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Reply #82: The big problem isn't that its secret, but that it isn't a secret at all... [View All]

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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 02:52 AM
Response to Reply #74
82. The big problem isn't that its secret, but that it isn't a secret at all...
I'm not saying the information is presented in a Prentice Hall history textbook, generally it isn't, and even that isn't much of a secret. One of the reasons for "standardization" of textbooks, especially in history, civics, etc. is to "foster national unity and pride". This has nothing to do with the truth, but rather with lies by omission.

In addition to this, we have cultural traditions that lead to myths of the United States always being on the side of "good" however that's defined. Military intervention is generally regarded as a good in and of itself, outside of motives of those who order the intervention in the first place. We learned about wars such as the Texan war of Independence, and the Mexican-American war, yet we aren't taught that one of the big reason why the white Texans fought against Mexico was because they refused to release the slaves they imported into Mexico, which had already outlawed slavery.

We learn about the Spanish-American war, even are told it was a "mistake", but that it was justified because we freed the Cuban people. The facts, of course, don't bear this out, the United States, at the time, was literally itching for a war, and a weakened Spain was the perfect punching bag. The United States also wanted an overseas Empire, extending across the Pacific, the Sandwich Isles(Hawaii) weren't enough, they needed the Philippines as well. The Cubans, in this war, weren't that better off than before the war, they traded one imperial power with another, that happened to be close, and eventually practically appointed their own dictators for the Isle's government. The Philippines was less enthusiastic about their new imperial masters, and after the killing of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, that island colony finally was subdued.

Not to mention the numerous interventions into Latin America by the U.S. military during the first 30 years of the 20th century, even China wasn't immune. All of them at the behest of private U.S. owned corporations, killing thousands more people. WWI and WWII would more properly be called the "long war" or the "big fuckup" whichever you prefer.

WWI, of course, started due to tensions in Europe and a single gunshot, technically you can't really lay blame on any single nation or government, much less the United States, which maintained neutrality through much of it. However, after WWI ended, that was the big fuckup, the end of WWI set the stage for WWII and everything that followed from that. Some historians almost treat both wars as the same conflict, with a long truce in between.

After WWII, there were numerous fuckups and deliberate malfeasance involved in U.S. foreign policy. This mostly coincides with the rise of the Military-Industrial complex and the rise of The Company. This was the time of covert operations, rather than overt, but ignored, of the past. This was the time of overthrowing democracies to create U.S. or U.K. friendly business environments, using right wing dictatorships. Of course, many of these ended up biting us in the ass(Iran, Iraq, much of Latin America, etc.), again this killed thousands, if not millions of people.

The interesting thing is, when the average American is confronted with this information, even when well grounded in fact, they don't believe it. Its almost as if the citizens of this country are under the delusion that the nation is noble in and of itself. Call it a cult of Nationalism. I use nationalism instead of patriotism, which I feel are interchangeable in and of themselves, because of the negative connotation. Most Americans are belligerent assholes when it comes to people from other nations, yet another cultural tradition of ours, in fact, for many, all the atrocities committed by the United States could be justified on the sole premise that the people affected(killed) weren't American.

This isn't Unique to America, obviously, many European countries, during the heights of their empires, justified them in similar terms, usually called "White Man's burden" or "civilizing the savages". Probably more uncouth, but pretty much the same justifications as the United States uses today, we just call it "Spreading Democracy". We seem to forget that these are but genteel lies, made so that Americans won't mind being thrown into the meatgrinder every now and then. We could blast the truth through every television station in the United States, 24/7, 365 days a year, and it wouldn't affect shit, Americans would just turn off the TV.

Call it institutional ignorance, or a cultural blind spot, if you will, but Americans seem to be extremely stubborn about facts that contradict accepted wisdom.
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