‘Growing number of people filled with rage at the US’
Caleb Maupin is a political analyst from New York City and is an activist with the International Action Center and Workers World Party. He has worked against police brutality and mass incarceration.
Published time: November 13, 2014 14:34
Protesters shout slogans as they block the main Istiklal street in central Istanbul late July 8, 2013. (Reuters/Cevahir Bugu)
The recent incident with the US Navy in Turkey demonstrates the growing distrust and contempt for the US around the world, with people opposing American troops occupying their soil, Caleb Maupin from International Action Centre told RT.
Three US sailors in civilian clothes were attacked in Istanbul by the Turkish Youth Union, a nationalist group. Around 20 members of the group threw balloons of red paint meant to symbolize blood and shouted “Yankee go home!”
RT: So far, US officials have only given a statement calling the incident with three American sailors attacked by nationalists in Istanbul “appalling.” Do you expect them to take further action?
Caleb Maupin: When I first saw that video I was forced to think about a lot of people I went to high school with. I grew up in a small town in Ohio, and a lot of people I graduated with went into the military. When I thought about that, you know, these young men and women shouldn’t be in Turkey, they shouldn’t be around the world at military bases all around the world. They should be here in the US. The US is crumbling right now - infrastructure, bridges are not secure, water is not being purified, hospitals are closing, schools are closing. These military bases all around the world, these young people who genuinely want to help their country shouldn’t be in foreign lands, they should be in the US doing the work that needs to be done.
We need to think about the situation of the Turkish people. The Turkish people have a proud history of asserting their national independence and their rights with their brave leaders as Kemal Ataturk and others. How humiliating it must be for them to have foreign troops from the US on their soil! The US is not propping up some kind of democracy in Turkey. The Turkish state which is a member of NATO is very oppressive. When the people of Turkey went out to protest in Gezi Park, some of them were killed. This is a repressive state. Serena Shim, a reporter who presented the news in a way the Turkish state didn’t like, ended up dead. This whole situation shows the need for the US to really stop engaging in this military aggression around the world, close down its military bases, start caring for people at home instead of pushing for war around the world.
Riot police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators during a protest at Taksim Square in central Istanbul July 6, 2013. (Reuters/Serkan Senturk)
RT: What impact could this have on Washington's relations with Ankara?
CM: It really reinforces, there is a real distrust and contempt for the US around the world. Many people around the world, not just in Turkey, but in Asia as the US escalates the military presence there in the so-called ‘Asian pivot’, in Africa and other parts of the world, they don’t see the US as brave liberators or cowboys coming to rescue them. They view the US as a very corrupt influence on their societies, they see Wall Street and London - the financial powers in the world – they see them as really pulling the strings behind what the Pentagon and Washington do. There is a great deal of distrust and a kind of contempt for what Wall Street and London have forced on the world. I think that’s something that the people in the US really need to understand. Young people in the US shouldn’t be fighting for democracy in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan; they should be fighting for democracy at home. The US has really been racked by a criminal cartel of Wall Street bankers and monopolies. If we want to fight for democracy, we need to do this at home, and these young people shouldn’t really be sent around the world and go to places where people clearly don’t want them to be. The people in the world do not want the US troops occupying their homelands.
RT: The attackers were from a nationalist group that's against American imperialism. Could we see more incidents like this?
CM: As the global economic crisis rages and the economy gets worse, there is going to be an increasing number of people who are filled with rage at the US and enact this rage in various ways. Turkish society is full of people who have fought for their independence, some of them are leftists, some of them are Islamic revolutionaries, some are nationalists – there are very many different currents in Turkish society who don’t like the influence of Wall Street and London, don’t like the fact that they are a member of NATO, don’t like the fact that they are basically being used as a base area for the US to attack Syria. They don’t like that and there is a widespread hostility to what the US is doing and to the presence of the US troops on Turkish soil just like they are in so many other countries, they go as far away as to the Philippines – there is a hostility to the presence of the US troops there as well.