With its stance on Israel-Palestine conflict, US continues to push Global South away
Published: Nov 06, 2023 05:49 PM
Blind support. Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

The lifespan of my late father, Roberto, coincided with the US' ascendancy to global hegemony. Throughout his life, he witnessed a great deal of American belligerence. We would often watch the news together, and he would regret the US' wars of aggression, coups, and other forms of violent subversions of democracy all over the world. He'd say that "Much of the rest of the world actually loves America! They love our literature, movies, music and some of our sports."

He'd shake his head, condemn the actions of his country which he loved, and empathize with our victims. His point was that there was, and is, some goodwill toward the US from the rest of the world but we were squandering it and pushing everyone away with our bullying. 

It was true then, and is only truer now, as US uncritically supports the government of Israel's civilian killing. On this front, the US was certainly not doing itself any favors by militarily occupying dozens of countries, supporting anti-democratic coups, levying murderous sanctions and threatening nations to support our proxy wars. Inside our borders live internally colonized people. These people are divided by race and class with historic wealth stratification, and a decrease in life expectancy despite our great wealth as a country.

Then recently the US government decided to remind the world of its support for a country that shows no regard for life bombing hospitals and striking schools. With thousands of its people already kidnapped and held as political prisoners, including many children, factions within the Gaza area of occupied Palestine, which Israel has turned into the world's largest concentration camp, tore through Israel's camp fence and took hostages of its own. 

Amid mounting violence, not even progressive US politicians can bring themselves to so much as call for a cease-fire. Our president has lied on live television, falsely claiming that he saw "confirmed" photos of babies beheaded by Arab Palestinians, and fans the flames of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, while denying the death toll of Palestinians living under this intensified siege from their colonizers.  

US policy and rhetoric on Palestine are at odds with what our eyes can see and what the world's leading human rights organizations say. The world is responding clearly and not buying US policies or propaganda. 

Marches in support of the people of Palestine against Israel and the US' colonial rule and recent intensified bombardment have sprung up around the world. It is clear that the world, especially the Global South, sees its own reflection in Palestine.

As the US continues to help colonize and illegally occupy the land of indigenous people in the Middle East, it isn't hard for the rest of the Global South to be reminded of the ways the US and the West more broadly have and still do dominate them at the tip of a spear. What's more, US power is no longer a take-it-or-leave-it proposition for the rest of the world.

The US is no longer the world's only power. Our military arsenal is certainly still large enough to pose an existential threat to the world's population, but we lag in almost every other category pertinent to measuring a power's health. 

In contrast to the US' domestic decline and inequality, China has all but eliminated extreme poverty within its borders and has become the world's largest economy. The US threatens African and Central and South American nations. China, however, is using its emerging economic strength to support development there with cheap loans. 

While the US drops bombs around the world each week, China is not at war with a single sovereign nation. While the US lies on behalf of other colonial powers like Israel, helping it bomb hospitals and slander the victims, the Chinese government has publicly called for a cease-fire and vetoed a UN resolution for its problematic language.

What's more, the Chinese government, in July, explicitly announced that China is naturally a member of the Global South and will always be a member of the big family of developing countries. China defined its inclusion within the Global South largely by providing an alternative to Western hegemony.

The US is once more aggressively pushing the Global South away. The US government seems to think this has the effect of tossing these nations away, exiling them into obscurity.
Instead, it might only be pushing them into the world's new power, a power which is less warring and more welcoming. 

The author is a Chicago-based columnist covering US politics and culture. He is also a university English and critical journalism instructor. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn