Bully Nations

Copyright 2011, John Manimas Medeiros

The arrogant Americans are again lecturing the world on morality. There is a movement in the schools and communities to stop "bullying" among children and adolescents. Interesting that bullying should not be tolerated among the young, although it is the rule among adults, and among nations.

What is "bullying?" It is nothing terribly more sophisticated than might makes right. Bullying means the big and strong lord it over the small and weak. The strong and those with powerful social or economic status in the community ridicule, belittle and humiliate those with less power and lesser status. One can search for and find complex psychological motivations, the hidden fears or illnesses in those appearing to be secure. But however complex the explanation, the execution is simple: the big and strong terrorize and control the small and weak. And nations do this all the time, and this is why young people are participating in bullying, because they are taught by the examples of their elders that bullying is the way of the world.

Let me give just two examples of the cosmically destructive bullying perpetrated by the large and powerful nations upon the small and weak: fishing of the seas and the possession of weapons.

Before we look at the reality of bully nations, let's take a quick look at the self-serving hypocrisy of the United Nations Charter. These are the rules for the "self-determination of peoples" that are supposed make all the nations equal before international law.

Chapter I Purpose and Principles

Article I

The purposes of the United Nations are:

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

4. To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

Article II

The organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article I, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.

1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

2. All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.

Now let's look at what really happens. First, removing fish from the seas. By the law of the seas, upheld by the large and powerful nations, the oceans and their contents are not owned by any nation or people. Everyone and no one has jurisdiction over the high seas. The largest nations, with the greatest industrial capacity, build factory ships and fishing systems that employ enormous nets that remove fish from the seas like vacuum cleaners remove dirt from floors and carpets. Previously, there were small fisheries, a captain with a fishing boat, or small crews, all from the smaller nations of the world, who played a crucial role in harvesting protein-rich seafood from the oceans of the world. This vitally important source of protein might be called coastal fisheries or "local fisheries" or shallow sea fisheries. They are and have been for centuries fished by small ships that leave the shores of coastal nations for short periods of time and return with the most important source of protein for the people of those nations. But the coastal fisheries of Latin America and Africa and parts of Asia have been decimated by the over-fishing factory ships of the United States, Russia, Japan and other larger nations, such as Norway.

The factory ships of the bully nations have changed the ecology of the oceans. The Atlantic cod, once a staple source of protein for many nations, is reduced to near extinction and will probably never return as it was before because the cod have lost their niche in the ocean ecology. The baby cod are consumed by other species before they can mature. So many species of fish have been removed from the South Pacific, the Humboldt squid, previously controlled by the predation of many fish upon the baby squid, is now a dominant species, moving north and devastating many ocean species with their voracious predation. The ecology of the Pacific is changed, probably permanently and it provides far less protein for the smaller nations of Latin America who do not have the great plains and abundant arable land that the North Americans and Europeans and Russians have to produce protein on land.

The factory ships have also decimated the fishing resources of the South Eastern Atlantic and the Northwest coast of Africa, so that the poorer people of the small West African nations now harvest "bush meat," for their protein, meaning wild animals of questionable nutritional value and that present a great danger of new and lethal diseases being transmitted from the wild to human civilization. The fishing communities of the East African coast now have no local fishing economy, and many of the unemployed young men have turned to piracy. Such is the effect of the large nations exercising their right to remove anything of value that they can from the unowned oceans. Thus, although the United Nations, controlled by the Security Council of China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom and the United States, multiplies pretty words and promises of the self-determination of nations, the small nations must determine themselves within the confines of the game where the larger nations use their superior manufacturing power and the control of banking to suck the resources out of the Earth before the little ones have caught their breath.

This same bullying occurs with regard to the possession of weapons. The five larger nations that are the Security Council of the United Nations are the five greatest suppliers of weapons to all the nations of the world. So they feed the capacity of tyrants to impose civil wars on the smaller nations, often fought for access to the sudden and fleeting wealth that results from the larger nations exploiting the natural resources of the smaller nations, by "investing" in the mining industries in the smaller nations. This pattern of "investing" in the extraction of minerals usually means controlling the extraction of the minerals for the benefit of the larger nations, who need everything of value in large quantities.

