Yankee Go Home

I remember seeing the signs, years ago, telling us to leave. I saw them in the Middle East, in Asia, in Latin America, and even in some European states as well. All saying “Yankee Go Home”.

And I wondered: Why do these people hate us so much? Aren’t we there to help people? Aren’t we there to do good for the world? Aren’t we trying to spread the peace and prosperity we all know to those less fortunate in the world? I thought, perhaps, those delivering the message were simply too condescending, too holier-than-thou born of a life lived in the sunshine of our democratic way of life. That was a nice but naive worldview. Unfortunately, reality came like a cold slap in the face, and I sometimes wish I still had that idyllic mind-set today.

The year was 1969, I believe, and there was very little news coverage of the problems in Somalia. (Yes, there were problems before the warlords of Mogadishu erupted in the news years later and the famous picture of the dead Marine being dragged through the streets; why did they hate us so? I already knew.) American press had little mention of the war taking place there, but the Times did cover the war. [The Times is the London paper and not to be confused with copycats bearing such prefixes as “New York”; there is only one “Times”. Whatever.]

The story related in the Times told of a new democratically elected government in Somalia attempting to save its natural resources from the clutches of American enterprise. (Yes, that would be us.) Unknown to most Americans, Somalia has the world’s largest deposit of borax, and I am not just talking hand-soap here. Borax is a vital ingredient in many chemical processes and is necessary to our economy. Unfortunately, the Somalians saw it as vital to their economy as well and decided to take it back from the American company who gave them a pittance for the borax in relation to its true value. So they did the unthinkable: nationalizing the borax and forcing the American company out.

At this point, many would agree with the company’s owner, David Rockefeller, that fair is fair and he should receive remuneration for his investment. But a payment would be only a fraction of the future worth of the operation and was deemed unacceptable. Better to just take it back forcibly. So, David Rockefeller instructed the U.S. government to send in troops to protect his investment in the country. But with the Viet Nam War in full swing, Somalia and Rockefeller’s needs were low priority. The State Department did attempt negotiations, but the Somali government would not budge.

Rockefeller then did what any God-fearing Christian banker would do: he hired a mercenary army to invade Somalia, devastate the country, rape, pillage, burn, and topple the democratically elected government and set up a puppet regime of warlords. It is not known exactly how many died by the hands of David’s personal army, but the number was not small.

So, years later, as has happened with so many of the puppet governments we have set up around the world (Panama, Iraq, Iran, etc etc), there was a revolution by the populace against the repressive regime we had established and we went in “to help the people”. (God, what a joke!) And Americans who were to witness the hatred of the locals we had gone in “to help”, wondered at the reason for the depth of the animosity against our “peacekeepers”. Unknown to most Americans, the Somalians had already had a healthy dose of American military might years before and did not need anymore of our “help”.

So, today, whenever I hear of a riot somewhere in the world against a visiting politician, a peacekeeping force, or even a journalist or rock star, I wonder what we did in the past to these people. I learned they do not hate us for our ideologies (although the press would have you believe such <i>obvious</i> bull), they hate us for what we have already done to them in the name of “freedom”.

American freedom has been bought and paid for by the blood of patriots for two centuries. Unfortunately, that blood has as often been that of people we have massacred.

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