Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Forgotten Rule

I recently watched a show about the War of 1812 on the History Channel. Okay, so the British were oppressive dickheads, and we didn't like that, so we kicked them out (again). But we speak English too, so we think in a similar way, and now we've become the oppressive dickheads who invade other countries. I guess if you think enough like your enemy, you eventually become him.

Historically, America's foreign policy bears this out time and again. The only wars I'm certain of are the ones waged in self-defense. Like the British before us, might tries to makes right, but "insurgents" who are resisting our troops aren't really doing anything different than what we'd do if the shoe was on the other foot, such as it was when the British invaded New Orleans. (Unlike Bush, Madison actually helped the city.) It's too bad that Andrew Jackson, the hero of the conflict, then turned around as President and crushed the American Indians with as much cruelty as the British had inflicted upon him.

In the war of 1812, the British bombarded Fort McHenry in Baltimore for 25 hours straight. Reminds me of "shock and awe" in Baghdad, strongly opposed by France, Germany, New Zealand and Canada, but noticeably not Great Britain. Why not? Why are we doing the same shit to other countries that they did to us? Have we learned nothing? And why are they on our side? They couldn't beat us, so they joined us?  Somehow after 234 years of "independence," I don't think we ever really broke free of England. I wouldn't be surprised to discover it's still some old white banker fucks in London who are calling our shots. At least in this country, we can fire back. That's the difference between being a citizen and being a subject. However, it does nothing to change an American foreign policy that I can't stand. All of us need to stop fucking fighting. Period.

"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible."

~ George Washington, farewell address

(No offense, England. I got no problem with you or your people. One of my great friends is English and I've always loved the Beatles. My government just pisses me off. Yours probably pisses you off too. That's even more reason for us to be friends.)