When we see the police in our neighborhoods, we are secured in the knowledge that we are in safe hands. The police evoke a sense of being safe when they are around knowing that they have the capacity to enforce the law and keep criminal elements at bay. We can take our children to the park and watch them play, secure in the presence of neighborhood beat police patrolling the streets. It is a safe place with the police around. But are they always welcome? Ever since the fall of the other world superpower, the Soviet Union, the United States has been the sole keeper of that title (Weiner).
Historians predicted that soon, democracy and freedom will be the norm around the world (Weiner). But some say that the United States has been remiss in its duties as the global law enforcer (Weiner). Thus, the question is posed, should the world expect the United States to start policing the global “neighborhood” (Weiner)? The question better posed would be is, can the United States be capable of being the policeman (Utley)? Many Neo-conservatives in the Republican party give a glimpse of the infirmities that are inherent to the desire of some to see the United States patrolling the world’s hotspots (Utley).
The United States, being the only legitimate superpower left, is incapable of launching any sort of campaign that will make it an empire, or at least, make a significant impact in enforcing the law in other parts of the world (Utley). This is the argument of right-wing “isolationists” being criticized by the left-wing of the party in dissuading the United States from making an attempt in launching an imperialist wave (Utley). For any imperialist wave to succeed, the power in government must be one that has a strong centralist orientation, as was the case of Great Britain and the old Roman empire (Utley).
In Britain’s case, the center of that power lay in the hand of some of the elites in the society, give or take a few votes from the populace (Utley). This elite mainly consisted of those who owned tracts of land and a fraction of the population (Utley). In Rome, the Roman Senate dictated foreign policy in the state (Utley). But in the case of the United States, the practice is quite the opposite. The Constitution is very clear in the tenet of preservation of freedom, not curtailing it (Utley).
This fundamental framework of the prservation of freedom is enshrined in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution (Utley). In the American scheme of things, the strength of the political structure is not in concentration, but in dispersal of that power (Utley). This is done to curtail any initiative in undertaking foreign military adventurism (Utley). The history of the United States foreign policy manoeuverings has also been riddled with being inclined to serve the interests of certain sectors, especially businesses (Utley).
There were times that “Big Business” was the preeminent factor in determining American foreign policy (Utley). This premise has given way to local pressure organizations and television coverage of foreign incidents (Utley). In understanding the central role of television, it must be construed that televsison selects the unwilling “sitting duck” (Utley). As the news groups broadcast, this is picked up by the authorities, causing a stir of American support and good will to be poured out on the place or region (Utley). Unfortunately, this upheaval of support will often cause more hardship and havoc (Utley).
It is here that the United States, finding things in disarray, tends to reach out and aids the country or region find a semblance of balance (Utley). Examples are not hard to find for the case at hand. In the U. S. -led invasion of Kuwait to liberate the country from the Iraqi invaders, a story, untrue and unverrfied, ran about 20 Kuwaiti babies being hurled out of their incubators by the Iraqi raiders (Utley). This happened before the war (Utley). The story generated a groundswell of indignation and spurred the United States to move in with their military might (Utley).
The end result of this carnage was far from the desired outcome. At the onset of the conflict, the United States decimated vital installations in the course of its military intervention (Utley). This left utilities in shambles; sanititation, electrical generation and food producing facilities were completely destroyed, leaving half a million children dead in its wake (Utley). The embargo on imports on even chlorine and materials for rebuilding the nation left it with unsafe drinking water (Utley). To follow the mindset of the generals, they are not schooled in the consideration of the consequences of their actions.
All they want is how to quash the enemy and win the war (Utley). Haiti would be another prime piece of evidence on the failure of American interventionist policy. Before entering into its “war games” mentality, the United States first reduced the nation’s, and people’s, means of living by slapping an economic interdiction against the island nation (Utley). Then when the war mongers in the Federal government did not see the embargo working towards the desired goal, it went ahead and invaded the nation (Utley).
As a result of the American military intervention, the people of Haiti are now in a far worse lot than they began with (Utley). Now, instead of becoming economically stable, the people of Haiti are now more dependent on imports from the United States (Utley). The pattern of American “ police” strategy is sometimes is quite disturbing. When the American televison industry wearies of one subject, more often than not the American government forgets about it too (Utley). Simply put, it justs walks from the subject, leaving their posts when its no longer news, as in the cases of Haiti, Somalia or Panama (Utley).
Or it just goes about imposing blockades to leave the people in hardship,like what is happening now in Iraq and Serbia (Utley). This practice of some God-given mission is not the lone and sole property of the United States, nor did it start with them. The concept was derived from the “Divine Right of Kings” practised in England (Neoperspectives). This was the practice in many European monarchies at the time of the founding of the United States (Neoperspectives). The King could just wave his hand or snap his fingers together and someone could lose his life (Neoperspectives).
The United States… World Police? So the actions of the United States leaves us with the question, should the United States take up the cudgels for policing the world, or, was there an offer in the first place? Most would point to the administration of former U. S. President Bill Clinton for the dilemma that the United States is facing (RateItAll). As the earlier statement mentioned, the fall of the Soviet Union left the United States as the only legitimate superpower on the planet (Weiner).
But again the question is raised, did the world ask for it? The question is somewhat answered by formere Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Colin Powell (RateItAll). Albright avers that since they have one of the strongest fighting forces at their disposal, then why not utilize them (RateItAll)? Was the thinking of Albright correct? According to University of Texas profeesor and author Robert Jensen, its not. The United States is not acting at all as the world police; instead it is bullying the world into submission (Jensen).
Courtney from Study Moose
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