Busted Halo
feature: politics & culture
March 2nd, 2002

Oh, Angola, Tell Me You Love Me

A Bad Case of 'Sympathy Envy' for the USA

 
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Could it be that the United States is suffering a severe case of “sympathy envy” these days?

Surely no other nation’s been too keen on the morality of U.S. war aims since it earned the honor of the first nation to use weapons of mass destruction on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

From the secret bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War to the leveling of poor neighborhoods in Panama City during the hunt for Manuel Noriega in 1989 it’s been one case of bullying after another. Nowhere has the playing field been remotely level (leveled is more like it).

Perhaps all the recent eavesdropping, browbeating, and bribing the U.S. is reportedly doing at the United Nations is a consequence of that “sympathy envy.” No doubt, the fact France has garnered more sympathy with protesters worldwide must make everyone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue green with envy, and rife with indigestion.

Nothing inspires envy more than when someone gets sympathy and you don’t.

And right now – Bush don’t.

I’m sure Bush and his oil-fired turks resurrected from daddy’s early 1990′s HR file are convinced the world should be fully sympathetic to any coming shower of laser-guided missiles and cluster bombs.

Why not? After all we’re America. North, that is. The envy of the world.

So, what’s to be done when you’re green with envy over nonexistent sympathy?

Well, if you’re the richest and most powerful country in the world you start bullying�with cash. And lots of it.

Liken it to a sympathy “a la Turkey.” Washington, all of a sudden, was offering Turkey $30 billion in aid, according to Reuters. The timing for this aid is nothing but telling since the U.S. needs the use of Turkish air bases from which to strike Iraq from the north.

This same kind of scenario is well underway with the “Middle Six” of the UN Security Council �which includes Guinea, Morocco, Mexico, and Angola. Envy at work. How exactly? Those countries are key to a favorable Security Council vote on rubber stamping a war against Iraq. As a result they’ve been besieged in their capitals by American officials bearing gifts (aid, all of a sudden) and threats.

London’s Observer newspaper describes the scenario as one where “seasoned diplomats have looked on in awe or felt the heat as America mounted its offensive to browbeat the nations it needs for a Security Council majority.”

Worse is the intense eavesdropping campaign the US has foisted on the diplomatic core of the Middle Six countries. According to the Observer, the eavesdropping on private telephone calls and emails of Middle Six officers in New York is now well established (see article ).

So, what’s at stake for the countries if they don’t fork over some faked sympathy?

I’m sure all of them have been reminded of what happened to Yemen in 1991. Yemen was the only country (except for Cuba), that voted against the use of force in the Gulf War at the U.N. That vote cost the Yemenis $70 million in US aid.

Now there’s a country that deserves sympathy.

 
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The Author : Edward Ortiz
Edward Ortiz is a journalist and writer from western Massachsetts.
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