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In the history of the United States of America, expansion of the power of the state came at an extreme expense of the democracy of the people of US. As the country developed, the theoretical and the practical part of democracy became disconnected from each other. The government dedicated resources in destroying democracy by silencing those who asked questions about the authority and how things were being managed. Such questions involved the administration, democracy and advocacy for freedom so as the government increased its power, it also worked to reduce mass-founded political movements. This created political conflicts between the movements and the policy makers. Immediately after the Revolution War, the government embarked on the mission of silencing movements throughout the 19th and early 20th century.
Policies intended to destroy democracy were implemented within and without the borders of the US. However, political repression ebbed and flowed despite democratic constitution and theoretical rules and regulations. Towards the end of the 20th century, what remained was procedural democracy which was afterwards replaced as the government had been transformed into a police state. This was most evident under George W. Bush’s administration and the 9/11 attacks. This spilled over to the Obama administration as the central policy was implemented with the excuse of war on terrorism. Security matters are seen to override peoples’ rights as the state actions are falsely justified in the name of national security. After the September 2011 attacks, the president assumed dictatorial authority crashing down all form of democracy without the people realizing it. This replaced the rule of law and the American constitution with a police led state. Having a police state led to perceived enemies being unfairly detained indefinitely and set to serve as examples to others. This was yet another incidence of lack of democracy. The actions mentioned above are used in the manifestation of the power of a police state. The system is really secretive in order to carry out the anti-democratic actions and policies against individuals and countries. Being secretive allowed the police to get involved in criminal behaviour and also commit violations against local and international law. This system ensures strict adherence of set rules and orders without question most prevalent in the Bush administration. The US made up several excuses to go to war thereby committing war crimes and torture. Some of the anti democratic measures taken are almost permanent and irreversible. This ensured that certain movements and actions would cease being a problem to the government.
After the Revolution, political elites aimed at diminishing mass democracy which had too much in the US. State repression was implemented and in so doing, government control was increased over the people and territories. Viable political movements prevented a full force police state from being in existence but government actions in the end eliminated progressive mass-based movements. The US is now a major colonizer destroying democracy at home and overseas in other countries. The American government through special branches like the FBI and other secret service corporations is able to establish a full bodied police state. These agencies then work to suppress and also control peoples thoughts killing any form of democracy and also spreading worldwide hatred against the communist nations. It is clear that democracy is preached but not practiced and this displays a hypocritical government that is oppressive to its citizens and other individuals in other parts of the world.
Kinzer’s Overthrow provides comprehensive accounts of, as the author puts it, “the most direct form of American intervention, that is the overthrow of foreign governments,” casing the approximately hundred years from the U.S.-supported invasion of Hawaii’s monarchy in 1893 to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It is about aggressive United States foreign policy whose equally ambitious structure does it damage. It seeks to examine direct forms of American intervention in the overthrow and attacks on foreign territories.
A group of elite Americans plan to overthrow the Hawaii’s queen and convert Hawaii to the United States not knowing the kind of lifelong image this devious action would cast over history. They initiated a series of American led coups, revolutions and unlawful invasions to other territories. The coup was stirred by the queen’s decision and announcement that only native Hawaii’s were allowed to vote. This led to a heated argument and consequently, the overthrowing of the monarchy. For a long time, America had been searching for an excuse to attack or strike the monarchy and the queen’s announcement provided them with a perfect excuse. Stevens, the American minister for Hawaii saw this coup through making him the first American diplomat to organize a coup against the representative country. Then, the author from page 11 gives a detailed description of Hawaii, early invasion by the British under Captain Cook, their dispute, war and finally how they contracted deadly venereal diseases from the British killing almost 60% of their total population. A series of other remarkable events occur which deteriorates relationships between the monarchy and foreigners. The minister, Stevens warns of attacks by the queen’s forces and later writes about treasonable persons. A new regime is formed after the queen’s resignation prompted by the American attacks. The author first identifies the first American involvement in a foreign government, an intrusion whose stated plan was to bring down that regime: the case of Hawaii, 1893. Hawaii was then a self-governing state governed by a monarch, Queen Liliuokalani. The author explains the various political and economic intentions behind this early example of American military power exercise, or merely the threat of it, being in the end used to weaken and eventually overthrow a foreign power that was not deemed to be complying with U.S. interests. The author is careful to summarize the economic essentials that are so often at the root of political disturbance; in the case of Hawaii, it is white interest in the enormous profits to be generated from sugar. The relation between economic and political forces as they played out in the case of Hawaii at the end of the 19th century set the pattern for other US-led intrusions all over the world.
It concludes by bringing together the facts and general ideas between these military and commercial ventures of the US as it outlines the outcome of the state and of their associations with the United States. U.S. intrusion often results in the very problems it had supposedly intended to resolve, and that the expression of acting in America’s “best national interests” as the alleged reason for worldwide involvement need not be completely cast aside. On the contrary, America’s best interests might in point of fact be most competently served by open-minded procedures and thereby reduce its involvement and interference of sovereignty of other nations.
Kolin, State Power and Democracy
The author, Kolin, is of the opinion that most Americans bear the thought that the U.S. is “like a police state”. He therefore demonstrates that the US is indeed a police state all the way down. He debates with rich truthful confirmation that the U.S isa police state all the way down right from the disputed elections and war state of George W. Bush.
Standard illustrations are reported in detail from 1950 on to reveal a record that is as organized in repressing public opposition as its client authoritarianism elsewhere – even though successfully kept out of public and intellectual attention. From the time when the electoral contests of, by and for the rich in America are declared as “the leader of the Free World” in the ad-vehicle media many still watch and read. For instance, when three nuns opposed the criminal bombing of Iraq in 2002, they were arrested, handcuffed, left on the ground for three hours and then jailed for seven months before trial. It was reported that they were arrested for sabotage and obstruction of justice. Police repression was within the laws that had been invented before and after 9/11, specifically by the requirements of the Patriot Act. The figurative action of the nuns which involved painting blood on a missile silo was then supported by international law. But massacre facts, individual responsibility, ethical courage and nonviolent expression of the law of nations do not hold U.S. legal machinery. It is this lawful machinery that the author deals with so as to make his argument that the U.S. is indeed a police state.
Why America Fights
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Americans and Filipinos were fighting for control of the Phillipine Islands. The Americans wanted control over the islands as they were a pathway to the markets and resources in Asia. However, the islands had been under Spain’s rule and wanted freedom, not another colonial leader. For America to capture an island thousands of miles away from the shore, William McKinley’s administration claimed that its policies were beneficial to both Americans and Filipinos by promoting Christian compassion, freedom and prosperity. Most of the public, congress and press supported the war, viewing it as a civilizing mission and a patriotic adventure. President McKinley successfully steered the United States to great power status by promoting national unity and progress.
McKinley, having had long political experience as governor, and congressman of Ohio, conducted a simple campaign and became president in 1896. He received wide press coverage unlike his predecessors, by encouraging press visits and mastering the latest communication technology. He was the first president to have his inauguration filmed, and also to have a secretary who met with the press daily. McKinley was very keen on what the press wrote about him, thus, he had staff that monitored the newspapers daily, to gather public views. To ensure the newspapers accurately reflected the president’s message, his administration issued press releases on deadlines, to ensure that reporters only conveyed the administration’s version of the story. McKinley’s passive public position made it easier for his policies to go through without much public opposition until they were well underway. He was thus referred to as a ‘manager of men’.
Capturing the Islands
The American-Filipino war was just one of the on-going wars in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Countries such as Britain and France increased their colonial territory, while aging nations like Spain struggled to hold on to what they had. Upcoming nations like the United States and Germany tried to conquer more territories. These nations sought to acquire raw materials, investments and markets in Africa and China, explorers rushed to hoist their flags, and missionaries tried to win souls to Christianity. The result was mayhem. McKinley’s goal was to attain U.S. dominance in world markets, and in particular, the U.S. wanted to access China with its millions of potential customers. However, Germany, Japan, Russia, France and Britain also had the same goal, and they threatened to divide China like they had done Africa. With time the U.S. was able to advance indirect imperialism in China, thus preventing a division. Americans were confident that they should lead both at home and oversees, because they believed white men were superior to all other people. Cuban rebels had taken over half the island by destroying railroads, sugar cane plantations and sugar mills by 1896. As a result, American investors lost millions of dollars. Spain’s Governor General, Weyler ordered Cubans out of their villages into camps, and 100,000 Cubans died from diseases. During his inauguration, McKinley urged Spain to institute reforms and respect the human rights of Cubans. However, Spain did not respond favourably. Americans continued to follow the story of the Cuban revolution in several of their daily newspapers, which competed for readers by giving one-sided stories of the war, which portrayed Spain’s evil acts.
President McKinley prepared to wage war against Spain and once ready, he gave his reasons for fighting Spain. First, he planned to end the war between Spain and Cuba so as to establish a stable government in Cuba. Second, it was to ensure the peace and protection of the citizens of both Cuba and the United States. McKinley sent George Dewey to the Philipines and Manila Bay, where he oversaw the destruction of the Spanish Pacific naval force without losing a single soldier. McKinley then sent General Wesley Meritt to the islands with 20,000 troops where he conquered the islands of Hawaii, Guam and the Philipines. The islands became U.S. territory. However, the Filipinos were still a threat to the U.S. as they resisted U.S. rule led by Emilio Aguilnado. The U.S. and Spain planned to trick the Filipinos by waging war against each other, where Spain was to surrender. Angry Filipinos cut water supply to their city, leading to a negotiation where Meritt allowed the Filipinos access to their city. The United States became a world power with the defeat of Spain.
Campaign to Keep the Philipines
McKinley made it seem that taking over the islands was for the good of everyone, by showing people that it was important for the U.S. to have ready markets for their products. He organized a peace commission with Spain and negotiated a treaty which gave the United States control over Guam, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philipine Islands. Some Americans were against the acquisition of the Philipine Islands. A few argued that Filipinos would do a better job of governing themselves, while others simply sympathised with them for being governed without their consent. Others were concerned because the Pacific had always served as a good barrier during the war, but acquisition of bases like Manila which were hard to defend would make the U.S. more vulnerable. However, the President stood his ground on his decision to keep the islands.
It was around this period in 1899 that the Philipines began to fight the U.S. to acquire independence. American forces were more skilled and armed than the Filipinos, but the Filipinos began using guerilla tactics. Their aim was to wear out the U.S. forces and make their occupation too costly. Films that created a false impression of how the U.S. was dominating the war were made, and aired in the U.S.,to give confidence to the Americans. Even though many soldiers and reporters thought that the Filipinos were inferior to the Americans, somecame to appreciate the tenacity of the Filipinos. However, Americans finally gained control of the Philipine islands when General Arthur McArthur captured the Filipino leader, Emilio Aguinado, and he swore allegiance to the U.S. and his followers did the same.
Chomsky, Media Control
The work of Chomsky in political history especially that of America demonstrates the role that the media played in upholding constrains on dialogue in order to propagate the interests of the government and corporations. He outlines the propaganda operation through the media by the government especially in the reign of Woodrow Wilson. The first government propaganda operation was under President Woodrow Wilson administration. It was during the 1st world war and the larger population saw no cause for intervention of the war in Europe therefore the government had to come up with an excuse to intervene as it was fully committed to the war. The Creel commission was established to spread propaganda so as to change the minds of the American people and this plan was quite a success. America was tricked into hating Germany and the Germans and later they were made hysterical about the Red Scare which succeeded in destroying unions and eliminating freedom of the press and freedom of political thoughts. This propaganda was so effective that the media itself supported it. This propaganda thrived in directing peoples thoughts.
During the period, the population is completely devastated and does not see the need to get involved in the war in Europe. However, Wilson’s government is committed to the war during when they establishes a commission of government propaganda called the “Creel Commission” which becomes successful within six months. After its establishment, the commission turns the pacifistic crowd into a frenzied population that propagated war rumours. The underlying aim is to devastate and destroy German’s global position and everything that was called German in order to pressurize it to withdraw from the war. After achieving its goal on the war, the technique is further used to eradicate the “Red Scare” which destroys the freedom of political thought and freedom of the press. The move receives strong support from the media and business community. The progressive intellectuals of a group known as “John Dewey circle” are the most active in Wilson’s war as they terrify the population through what they calls the “more intelligent members of the community”. Hitler and many others realize the impact of state propaganda especially with the support of the elites. Chomsky states that one of those in the forefront of propagating the propaganda technique is the dean of American journalists, Walter Lippmann, who upholds his view of eluding public opinion from common interests for the benefit of minority. He emphasizes that democracy requires a specialized class made of responsible minority who think, plan and execute the common interests, and then the “bewildered herd” i.e. the general public sits back as spectators.
To conclude, the public relations factor is also characterized by Chomsky, as a kind of development of the propaganda technique in 1930s after the initial success of the Creel commission in excluding public opinion from the governing process. Chomsky outlines that the public relations establishment was aimed at controlling the mind of the public. The rise of labour organizations and their effect alarms the government of the problem of malfunctioning democracy, and popular organization among the people, which according to the specialized class is not right and eventually, the effect of labour organizations gets diminished after a conspiracy of business community and public relations industry in its opposition. However, Chomsky points out another shakeup through the Steel strike in Western Pennsylvania in 1937. Chomsky reflects the retaliatory mechanism to it which involves spreading propaganda against the strikers and portrays them to the public as harmful and disruptive to the public and common interests. The elite gain control over the media as gets massive resources through what they later call the “Mohawk Valley Formula” which gets through in destroying strikes.
Black, Nazi Nexus
The author of Nazi Nexus (American Corporate Connection to Hitler’s Holocaust), Edwin Black is a descendant of the survivors of Holocaust. The first time he spots the IBM machine in a museum in United States, he vowed to get to know much more about the machine and the manufacturer’s intention. It is in the course of his study that he documented about the IBM and the Holocaust, an overwhelming account of the renowned American corporations joining hands with the Nazi government of Adolf Hitler in organizing and wiping out the Jews and others who were considered detrimental and non-Aryan. Black reflects the role of the Nazis in conspiracy against the Jews and ensures that the master race dominates the world. Black portrays the evil endeavours of the German military, as they move across Europe in search of the Jews whom they destroy with the backup of American industrial giants. Black connects the dots eventually creating an indisputable Nazi nexus between iconic companies in America and the enormous crime of twentieth century the Holocaust. Henry Ford devises a political anti-Semitism by publishing fake a book “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which becomes the bible of the German anti-Semites. Black unfolds that how Hitler capitalizes on Henry’s book to spread allegations that the existence of Jews is based on lies. A deadly American race art of eugenics is propagated by the Carnegie Institution by idealizing a light-coloured superior race, where the scientists embrace a conspiracy that ninety percent of humanity is to be eradicated through different ways. The ways includes apprehension of assets, organized detection, nullification or proscription of marriage, isolation into camps, enforced surgical sterilization and publicly run gas chambers.
During his time in prison, Hitler studies the eugenics of America where he concludes that the progeny of the segregated race (Jews) is of invaluable and dangerous to the racial stock. Steeped by the American race science, Hitler treats his existing nationalism of strong fascist and anti-Semitism to devise the idea of blue-eyed, blond Master Race he sanctifies through the “Mein Kampf”. The Rockefeller Foundation, the benevolent embodiment of Standard Oil partners with Carnegie to create eugenics in Germany. Rockefeller funds Hitler’s anti-Jewish ambitions and Otmar Verschuer’s twin experimentation policies that were aimed at eliminating “biological undesirables”. During the Second World War, Rockefeller’s financial support ceases but the twin research continues in a hideous fashion. Preparations for war starts from the first weeks of the Third Reich, when the president of General Motors Alfred Sloan commits the corporation and Opel to modify and motorize a significant horse-drawn and get it ready for battle. Previously, German involves mildly into automotive engineering, but GM brings mass fabrication to the Reich, translating it from horse-drawn to a motorized thrust. GM and Sloan deliberately organize the Wehrmacht for war in Europe, where GM engineers the Blitz truck for Blitzkrieg.
Being the inventor of Hollerith punch card, the antecedent of today’s computer, Internal Business Machines (IBM), takes pleasure in domination on information technology. IBM merges with Hitler’s regime in 1933 and offers to empower the Reich in all ways including the Jewish crisis. Hitler manages to mechanize and speed up all six stages of the 12-year Holocaust i.e. exclusion, ghettoization, banishment, and even extinction. IBM systemizes Hitler’s undertakings through its operational machineries. However, Black acknowledges that if it were not for American backup through its iconic corporations Hitler’s mischief of the Holocaust would not have had gone any far. For American corporations, they have all along done a lot to obscure the information of their involvement through corporate propaganda and financial assistance. In a period when big corporation are detested, joining the dots reveals the Nazi nexus framework as indispensable. The resounding of the phrase “never again” must persist not only to the sufferers but also within the corporate perpetrators board rooms.
Brewer, Why America Fights
In reference to the fights that have occurred in America, Brewer commits to examine the existing narratives of six military efforts: the Korean War, the Philippine War, World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. Under the succession of different presidents, the American involvement was protected as a humanitarian state while the enemy was demonized to be barbaric. Americans are said to have suffered few civilian casualties while other lands were totally destroyed. Brewer demonstrates that, American fights to remake the whole world in its own image, for power and market. An absorbing history represents the quest to girt the nation for war by the American president and his senior staff. It is written, when Woodrow Wilson led the nation into World War I, he created a committee on public information, headed by George creel. In the 2nd world war, Roosevelt’s office of war information was affirmed. Brewer, in her works shows how ‘The Bush White House’ learned lessons from the history of unprecedented attempt to sell a pre-emptive war in Iraq of the failed struggle to cast Vietnam War in favourable light.
Susan, A. brewer documents how different presidents in America portrayed themselves as seekers of peace and justice at war, and not as travellers on the low road to battle and destruction. Brewer writes, “That throughout the 20th century, American presidents and other leaders presented war aims which where purposed to enhance and spread democracy and freedom rather than the expansion and growth of U.S power.” The United States acquired naval and military bases steadily although it repeatedly denies that it sought more territory. She says that, as of 2008 the US had more than 700 bases in 132 countries. Its main objective was to maintain the governments, whether in a democratic way or not to allow for economic and strategic access to their countries for the Americans. For Brewer, the wartime presidents and other leaders exaggerated and fuelled the political propaganda instinctively, as though levelling with the citizenry would bring together the dissentients and gum the chances for conquest. She further argues that the implemented strategies of presidential persuasion for maintaining or starting wars were little than lies and exaggerations. According to her research, just a month after 9/11 and four days after the American bomber pilots began killing people in Afghanistan, President George W. Bush decided to validate operation enduring freedom saying, “it is not the kind of war we are used to in America…..it is a different kind of war now. It seeks a different kind of approach and a different kind of mentality.” These words were similar to those uttered by President Franklin, D. Roosevelt (1942): “this war is a new kind of war. It isn’t the same as all other wars in the past, not only in its methods and weapons but also in its make-up.”
Bush’s cry nearly two years later in August 2003 that “our people will not have to confront terrorists violence in the New York or St. Louis because our military is confronting other terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq and in other places” echoed another president, Lyndon Johnson, and his 1966 plaint that: “If we don’t stop the reds in S. Vietnam, next time they will be in Hawaii, and another time in San Francisco.” This was a clear indication that the Americans were fighting basically for protection.