By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, April 29, 2023
Imagine a world where a broad coalition of people and groups unites against militarism and oligarchy, and where there are as many successes as failures to discuss.
Or just look at Latin America.
In a recent book, and in numerous articles, I’ve argued for burying the Monroe Doctrine after 200 years, and for supporting those at work doing so.
Right now, in Washington DC, CODEPINK has organized a gathering of people and organizations to advance this cause. Today’s forum has been streaming live on Facebook.
What we can see in these videos (or in person if you were here) is a movement that has energy and organization, that has done its research, recruited its experts and advocates, made its case, and won victories that can be built on, a movement that can quote statements of elected officials, such as the President of Mexico, that are indistinguishable from those of activists.
Of course a great deal remains to be done. One session on Saturday addressed the deadly use of sanctions with a great deal of solid research establishing the murderous intentions and results of economic sanctions — something about which most people in the United States, whose “democratic” government is responsible, have no idea.
The people of Latin America are winning over their own publics, and their own governments, and creating effective resistance to U.S. imperialism without winning over the U.S. public or the U.S. government. Can you imagine the greater success the pink wave of Latin America might have if the U.S. public were seriously supporting it — or even cheering for it as though it were a war in Ukraine or some tough talk toward China?
As discussed on Saturday, there are international organizations — most of them based here in Washington, D.C., in need of reform and dismantling, from the IMF to the OAS — the OAS with a statue of Queen Isabella out front that was donated by a Spanish dictator; it came in for some serious criticism:
“The role of the OAS in laying the foundation for the coup in Bolivia represents the most egregious by this organization in recent history” – @francemanuele #RIPMonroeDoctrine pic.twitter.com/EmlUhw4t4K
— CODEPINK (@codepink) April 29, 2023
The trouble is that many object more to the Trump gang praising the Monroe Doctrine than to the Trump and Biden gangs acting on it. The Monroe Doctrine is not simply military conquest, but permanent bases, training of troops, propagandizing of elites, application of economic pressure through sanctions and withdrawal of (or increase in) investment, interference in elections, imposition of loan conditions, corporate trade agreements, etc. Ending all of these practices is not within sight, but the idea is alive and advancing.
When Chile nationalizes its lithium mining, as recently announced, U.S. corporations can still buy the stuff; they just can’t STEAL it. This ought to be an easy decision for people who imagine they support democracy. There ought to be no question which side we are all on. The OAS, after all, also has a statue of Simon Bolívar.
As much discussed on Saturday, the Catholic Church’s renunciation this year of the Doctrine of Discovery — put into U.S. law in 1823, the year of the Monroe Doctrine — ought to inspire not only renunciation (that would be nothing new) but the actual abandonment by the U.S. government of both of these twin doctrines of imperialistic horrors.