Remember Henry Kissinger? He was the Secretary of State for Presidents Nixon and Ford. In 1999 he spoke at Trinity College in Dublin on “Globalisation and World Order.” In that speech he made a remarkable, candid admission that
“… globalisation is really another name for the dominant role of the US.”Think about it. Of the ten largest foodstuffs companies in the world, 6 of them are US companies: Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mendelez, and PepsiCo. If it’s fast food we are after, then the top 10 companies are all US companies. I probably don’t even need to name them, their logos and advertising hoardings are in just about every town and city in the world. Headed up by McDonalds, the list includes KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Burger King.
When we go to the movies, what do we see? The 100 top grossing films in 2015 were all made by US companies. Musically it is not much different. The Big Three music companies make up over 80% of the world’s market in the recording (and our listening) sector. And those three are based – you guessed it – in the US.
Who is it that lets us know the news? US companies. The four largest news corporations are all US based: Comcast, Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Time Warner. And if we think we can bypass such giants of news and head for the Internet, then think of which companies largely control the content on that: Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
Okay, we won’t buy anything, we’ll stow our money away in banks, and not be part of the globalisation/Americanisation of the world. Unfortunately, that won’t be easy – four of the world’s ten largest banks are US owned.
It seems we can’t escape. If we do try then the US is not likely to leave us alone. The US had 662 military establishments in 38 countries, in all continents except Africa, around the world in 2010. By comparison, Russia had military bases in 10 countries, all in Eastern Europe and Asia. The UK had bases in 18 countries and France 14.
Bases are one thing, military incursions another. The US has by far been the nation most likely to have sent troops or other military personnel to another country, often in an aggressive manner. To list all of these would take many lines of text. But it doesn’t take much delving into history or our memories to name many of these. Since the end of World War Two there has not been a year pass when the US has not deployed military operatives to someone else’s lands. We all know of the “invasions” of Korea, Iran, Vietnam, Guatemala, Panama, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Laos, Oman, Chile, Angola, El Salvador, Grenada, …. Over the past 50 years the US has been militarily involved in at least 35 nations around the globe, on all continents. For the reader that would like to see a thorough list of these incursions (or whatever euphemism may be used) since 1890, then click here.
When there are US bombers flying overhead, naval ships in your ports, and soldiers in US uniforms in your land, it is hard to pretend that you are not affected by the decision as to who becomes President of the US.
Perhaps somewhere in the world there is a community, or maybe a few individuals untouched by US movies, fast food, the Internet. Perhaps there is somewhere that has not been “invaded” or had a US military base established. Even somewhere like this is not immune to the effects of US policies and practises.
No-one is immune to the effects of climate change. Here, the US has again played the most significant part. Carbon dioxide is a long-term gas. Hence historic emissions are just as important, if not more so, than current emissions. Since 1750 almost 30% of the accumulated carbon in the atmosphere has come from US sources. Even today, China, the second highest cumulative contributor, has contributed only 9%.
Around the world we are all affected in many ways, some significantly so, by the decision as to who becomes the POTUS (President Of The United States).
So, can we vote for the President too?
The election of Donald Trump as President of the US would further support the tenet of this post. Consider these examples:
- President Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change Mitigation. The US is presently the second highest emitter of CO2 in the world, behind China, yet on a per capita basis emits 2 ¼ times as much. Furthermore, over the past 250 years the US has emitted a whopping 29% of the world's cumulative CO2 emissions.
- President Trump is threatening to pull funding from the World Health Organisation (WHO) - a body that seeks to improve the health of people all over the world (including the US).
- President Trump has sent a message to men everywhere to say that the abuse of women is okay - "When you're a star...you can do anything...grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."
- President Trump has described murder as okay - "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any votes."
Yes, indeed, can we vote for the President too?