The ruthless shootout at the Gurdwara at Oak Creeks, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin was a blatant example of what is called domestic terrorism in the United States. The shooter was Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old army veteran who was sacked from the army back in 1998. He was supposedly a supremacist and a neo-Nazi who was a member of several hate groups.
But this is not just a person behaving outrageously, it is a damaged product of a culture that doesn’t fear god, is faithless, has no morals and is highly individualistic, impulsive and is swollen with pride.
America is disturbingly reliant on weapons as the symbol of power. Majority of its weapons expenditure need not be defensive; it very well falls into the “offensive” category.
Every year the United States spends more than 500 billion dollars on defence. It accounts for 41 percent of the world’s total military expenditure, which is more than the combined defence expenditure of the next 14 countries in the list. Due to its power in the international realm, it necessitates other states to also step up their defences, but none of them yield as much power as the United States. After USA, China spends the maximum on its defence, which is still leaps and bounds behind USA.
Even the recession did not witness any significant reduction in their defence expenditure.
The American culture also attests dependence on weapons, depicting it to be cool to carry the merciless instrument of destruction. It is the ultimate American fantasy to be an FBI agent, and work in top secret assignments wearing black suits, and carrying fancy gadgets and arms.
The army training of the attacker further shows his coolness towards the act of killing. His indifference to the loss of a life and racial intolerance are the products of tough training gone astray.
This also shows the American sense of superiority and disinterest in learning about different cultures. After the attack, the difference between Sikhs and Muslims were reiterated on American channels, whereas the earliest Sikhs had immigrated to America more than a century ago.
Page is not the first instance of America’s intensive training backfiring. The term used for any agent, operative or operation that has turned on its creators is called “blowback” in the CIA dictionary.
The biggest blowback on USA was undoubtedly, the now-slain Al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden. This was the product of the US capitalisation of the turmoil and agony in the middle-east, especially Afghanistan by encouraging Islamic militancy and providing them with weapons and training. This had been done to tilt loyalties towards USA. Afghanistan was a playground meant to be Soviet Union’s Vietnam, but it became an intangible crisis which had so many actors and has cost so many lives and damages that normalcy has not been restored yet.
America seriously needs to rethink its approach for attaining security and hopefully one day, not far away, we will live in a world where trust and tolerance reaches the heart of people instead of bullets.
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P.S. I have used certain sources for this article which may be mentioned:
- Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)’s recent trends-http://www.sipri.org/research/armaments/milex/resultoutput/trends
- Growth in U.S. Defense Spending Since 2001 , US Department of Defense FY2013 Budget Request, February 2012.
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