Personal Narrative: The Transformation Of America

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What happened? Well, that’s really not difficult to explain. America once was the most respected, and admired, nation in the world. But then, suddenly, things began to change quite radically and, over a period of several decades, America went from being the most respected nation in the world to the most feared. Going from the most respected to the most feared is quite a feat, so how did such a transformation evolve?

We might call what happened to America “the good cop, bad cop” syndrome. After World War II, the U.S. was highly respected and thought of as that good cop that had led the efforts to defeat the primary Axis powers of Germany and Japan. After that war, it had, more or less, assumed the role of protector of the world.

America is no longer viewed as a protector of the world but, rather, a mighty military force that is protecting its own national interests. Quite a reversal of roles, is it not? The skies are full of our air power; the seas teeming with our fleets; and a
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When did all this unrestrained militarism really take shape? We could say it began when, in 1950, U.S. forces were deployed in South Korea to help that nation fend off the threats of invasion by North Korea’s armies. The stated reason for our involvement in that war that ended in 1953 was, supposedly, to stop the spread of communism. So let’s call that the beginning.

However, I believe that the large growth of U.S. militarism began after several hundred thousand of our troops were deployed in Vietnam, beginning in 1965 during the era of the Cold War. That horrific military conflict lasted until the U.S. was forced to exit that country in 1975, but not before we had lost the astounding number of 58,000 troops and more than 2 million Vietnamese had been killed. During that war the U.S. used napalm, white phosphorus, and Agent Orange toxic chemicals to subdue the enemy and that country; it didn’t

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