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Who Is Helping Who? Essay

1039 words - 5 pages

Most of the western world has participated in some sort of imperialism, America included. The idea of imperialism makes sense to us because we have lived in a culture that has benefited from the artifacts of imperialist actions. However, what if the tables were turned? Instead of our country performing the seizing of land that is not ours, we are residents of a land that has had an unwelcome occupier take over the country. Most people would not take so kindly to such intervention. Most Americans realize the pillage of the Native American’s land as one of the biggest blemishes on our nation’s history. America is still paying the price for the wrongdoing to Native Americans in the form of ...view middle of the document...

Means refutes the idea that Europeans will learn to be respectful of other people and resources. The fact that Means has this opinion of Europeans is not surprising; the Americans were not known for adhering to treaties with Native Americans during westward expansion. One can see how easy it is to see the Europeans as selfish, knifing, and superior. The fact that Europeans are unable to listen to the Native Americans is important today in Karzai’s interview with the Washington Post.
While the war in Afghanistan has mentally, physically, and fiscally drained the United States, it has done even more to the country and people of Afghanistan, which has to live the war on a daily basis. Originally, the war was founded on just causes to seek out Al Qaeda members responsible for planning and carrying out terrorist attacks. However, because of the character of war, it was difficult to avoid all civilian casualties. Karzai saw his people dying and Americans potentially doing the wrong thing and was led to the conclusion that America was in Afghanistan for personal interests, not to rebuild the country. Karzai’s grievances come from lack of focus on the Taliban in Pakistan and illegal holding of prisoners who may not be guilty. President Karzai is feeling the same range of emotions that Means and the millions of Native Americans before him felt as the Americans took over a land that they were not welcome in. Karzai clearly disdains civilian casualties. Because of these casualties, relations with the United States have suffered. While still undesirable, causalities would have been tolerated if they were for the good of Afghanistan. However, Karzai believes “the war was ‘for the U.S. security and for the Western interest’” (Sieff). It is unrealistic to expect Afghans to die for U.S. interests much like it is unacceptable to ask Indians to live amongst toxic waste for an industrialized nation they are not a part of.
How does a group of people contest the undue influence of...

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