Dilemma of the U.S

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The U.S is one of the countries that widespread globally. Interestingly, California exists in South Korea. The administrative district address of US army’s Korean base is California. Therefore, if you, who live in the U.S, send a package to USFK bases, it will be a domestic delivery. Even it is just an administrative separation, this is quite interesting, because this can be meat that the U.S has their territory in Korea. However, when you just see a USFK base, it does not feel that weird. Since my grand parents live almost right next to the one of the bases, they are familiar to me. The army is stationed in my country because we are just in a state of armistice. It exists for a peace upon many complicated political relationships. The U.S would become an affable invader or a threatening neighbor. This is usually depends on what justification does it have.

Most of my direct experiences in the U.S such as smiley greeting, opened parties and tolerant people, were positive. This can be a feature of quiet countryside, but those could be overall experiences and features of the U.S. However I was surprised when I saw a clip of statement of Yemen’s young man. He studied in the U.S for few years getting help from the U.S government. His misunderstanding on the country was gone away and he became an American citizen. However, when he visited his hometown in Yemen, there was an attack of drone and his family and other people trembled for fear because of the drone’s bombing. Outside of the U.S was different from the U.S that he thought as his friend. I found some odd feeling from his words. He said that if the U.S want to make his people trust the country, it should stop drone attacking right away. His speech seemed like imply the United State of America is a symbol and standard of a global peace and the nation should act as a symbol, but the U.S is not a charity or an international organization. Does the U.S really need a trust of Yemen? The young man gave the justification to the U.S as a guardian of peace and appealed that the country should not throw his trust away not just because of innocent victims. The U.S actually does not have to be a justice and it cannot be a justice. The world mostly expects the aspect of Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima’, but in reality it is more likely flag in the ‘The Soiling of Old Glory’.

I thought the both affable and threatening aspects are one of the identities of the U.S. People I met were also parts of the nation and it was real experience. I could not define all nation of this country, but a lot of them have high quality of manner. The typical images of ‘American’ house would be a one or two floor house with opened green lawn. However, not everyone can enter the fenceless lawn but the only guaranteed people can enter. The gap between seen image and the reality made the difference deeply. I had been interested in many products of the U.S such as Hollywood movies and Disney films, but the experience in Davis is my first step to the lawn. Before my first step, my attitude towards this country was indifferent whether I heard positive news or negative news. The numerical value of how many people died in Pakistan or Iraq by attack of the U.S only give temperate disappoint. The flag can be a justice or a weapon, and it depends on own situation. Also the nation never can be judged by one aspect. This violence dilemma will always remains on the two sides of the country.

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2 Responses to Dilemma of the U.S

  1. Eunsol Shim says:

    The first photo is named ‘Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima’ and taken by Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945. This image, which won the Pulitzer Prize, shows the U.S’s soldiers who were putting their flag into a territory of Japan that attacked Hawaii during the World War II. A symbolic meaning of this ‘flag’ is peace even though the world in the middle of the war, because the action of the photo was a process to suppress Japan from invading other countries cruelly. The flag symbolize not only the U.S but also the solid resolution towards the peace. The second picture won the Pulitzer Prize in 1977, and its name is ‘The Soiling of Old Glory’. On one day of April in 1976, a white teenager was attacking a black lawyer, Ted Landmark during the protesting. The flag is also outstanding through the photo but it does not have such a national symbolic meaning, unlike the first one. Also, the flag became weapon, not a piece of peace. It can be seen as one individual’s anger and hate but the flag’s symbol is still strongly implies us its nationality. The usages on the two photos are considerably different. The first one can be more general usage but the second one is a very new way of using the flag poll.
    While I searched for some Pulitzer photos, I saw these two pictures together having a common nation and common material, the flag. One was the goodness of the world and the other one is the weapon of the racist. I thought that the difference between the photos expressed the current and the past U.S a lot. The U.S has done their role as a center or standard of the globe since World War II. The word ‘neutral’ would not able to express U.S, but it set the balance wonderfully as one of the western centers. Also, it keeps broad their influence by participating or beginning wars such as the Vietnam War and the Iraq War in direct or indirect methods. The United States of America can be seen as a hero in the first photo among the people who are closed to the U.S culture, but the hero is not always that righteous. However, the U.S has apparent inner violence. A ‘Gun’ problem is one unique feature of this country and it is quite interesting that they all share the guns to protect themselves from the guns because they are too democratic. Even many people are against having a gun, the U.S still permits the gun because of the economy and social interests and you might find the history of U.S sticking to guns. When they started as a real American nation not a colony of England, they used their ‘guns’ ironically to find the ‘peace’ as they moved to west following a manifest destiny. Coca-Cola in Food in USA gave similar view with my topic. The book explains Coca-Cola’s origin and how did it developed through the war period, and it resembles the aspect that I mentioned. The company made their very national abroad commercials during World War II. (131) I thought that the commercials encouraged nation’s inner violence for so called ‘world’s peace’. Moreover, the image of Coca-Cola overlapped with the U.S that I talked about. Unlike their positive outer images (hero images according to the above), they include the some violence. In case of Coca-Cola, it is very democratic but it is an empire at the same time considering the fact that 1.7 billion-bottles are sold in a day globally according to Coca-Cola’s annual report of 2010.
    It is not that the U.S society is violent and crazy. Rather, the most of U.S nation are good at respecting other’s diversity. However, the country is still going through a lot of wars at the outside for nation’s safety and it shared violence democratically at the inner side. The U.S tried to sweep the terrorists as a justice for long time, and the country decided to use a drone, an unmanned attacking flight vehicle. It is much easy to avoid global criticism because it is just an unmanned machine and the usage of drones increased dramatically after Obama. Simon Rogers states the machine killed 47 high profile, 175 children, 535 civilians and 2358 others in Pakistan since 2004. I am still not sure which can be the real U.S. The U.S is still standing between the hero and violence dangerously and the two photos of the flag reveal that aspect sharply.

  2. wuyue2004101 says:

    I quite agree with you that “the US is standing between hero and violence dangerously”. Violence and conflict is an important feature of this country. We reach this conclusion by its international affairs (or say, expansion). For example, for China, American government always attack our political system, and criticize that we are lack of citizen rights. This can be seen as American interfering with foreign countries and causing conflicts.
    However, I also think that this country is built on violence and conflict. Actually the appropriate amount of conflict help this country to balance. It’s just like Adam Smith’s free market theory in economics, that the conflict interests and complete competition lead to a most efficient and self-adjusted market. This can also be seen in American national government. They separate powers and give rights to all states. Congress is bicameral, senators and house of representatives are elected from every states, fighting for their own interests. Using the conflicts Americans can more efficiently express their opinions and successfully avoid large scale violence.
    It seems like conflict exists both in domestic and national level. Just like what’s being said in reading Western Films, “a genre of violence, but that violence was carefully contained within a stylized structure and was motivated within that structure by the moral/historical play” (Pg 62,William Mcclain ). This genre not only lies in western films, but also lies in the way they deal with affairs.

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