[News] World Cup Domination & Entertaining the Empire
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 18 10:49:03 EDT 2010
Nima Shirazi World Cup Domination &
Entertaining the Empire: One Aim Changes Everything
Shirazi Jun 17th, 2010 at 21:39
"Our situation is like a football match. The
superpower countries are the players, and we are
just the ball to be kicked around."
young Pakistani civilian, North Waziristan
The Great Game is indeed alive and thriving. This
summer's World Cup tournament is providing yet
another way for the United States to project its
power across the globe, though not as a result of
the American national team's action on the pitch.
Rather, this year, the subjugation will be televised.
While the presence of U.S. Marine Corps
recruiting advertisements at each and every
commercial break is perhaps mundane at this
point, far more surprising is the frequent,
scripted announcement by various British and
Scottish play-by-play commentators calling the
games for ESPN that "we'd like to welcome our men
and women in uniform, serving in over 175
countries and territories, watching today's 2010
FIFA World Cup match on AFN, the American Forces
Network." Other various comments have also been
made about how proud the ESPN color men are of
the American troops, what a fine job they are
doing, and that the commentators "sincerely hope
[the soldiers] are enjoying the broadcast."
Beyond the surreal fact that
from the UK, like Adrian Healey, Martin Tyler,
and Ian Darke, are eagerly praising American
soldiers and sailors during the broadcast as
their own ("our brave men and women
"), how can
the rest be said with a straight face or without
the most shameful sense of hypocrisy? That there
are US troops
in over 175 countries around the world is a
stunning fact in itself although well-known by
now if you've been paying attention at all for
the past decade. At this point, there's probably an 'App' for that.
But again, this is the World Cup, and overseas
ESPN announcers are lauding the attention,
entertainment, and service of U.S. world
domination forces, a military that has invaded,
occupied, overthrown, exploited, bombed, blasted,
burned, and reduced to rubble many if not most
of the countries that now vie for the cup of
all cups. The same Armed Force that now gets to
enjoy the harmonious excitement of the 'beautiful
game' in all its High Def glory has
and supported instability (to say the least) in
countries like Greece (1947-49, over 500 U.S.
armed forces military advisers sent to administer
hundreds of millions of dollars in their civil
war), Brazil (1964, U.S. backs a coup d'etat to
overthrow popular president João Goulart), Chile
(1973, U.S.-supported military coup overthrows
and murders democratically-elected president
Salvador Allende and brings dictatorship of
Pinochet to power), Uruguay (1973, U.S.-backed
coup brings military dictatorship to power),
Argentina (1976, military junta deposes
government of Isabel Perón with U.S. knowledge
and support), Honduras (besides past
interventions in 1905, 1907, 1911, and 1943, in
1983 over 1000 troops and National Guard members
were deployed to help the contra fight against
Nicaragua, not to mention the U.S. support for
last year's coup), Slovenia and Serbia (1992-6,
U.S. Navy joins in a naval blockade of Yugoslavia
in Adriatic waters; 1999, U.S. participated in
months of air bombing and cruise missile strikes in Kosovo 'war').
The U.S military is essentially still occupying
Germany (52,440 troops in over
installations), Japan (35,688
with an additional 5,500 American civilians
employed by the DoD oh yeah, and Japan pays
about $2 billion each year for the US to be there
as part of the
Yosan,' or 'compassion budget'), and South Korea
(28,500 U.S. troops). There are 9,660 U.S troops
still stationed in Italy, 9,015 in the United
Kingdom, over 1,300 in Serbia and over 1,200 in Spain.
Furthermore, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands,
France, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia,
Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Algeria,
Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, South
Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Honduras,
Mexico, Paraguay, and Uruguay all suffer the
presence of at least a few American soldiers who
are officially stationed there (some of these
countries are forced to host 400-800 US troops).
All told, there are about 78,000 American
military personnel in Europe, along with
approximately 47,240 in East Asia and the
Pacific, 3,360 in North Africa, the Near East,
and South Asia (obviously not including the
92,000 troops in
in Afghanistan and Pakistan), 1,355 in
sub-Saharan Africa, and an additional 1,940 in
the Western Hemisphere outside the United States itself.
Literally, the only country in this year's World
Cup proceedings without any sort of token or
actual United States military presence is
surprise surprise North Korea. And even this
might change if Obama gets
way. That would put American troops in every
single one of the 32 countries currently
competing in South Africa, along with over 140 others.
release distributed by U.S. Africa Command (US
AFRICOM) this week excitedly reports, "Through
the cooperation of a host of international
television licensees, the American Forces Network
Broadcast Center (AFN-BC) has been granted
permission by the Fédération Internationale de
Football Association (FIFA) to distribute the
full complement of matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa."
in Stars and Stripes, quotes Lt. Col. Steve
Berger, an intelligence planner with U.S. Army
Africa stationed in Vicenza, Italy, as saying,
"Its really great for the soldiers to see,
especially for an emerging sport in the U.S.
(And especially so that they can get a glimpse of
the kinds of people they'll be ordered to kill
next!) Even more exciting is the fact that,
"Because AFN doesnt pay for programming, it was
important that it receive the rights to the World
Cup for free, AFN chief of affiliate relations Larry Sichter said."
Apparently, the U.S. military can invade your
country and station troops there indefinitely,
but it sure as hell won't pay for television
broadcasting! Especially not with the $531
billion allocated this fiscal year for U.S.
(a total which is expected to
by $18 billion next year along with an additional
$272 billion for the ongoing occupation of Iraq,
the escalation in Afghanistan, the
predator drone bombings in Pakistan, and
a nuclear arsenal in clear violation of the
requirements of the NPT). The U.S. armed forces just can't spare a square.
FIFA probably had no choice but to comply with
the requests of the U.S. military for fear of
having their offices occupied or
to pieces. What a relief a deal was struck! How
global! How peaceful! How imperial! How obvious,
unsurprising, and embarrassing.
"Having the most-watched sports event on the
planet play out on AFN is a real feather in our
cap," notes Jeff White, Executive Director of
AFN-BC, in the text of the military press release
filed from Riverdale, CA via Stuttgart, Germany.
"But more importantly," White continues, "we'll
be able to deliver the entire compliment of
matches to the side that means the most our
brave men and women in uniform serving their
country overseas and in harm's way. It doesn't get any better than this."
That, out of the planetary pride, representation,
and unification that the World Cup is supposed to
be all about, the U.S. military would be "the
side that means the most" is in itself upsetting
but hey, it's a military press release and the guy's name is White after all.
But White is wholly wrong about "it" not getting
"any better than this." There is a very simple
way for things to be much, much better. If the
U.S. reduced its dominating and destructive
presence and aggressive involvement around the
world and dismantled the
of foreign installations that keep the rest of
the world in submissive subjugation and under
American occupation, these brave men and women in
uniform could and should be watching these 64
soccer games from the comfort of their own homes
in the United States, on the couch with their families.
For the sake of the entire world, it truly wouldn't get any better than that.
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