The Ethics Of World Domination Essay, Research Paper
Throughout the past 70 years the U.S. has been involved in hundreds of conflicts all around the globe. Every time the United States troops are deployed to a foreign country, citizens of the U.S. want to know why. People begin to ask questions like, “what is the purpose of this?” or “what is the nature of our involvement?” Nobody wants to see the strong youth of our nation shipped of to a foreign country to get slaughtered without good cause. Millions of American men and women have devoted their lives to the service and protection of the freedoms that we as citizens of the United States hold dear. These people deserve the utmost respect from all citizens of the United States. When the government of our country see fit, our troops are sent to fight often in places that they have never even heard of. When they return they are heroes to be revered, or are they? All to often things go wrong in these foreign countries and the soldiers often end up taking the brunt of the nation’s frustration. When the government makes mistakes and things do go wrong it causes the citizen of the U.S. to closer analyze the situation. The citizens of the United States want some answers and the government often fails in its attempts to satisfy the publics’ need to know. Ever since the beginning of the U.S. the government have come up with one reason or another to start or get involved in conflicts that should have otherwise been left alone. One of the first and most prominent examples of this is the almost total enialation of the Native American population in this country. Is the destruction of a culture and a society as vast as that of the Native Americans really morally and ethically permissable? The United States government thought that it was. According to them it was God’s own destiny for them to conquer the entire continent to bring it under the U.S. control. This just shows that difference in ethical value strongly affects what a country will accept as good cause for fighting. More recent conflicts like the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Grenada, and the Gulf war have made people analyze the ethicality behind the fighting. They look for the true reason behind the involvement of the U.S., in an attempt to find justification for the use of U.S. troops in foreign affairs. This paper is an attempt to look at the ethicality of some of the major conflict that the U.S. has been involved since the end of WW II. It will also attempt to analyze what has come to be known as the “World Police” mentality and the actions that the United States has taken to display this.
During the period of 1946-1950 a forty-year period began called the Cold War. The Cold War was a period of aggression in the name of democracy. During this time the United States did some questionable activities under the guise that they were protecting against the spread of communism.
On June 25, 1950 North Korea, using Chinese training and Soviet military equipment, attacked South Korea. The United States believed that Stalin and the USSR were ultimately behind the invasion. The South Korean defenses crumbled and the United States sent ground troops on June 30. The United Nations endorsed the deployment of troops because the USSR was boycotting the United Nations. It would seem a bit unfair that the United States would receive UN endorsement based solely on the premises that the USSR had chosen not to be a part of the UN. This become even more apparent when you take into account that the United States was not even certain that the USSR was even involved in the dispute.
On September 15, 1950, after a daring amphibious attack 150 miles behind enemy line the US was able to push the North Koreans back into North Korea. This is where the war should have stopped. The North Koreans were in North Korea and the South Koreans had control over South Korea. Furthermore, China was threatening that if the US tried to unite Korea by force then they would enter the war on the side of the North Koreans. Despite both of these facts, the United States pushed further into North Korea. Knowing that it would cost thousands of American lives and thousands more Korean lives to unite a country that wanted to be separated, General Mc arthur and President Truman, with United Nation’s support, pushed on. A two-year war ensued that would ultimately cost the lives of 140,000 American service men and women. In the end the country ended up just as it was before. Nothing lost, nothing gained.
The United States’ attack of Korea is considered to be one of the worst failures of intelligence and strategic leadership in the history of the United States military. In Washington, the excitement of victory on the battlefield on September 15, 1950 obscured the real objective of the war, which was to protect the freedom of the South Korean people and reinstall a South Korean government. In a shallow attempt to win seats in congress for the democrats, Truman pushed General Mc Arthur to continue the attack and try to roll back communism. A willing Mc Arthur was glad to oblige as he let his wish for military success and a heroic reputation get in the way of his competent operation of the United States military troops in Korea. The Korean War was a very political war with both the president and chief general directing the US forces looking for large victories to help bolster their careers. Truman was looking for democratic votes and Mc Arthur was looking for glory, but unfortunately there was no one looking out for the US troops or the desires of the South Korean people.
The Korean War was a good example of ethical egoism. It was a war in which all the involved parties were looking out for their themselves and ignoring the effects that they had on everyone else involved. The utility on a more global scale was not considered because politicians were blinded by the attractiveness of glory and an opportunity to push their own political agendas.
At 2am on February 7, the Viet Cong attacked the United States base at Pleiku, two hundred and forty miles north of Saigon, killing 8 Americans and Injuring 100 as well as destroying ten US aircraft. A reltaliatory strike was immediately recommended and operation Flaming Dart went into action. Flaming Dart was an air strike were bombers took off from United States aircraft carriers in the area and bombed “supposed” strategic military sights in North Vietnam. The “supposed” strategic military sights included a number of intentional bombings of civilian installments. A month later operation Rolling Thunder began which was a full-scale offensive air attack. By doing this the United States crossed the line from being a supporter of the South Vietnamese to becoming the main leader of the entire offensive in South Vietnam. Shortly after, the American people began to become divided over the war and antiwar protests fostered violence all over the country. The government that was supposed to be of the people and for the people was ignoring the concerns of the people and often responding to there protests with extreme violence. Protests continued and became ever more intense. The selective service system that was intended to strengthen the military, was often a focal point for the protests. In 1967 Martin Luther King Jr called the war a moral disaster pointing to the fact that black people made up only eleven percent of the population of the US but they made up 23 percents of the people killed in the war. He also pointed out that the war costs weighed more on the poor and the working class because deferments were granted to students in college and the poor and the working class could not afford to attend college. Because of presidential promises in early 1970, citizens of the US were under the impression that the war was coming to a close and that the US involvement was declining. On April 30, 1970, in a breach of the American people’s trust the US military forces invaded Cambodia. When this hit the news in the US the people were furious and students closed down colleges across the country. These strikes in Cambodia weakened the Cambodian government and opened it up to a working class revolution that cost the lives of over a million Cambodians. The gulf of Tonkin resolution was repealed and the US military troops were limited in their actions to only South Vietnam. The official cease-fire began on January 27, 1973 and the United States promised not to increase its aid to South Vietnam. Nixon suspended the draft in favor of an all-volunteer military.
This is another example of egoism displayed by the United States. When the US decided to invade Cambodia, they did not take into account what might happen to the inhabitants of the area. They were thinking solely of what benefit it might have for the United States of America and not what the actual utility of the action might be on a global scale. They had not considered that millions of people might die as a result and the unfortunate reality of the situation is that over a million people did die as a result.
In the early morning hours of October 25, 1983 the United States invaded the small Carribean Island of Grenada with 1200 troops. They met heavy resistance from Cuban and Grenadan installments. The US force was enlarged to 7000 and within days the island fell under US control. Shortly after, the US installed a government that was not communist and Pro-US. Just weeks earlier the Grenadan Army under the leadership of the deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard seized control of Grenada in a bloody coup. Coard was a hard line Marxist and this raised concern among the population of the US because of its proximity to the US coast. Also there were some 1000 students at a medical school in Grenada. Under the guise of a rescue for the students, the government went in and seized total control of the island in an attempt to stomp out communism in the Carribean and confront what Reagan considered to be a threat from the Soviet Union.
The attack was apposed by the Organization of American States of which the US was a part. The action was also “deeply deplored” by the United Nations based on its 1970 injunction that stated that no state or group of states has the right to intervene indirectly or directly for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of another state. The United Nations Security Council voted 11-1 against the attack with the only positive vote coming from the United States. Grenada was seen by many as a make-up war to appease the US citizens that were outraged by a truck bomb attack that killed 241 US marines in Beirut, Lebanon. The United States chose to ignore the recommendations of the organizations that it belonged to, in order to relieve its aggression on a country that was for all intents and purposes, innocent of any crime against the United States. The underlying political agenda of extracting revenge from Grenada clouded the president’s judgement in the invasion.
The end of the cold war marked the end of this nation’s fear of communism. There was no more need for the United States to intervene in the affairs of other countries on behalf of democracy.
On August 2nd 1992 Iraq invaded Kuwait and seized the entire country. Immediately the president of the United States George Bush ordered an unconditional withdrawal. Why did President George Bush feel that he had the authority or the right to make such demands? It was not because Iraq had become a threat to the security of the United States, or because he feared that Iraq would grow to a point where Saddam Hussien’s regime was to powerful for the United States or the world to handle. No it wasn’t that at all. The reason behind the US involvement is that president bush thought that he might have to pay a few cents extra for gas to fuel his Cadillacs. Because the seizure of Kuwait put Iraq in control of 20% of the oil production and reserves for the world, President Bush feared that it might have economic reprocutions for the United States. Operation Desert Storm was put into action and tens of thousands of US troops were moved into Saudi Arabia along with hundreds of aircraft. George Bush took this as a golden opportunity to assert the world influence of the United States. He was able to gain allies quickly and get most of the developed nations of the world to boycott Iraqi oil. After a quick but fierce bombing attack the war was over within 100 hours. That wasn’t the last we were to see of Saddam Hussien though. The US still has troops in the Persian Gulf area. It is amazing to think that countries will bond together against an enemy and go to war and give their lives and the lives of their nations youth of money. Is it worth the lives of thousands of people just to keep oil costs down? It doesn’t seem to be to me.
Does the world need a world police? John Locke says yes. According to Locke in the state of nature it is natural for groups of people to come together in their own self-interest, to form a society. In these societies the surrender some of the personal rights that they had in the state of nature and delegate them to a single government. If these people were in the state of nature the might make social compacts with others. They would feel no obligation to uphold them if they no longer were of any benefit to them because there would be no consequences for breaking these social compacts. Without punitive consequences these people will only honor contracts when it is convenient for them. Locke also says that social groups will act the same way in their interactions with other social groups. The only way to get these groups to honor social compacts is to create laws, consequences, and a body with the means and authority to enforce them. The same goes for countries on a much larger scale, because for all intents and purposes a country is just a large social group. These countries would act as individuals in the state of nature because there is no world police or authority to keep countries in line. Locke says that to get countries to work together and follow laws and honor compacts, there needs to be a single power or law-enforcing agency that acted as a worldwide administrator of discipline and law, a world police.
The problem arises when one country or organization tries to assert power or force on a country when they don’t have the right to. Locke says that in the state of nature no person or group of people is bound to any social compact that they did not enter in to knowingly and voluntarily. This means, according to Locke, that if there were to be an almighty world police then every country in the world would have to agree to wave their personal rights in the state of nature and delegate the authority to enforce laws and consequences to one individual or organization. It would be virtually impossible to get every country in the world to enter into such a social compact. Despite that the world still needs to have some sort of order among countries or some of Locke’s inconveniences will begin to arise.