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Leicester Mercury

The 46 Nations With Reasons To Hate The USA

November 19, 2003
Copyright ©2003
Leicester Mercury. All rights reserved.

I know it's unlikely that President Bush will read the Leicester Mercury during his visit to Britain, but here's what I'd like to say to him if he did. Since the September 11 attacks, many Americans have been asking: "Why do they hate us?" Some began asking that question even before then, and it's no surprise.

US service men and women have been bombed, kidnapped, and shot at all over the globe since the end of the Second World War. Kuwait, Yemen, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Spain, San Salvador, Germany, Cyprus, Puerto Rico, Pakistan, Iran, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, China and the USA are just some of the locations where military personnel have been the victims of attacks by terrorists/freedom-fighters, depending on your perspective.

No wonder the president's electorate asks why the USA is such a target of hate.

The answer may lie in another list: China, Albania, East Germany, Iran, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Syria, Egypt, Indonesia, British Guiana, North Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Ecuador, Congo, France, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Bolivia, Ghana, Chile, Greece, Bolivia, Australia, Angola, Zaire, Portugal, Jamaica, Seychelles, Chad, Grenada, South Yemen, Suriname, Fiji, Libya, Nicaragua, Panama, Bulgaria, Albania, Afghanistan, Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Iraq.

In each of these countries, the USA has attempted and often succeeded in overthrowing the sitting government or regime. The list was compiled by William Blum, a former US government officer turned author and journalist through his opposition to the Vietnam War.

But that list of 46 countries does not do justice to the extent of US activity since the end of the Second World War. US troops have been in action in other locations too: Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, El Salvador, Korea, Vietnam, Sudan, Peru, Liberia, and Cold War skirmishes with the Soviet Union.

Even now, the list of US interventions is not complete.

There are the countries from Angola to Uruguay whose rulers have been supported by the US government. Get involved in that lot in not much more than half a century and you are bound to make enemies.

I'm not saying that the US was wrong every time. My point is that this has taken place without most of the rest of the world or even most of the USA being aware what is going on. Where there isn't knowledge, there isn't accountability.

Paragraphs may appear in the foreign news section of the papers. The BBC's World Service may broadcast items, but how aware are most Americans of what has been done in their name? While people in the USA and here know about the Gulf War and the wars in former Yugoslavia, incidents in Haiti, Sudan and little known corners of the planet are soon forgotten.

Yet it is only when you add all of these operations together that the shocking scale of the USA's involvement in the affairs of the rest of the world becomes clear.

Much of this has not been your doing, Mr Bush, but you are in control now. Do your think your country really has the right game plan?

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