While the people of the smaller nations fight among themselves because of economies of scarcity, scarcity of food and clean water and access to opportunity, the large nations sell to them and give them the high-tech weapons that escalate the violence and destructive effects of their civil wars. And, while the horrible carnage caused by what we call "conventional" weapons, by chemical explosives and automatic firearms, land mines and shrapnel and incendiary bombs, the larger nations make a great show of moral conscience with regard to nuclear weapons or "weapons of mass destruction." We cannot have, they insist, every dissident group going around making or buying nuclear weapons. The nuclear bombs present too serious a threat to life. They are not really effective weapons because they are too big to be used against an ordinary military target. They are unavoidably weapons that decimate civilian targets, capable of killing millions of people in any city within minutes. Therefore, no small nations should have such weapons. The spread of nuclear weapons from the larger nations -- again including the Security Council of the United Nations -- to the smaller nations, must be prevented. Is this not a suspicious call for moral principles?

Let's try to look at the function of nuclear weapons scientifically. The larger nations possess nuclear weapons today. The first nations to try to build nuclear weapons were Germany, Japan, the United States and Russia, then France, the United Kingdom and China. But the larger nations do not need nuclear weapons to defend themselves. They possess enormous industrial capacity and strong, diversified economies. They control the banking and investment systems of the world. The United States prevailed in World War II because it was free to manufacture the weapons of war that were required without having to cope with any effective direct attacks on its civilian populations. The smaller nations have either a limited industrial capacity or practically none. Therefore, in order to defend themselves, or in order for their capacity to wage war to gain even minimal respect, they would benefit greatly from the possession of nuclear weapons. The ability of a small nation to defend itself, to maintain its "homeland security" in a manner that might be recognized and respected by the larger nations actually require that a small nation possess nuclear weapons. It cannot otherwise defend itself with its small and poorly equipped army.

Let's take another look, this time at which nations present the greatest risk of using a nuclear bomb. First, let's list all those nations that have already used a nuclear bomb in a theatre of war. There is only one nation on that list: the United States of America. Then let's list those nations that have built many nuclear bombs and are known to have one or more means of delivering such weapons of mass destruction to another territory. Once again we find the Security Council at the top of that list: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom. Then add India, Germany, Brazil? and possibly several other larger nations that do not like the political effect of being known as a nuclear power. These larger nations then make the claim that nuclear weapons should not "proliferate" because large numbers of nuclear weapons, in the hands of small nations or terrorist groups, presents a great danger to the world. Of course it would, but what about the obvious and oppressive danger presented to the world, especially to all of the oppressed or "bullied" small nations of the world who are either manipulated and drawn into wars by the larger nations -- with or without the use of nuclear weapons? What would the world be like if fifty small nations each possessed five nuclear weapons with well-protected missile launching devices, that could be directed at the large nations, the ones who have removed all the fish from the sea so that the oceans are now becoming overrun with vast epidemics of toxic jellyfish? The large nations who have poisoned the oceans and the air we breathe to the point of threatening life on Earth? Then the large nations, the bullies of the planet, would lose much of their oppressive power. The large nations could not so easily lord it over the small if they knew that the small could sting them with a nuclear bomb allegedly detonated by a "terrorist cell."

We are kidding ourselves, perhaps, about fighting unnamed terrorists hiding in caves, unconnected to any legitimate, civil governments. What if the terrorists are financed by funds filtered through hidden channels that originate in the Caribbean Sea and the Andean plateaus, and from the jungles and rain forests and starving deserts of the world? Because they want to create a little balance in the world, give a little power to the little nations, who are perpetually subjected to the hypocrisy and oppression of the large, who pledge to uphold moral principles and then take everything for themselves.

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