Nov 23, 2012

Americans in World Politics - and why I dislike them

Sometimes it feels that we treat the Americans more fiercely than they deserve, us Finns I mean. What have they done that is so wrong and foul? Well I cannot say that I represent the majority of Finnish people. Americanization has bred well on our Nordic soil and for some there are no reasons to scorn the Americans; besides, they have mended invalid civilizations and introduced values of cultural and moral importance to everyone (Hollywood being a missionary of this lovely gospel). They have helped us to solve our wars and glorified freedom as a global right. Maybe we should thank them for their generous and loving support. We all have prejudiced attitudes and stereotypes that narrow our thinking towards other nationalities. I have nothing against single (female) Americans but I cannot help disliking the way USA operates in world forums and celebrates its grandeur by oppressing other countries (mainly those of interest) and making difficult for others to build and upkeep true global democracy. This is the major click which makes many people in Europe and elsewhere annoyed. And this image can only change with radical actions and by making swift U-turn in politics.

My main focus in this text was to criticize the role of USA in the United Nations. As the Wikipedia puts it “The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace.” UN includes institutions such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and World Trade Organization (former GATT). As we have all witnessed, during its life span UN has not been able to meet the expectations or even the requirements formulated after the World War 2. UN has faced serious problems which usually come down to countries like USA, Russia or China who want to dominate one another instead of supporting the progress of a better future and making genuine cooperation between nations possible. Five giants (USA, Russia, China, France and Great Britain) have a veto right which they can use to prevent decisions made against their will. It is obvious that especially developing countries have little to say in United Nations decision making. For example in the Security Council it is highly unlikely that five countries with veto right will allow any changes made in the Charter (e.g. democratization initiatives). And so nothing will happen if these countries won´t take part. The same goes with the General Assembly which should have and be granted wider prerogatives. Of course USA does not want to share power with poorer countries because this would mean that they would also need to make compromises concerning their orthodox views on economy. The US policy is that those who pay can also say how things are done. It is not all bad logics in general, but this only means that UN is not working as it should; it does not work on principles of democracy but rises from corruptive and detrimental foundations.

Poor countries usually have no choice but to turn their heads to World Bank and IMF in order to get loans on reasonable terms (?). Once these unfortunate countries become debt-laden they have to conform their economies; cut down services and wages, fix their social structures, optimize their governance, release markets and privatize once public corporations so that they can pay what they owe to institutions such as World Bank and IMF. IMF headquarters is situated in Washington (no surprise there) and in 2002 USA held 17 % of the total votes, which means that they have the upper hand on things (85 % needed for decisions to pass). In World Bank the US figures are nearly 17 % (IBRD) and 15 % (IDA). These numbers give USA the possibility to decline every decision bad for their agenda. A single board member in the IMF is basically without any power, so consensus required between different agents is actually a hoax. You don’t have to be an intellectual to see that there is something fishy in this business. IMF represents the interests of everyone else except the people of countries which are heavily in debt. Usually biggest winners are financial institutions who give them money with conditions. Rich countries, creditors and others can basically through this agreement rule those who owe them. IMF is working in world politics as a saint with demons tail. This disguise gives benefits to those who ultimately control these systems and creates at the same time an false image of freedom being firmly in hands of individual countries and their democratically chosen governments. World Trade Organization is no better. Committees are chosen and discussions held in small and informal groups to preserve the interests of USA and OECD countries, and the system is everything but transparent. A good example of WTOs hybristic vision is GATS contract which allows nearly every sector of human existence be privatized. Contract was of course approved without any public debate on the matter.

In 1980s USA blackmailed UN by refusing to pay their share of upkeep and ever since this has been a common method to gain more influence and make UN more dependent on US money. The worst possible scenario for the US government would be independent UN which would not need to ask permission when in need of executing acute and decisive actions. UNs biggest fault is in its structure which allows those who fund it to rule it. In decision making this is called a dollar-vote-principle. Due to lack of funds UN is forced to be under a leash, and if these economic shackles keep on restraining UNs authority, nothing worth mentioning can really be made. In 2001 USA paid a percentage of 22 of the whole budget of UN. And as a curiosity former Secretary-General Kofi Annan was surrounded with US born advisers when still in duty. We have seen many times how USA just walks over UN council claiming to have rights to do nearly everything they want. This was the case for example when dealing with Iraq (nuclear weapons, yeah?). Is this arrogance and lack of human solidarity? Well, in my opinion it is. Many rational individuals see the previously explained US actions as disgusting and repulsive. US citizens have what it takes to change the views of the rest of us. USA is not in any position to claim that is has the right to play without any rules or boundaries.

When I see change in this political behavior, I will start appreciating the Americans more.

P.s Over 40 % of the US population thinks that evolution does not exist. Nice.  

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