Thursday, March 05, 2015

Monroe Doctrine Reflex in Latin America

With Latin America, it's threat Whac-A-Mole. Check out this op-ed in CNN about China. So much ignorance out there. This is their reasoning:

Two months ago, the CELAC countries held a big meeting. Instead of going to Washington, they went to Beijing for the first formal conference between China and the region.

I am not sure why this is viewed as so threatening. As anyone should know, by definition CELAC will never meet in Washington so that is something we should never expect. If CELAC countries are desperately in need of loans so meet in China, how precisely does that threaten U.S. interests? They never say, but rather stick with the commonly held and easily refutable points about the U.S. not paying attention to Latin America.

There is endless threat mongering. China, Russia, Iran. Evidence is always thin or missing.

We eat this up in the United States because we are fueled with a constant barrage of paranoia (indeed, when we make fun of Nicolás Maduro's paranoid ramblings we need to think about glass houses). By any standard, Latin America is currently the most democratic and developed it has ever been, with overall positive relations with the United States. Yet we seem desperate to find external enemies. It's like a Monroe Doctrine reflex.

Meanwhile, my own member of Congress just published a guide telling us how to survive a terrorist attack. It actually includes a picture of a mushroom cloud, I guess so you know it when you see it. It's all about fear, which bizarrely we seem to thrive on (even when I was a kid--it made me think of The Day After). If people see that as normal, no wonder they see a threat everywhere they look in Latin America. Enemies are everywhere and they're out to destroy us.


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