American Presidents since William McKinley have played fast and loose with the lives of people living in foreign countries.
Hitting just the highlights:
McKinley betrayed the people of the Philippines, who fought alongside American troops against Spain in 1898 only to have the Americans turn against them and occupy the Philippines for 47 years.
Woodrow Wilson helped Britain and France redraw the European boundary lines in a way that guaranteed a century of wars and resentments and that continued to trigger conflict in places like Bosnia and Kosovo as recently as the 1990s. And Wilson cooperated when the British reneged on their pledge of freedom and independence to the Arabs in exchange for their support of the Allies in World War I.
It Goes on . . .
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s American Presidents practiced gunboat diplomacy with the nations of Latin America invading countries like Nicaragua and Honduras as well as sending troops to China and Turkey.
Franklin Roosevelt with the same "vision" as Woodrow Wilson, and with no more knowledge of history or foreign affairs than Wilson had sacrificed the freedoms and independence of people in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and China to satisfy his own ambition to be the world leader who would guarantee peace.
Harry Truman supported dictators in Asia and Africa, and by calling that policy the Truman Doctrine people around the world knew it was the United States that was supporting some of the worst elements of the world and Truman sent American troops to die defending the autocratic Syngman Rhee regime in Korea.
. . . and on . . .
Dwight Eisenhower approved the CIA coup that overthrew the democratic government in Iran, replacing it with the dreadful Shah of Iran, and Eisenhower continued the Truman Doctrine standing by dictators in Latin America and Asia, stationing American troops in dozens of foreign countries, and reminding people everywhere that America had become an imperial power.
John F. Kennedy invaded Cuba, sent troops to aid in the suppression of a pro-freedom rebellion in the Congo, supported a brutal dictator in South Vietnam before assassinating him, aided oppression in Laos and Cambodia, and extended American military bases to more and more foreign countries.
Lyndon Johnson played games with the truth in order to draw America into a terrible war in Vietnam one that caused the deaths of millions of Vietnamese but still left Vietnam in the hands of the Communists.
Richard Nixon secretly bombed Cambodia, only to have his secrets revealed to the world and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger became known worldwide for practicing "realpolitik," a policy of using human beings around the world as bargaining chips in his tte–ttes with dictators.
. . . and on . . .
Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter didn't (to the best of my knowledge) instigate any major new intrusions on the rest of the world, but they enthusiastically continued to shovel American taxpayer money to foreign dictators and continued to station American troops in what had come to be more than a hundred foreign countries.
Ronald Reagan sent Marines to Lebanon to butt into a civil war there, invaded Grenada, bombed Libya, meddled in Central America, planted American missiles in Europe (putting European civilians in danger), and stood by brutal dictators in El Salvador, Guatemala, and other Latin America countries.
. . . and on
Bill Clinton maintained the Iraqi sanctions and air raids, sent American troops to intervene in civil wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, used American force to install a dictator in Haiti all the while continuing the support of foreign dictators with the money of American taxpayers, and continuing to station American troops around the world as though they were the legions of the Roman Empire.
George W. Bush has invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, killing tens of thousands of civilians; threatened Iran and Syria; overthrew the government of Haiti and installed a brutal dictatorship; praised and supported dictators in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Russia, and many other countries; and demanded that everyone in the world support America or risk being bombed and invaded all the while proclaiming that he wants to bring freedom and democracy (American style) to everyone in the world.
Now We Know
So why do billions of people around the world hate America so much?
Obviously, it's because of our freedom, our prosperity, and our democracy.
How do I know? Because George Bush told me so.
What other reason could foreigners have for resenting America?
June 1, 2005