Always a Voice for Students

Imua ʻIolani

Always a Voice for Students

Imua ʻIolani

Always a Voice for Students

Imua ʻIolani

“Are…we the Baddies?”: How the US Became the Greatest Threat to World Peace

Photo courtesy of CHUTTERSNAP.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ top court, ordered in their ruling on January 26 for Israel to do all it can to prevent death, destruction, and any acts of genocide in Gaza. This ruling comes amidst an ongoing ICJ lawsuit by South Africa against Israel, accusing them of genocide against Palestinians in violation of the Genocide Convention. Since then, the Palestinian death toll has surpassed 30,000 and the military campaign has continued, with Israeli airstrikes killing over 100 people Rafah, a city where 1.4 million Palestinians have fled to, and Israeli troops killed over a 100 people and wounded at least 700 more in an attack on a crowd of people awaiting aid in Gaza City. 

with thousands more remaining unaccounted for— “missing under the debris, buried hastily in side streets or decomposing in areas that can’t be safely reached”. 

It has become increasingly clear that meeting the ICJ orders will prove to be very challenging without a ceasefire. Yet, the United States has provisionally agreed to provide Israel 4 billion a year until 2028, and the US senate has since passed a 14 billion dollar aid package in supplementary funding for Israel. In fact, Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of US aid with military aid exceeding 124 billion and total aid exceeding 300 billion. At the same time, the US along with countries such as Japan has suspended its funding of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which provides humanitarian aid and protection to Palestinian refugees amidst accusations against 12 of the 30,000 UNRWA staff for involvement in a Hamas attack. In February, the US vetoed a widely popular UN resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire Gaza in the 15 member Security Council decision of 13-1, with the United Kingdom abstaining, citing worries that it would interfere with negotiations to free hostages abducted in Israel. “This was the third US veto of a Security Council resolution demanding a cease-fire in Gaza.” 

This unbending American support for Israel’s military campaign has been met with immense global scrutiny, so much so that a team of 50 South African lawyers are currently in the works of filing a class-action lawsuit against the US and UK before the ICJ for their complicity in Israel’s purported genocide in Gaza, citing a lack of accountability. When asked about US accountability in an interview with the Global Times, Wikus van Rensburg, the leader of the South African team of lawyers, said, “America has been, I think, involved in over 30 to 60 wars since World War II. No other country has got such a track record and says it is just protecting the world. Well, it’s protecting its own interests and not the world”. For some Americans, these charges come as a shocking contradiction to their perception of the US as a bastion of human rights and democracy. However, such calls for accountability of the US government not only for its support of Israel but for the role it has played in the global landscape is not a new one. 

Dr. Noam Chomsky, a retired professor, public intellectual and political activist and outspoken critic of US foreign policy, in a 2015 interview with Euronews, stated, “There are two states that rampage in the middle east carrying out aggressions, violence, terrorist acts, illegal acts, constantly. They’re both huge nuclear weapon states and their nuclear armaments. And their nuclear weapons are not being considered. [I am referring to] the United States and Israel.” He continued, accusing the US of being the World’s biggest terrorist, stating that “the worst terrorist campaign happening in the world right now is the one that’s being orchestrated in Washington [referring to the drone and special forces campaign during the Obama administration]. The US is systematically, openly, publicly, carrying out regular campaigns to assassinate people who the US suspects of intending to harm us someday.” It would be far too easy yet deeply regressive to brush off such claims as tendentious, anti-American cynicism. However, as Amanda Gormon once stated in her inaugural poem, ‘being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it’.  Thus, it is worth cultivating our understanding of the role that the US has played in the global landscape, not in spite of, but precisely because we are American. 


“Then victory won’t lie in the blade

But in all the bridges we’ve made

That is the promised glade

The hill we climb

If only we dare

It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,

it’s the past we step into

and how we repair it”

– Amanda Gormon The Hill we Climb

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Chisato T.
Chisato T., Podcasts

Hi! I’m Chisato, and I’m your Podcast Bro! I joined Imua because I’m fascinated by investigative journalism and, surprise, podcasts and books with a journalistic angle. I’m also a member of the Econ Club, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and the Community and Civic Engagement Committee. As a passionate (but very bad and off-key) ‘singer’, I am the proud president of Iolani's very own Karaoke Club. Aside from school and podcasts, I enjoy cooking, reading, chasing after my cat Lulu, and going down juicy academic feuds, scandals and rabbit holes on Google Scholar and Data Colada. 

Comments (0)

All Imua ʻIolani Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *