’s arm. Yes, you’re the beeotch. Can you name any armed conflict in the world in your lifetime in which the US did not play a role? Probably a key role in inciting?
We CAN be the good guys. In the future we can be everything this country has claimed to be all along. The providers, protectors, peace makers, mediators. If WE make that choice and stop cheer leading for ourselves as a terrorist cult.
So stop pushing this narrative that Trump has destroyed our reputation. Any illusion you had or any reputation we may have had was all based on fantasy. The deaths onscreen are real, not CGI. The veil has been lifted, the curtain pulled away. Our innocence is gone. It’s time to grow up and deal with it like adults. And I don’t GAF what you WANT to believe any more.