Pluma Migrant Writers Guild. "Write to be heard."
Prager is an articulate, even charismatic speaker but I have to disagree with a few of his points. It’s disengenious to say a big state makes people smaller because a big state may be seen by them how best to be big. How best to be nice to others. How best to look after everyone. Look at the prison system in the USA vs Scandinavia. In the US it is a source of slave labour run by corporations. In Scandinavia there are prison officers who sing harmonious songs to introduce the new prisoners to prison. To start to set up a better life with good influences for the prisoners to adapt to, develop new attitudes and a new life:
Also, the idea that Americans, as opposed to Europeans, give their lives for others from other countries through military service is wrong. So often these wars are for access to new markets for American businesses, such as the Korean and Vietnam wars. He even insinuated that Americans but not Europeans cared about the genocide in Cambodia. Pity the carpet bombing of Cambodia for 10 years, secretly, during the Vietnam War was done by America. They got the genocide started this way. If America truly cared and fought on behalf of the little guys, the oppressed, there would be a hero story somewhere in here of a serviceman standing up to superiors and stopping the massacre of the harmless Khmer peasants through these bombing campaigns. There is not.
It is acknowledged that this was not a random, unprovoked attack on innocent civilians. The US servicemen followed orders and bombed many Viet Cong soldiers along the Ho Chi Minh Trail supply line in eastern Cambodia. As noted in a map animation in another post, however, thousands of bombs fell elsewhere. This was because the capitalist system favoured by those running America wanted to teach the region (Laos was also obliterated) a lesson for flirting with communism. There was a danger that this would further restrict market access for businesses.
To igore these factors, or the basic issue of imperialism, is, again, disingenuous. Prager is obviously intelligent and well educated. Its a pity seeing his intellect being deployed in such a narrow minded way. The American project is strong enough and good enough to bear such straightforward criticisms. If the project is to continue successfully, an examination like I, but more notably Kinzer and Chomsky have attempted is necessary. Without the capacity to admit mistakes or atone for past wrongs, the trust of those in other countries he said Americans want to, and have, helped will be lost.
Thankfully, we had an example of that recently during the Laos ASEAN Summit where Obama pledged more money to complete the clean up of unexploded bombs in the country. That’s right, not only did they conduct 1.6+m bombing sorties across the region but many of the bombs haven’t exploded yet. It’s hard to imagine something worse than such a bombing campaign. Having unexploded ones staying around 40 years on basically means the bombing hasn’t stopped. Civilians, including children playing, continue being killed. The lesson not to be communist continues being taught.
That’s not to say everything from Prager is wrong or bad, this video from his university about the false pay gap between genders is very well put: