"Boycott USA": A campaign whose time has finally
By Richard Sanders, coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade
Someday, perhaps not too far in the future, the US will have alienated so many nations and peoples that a "Boycott USA" campaign will grow to massive proportions and it will have real clout. Just as in the 1980s, South Africa was widely recognized as a racist regime to be boycotted, many are now looking upon the US as the world's leading pariah state. It's power spreads much much globally than South Africa's ever did. The globalization of apartheid seems to be gaining strength and there are many fronts upon which the US is seen as a major bully and criminal for the behaviour of its government, its military and its corporations. (Even its tourists aren't too well received in many places.) Just as South Africa's racist regime was ostracized by so much of the world community, the US power elite must face that possibility. Someday they too may face a major global movement to boycott their nation.
The list of US transgressions and criminal actions is of course very long. An encyclopedia could and should be written to elucidate these. Nowadays, the list is growing faster than perhaps ever before. Simultaneously, alternative sources of news and information about these US violations are reaching more and more people. Thankfully, it is becoming harder and
harder for the government and the corporate media to pull the wool over the publics' eyes. (Also, thanks largely to the revolution in communications, the internet has made it very easy to create an online "petition/pledge" that could potentially be signed by millions of people in literally a few days.)
All this makes a "Boycott US" campaign much more likely to be accepted and news of it more likely to spread incredibly quickly.
I think that within the next few years, decades at the most, global opposition to the US will indeed become so strong that a boycott of US products, services, etc., will be a incredible force to be contended with. Actually, the boycott of US products has already begun, most notably in the Arab world. It will likely grow in leaps and bounds, if and when the US invades Iraq, again.
If they were to invade The Hague, Netherlands, the boycott US movement would get a much bigger boost. Imagine a day, perhaps not too far in the future when some US military or political figure is apprehended and charged with crimes against peace, crimes against humanity or war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) (Perhaps they'll be charged with some crime related to the upcoming invasion of Iraq, or for some particular mass murder in Vietnam, Guatemala, Indonesia, Chile, or wherever -- pick your "favourite" US atrocity. The US has already passed laws saying it could "legally" invade The Hague to rescue US soldiers from the ICC if this happens.
Invading the Hague seems like a fantasy but it might happen. It would certainly make many more millions of people very quickly aware that the US is indeed a rampaging rogue superstate.
Other events could trigger a global economic boycott against the US. If they decided to nuke Iraq, North Korea, China (and they do have such plans on the books) such an action could provoke such widespread anti-US government feelings that a widespread boycott of their goods might seriously affect their economy.
A google search for "Boycott US" resulted in over 300 web sites. An internet search using other languages, such as Arabic, would surely yield many more hits. I imagine that in a few years, a search for that same phrase will yield a great many more hits.
Does anyone have any thoughts on how we could proceed in this direction? Perhaps an online "Boycott USA" pledge site should be initiated. It could be similar to COAT's site:
"Global Appeal for No More Violence!" http://www.flora.org/coat/appeal/
Some questions immediately come to mind:
Does such a "boycott USA" pledge site already exist?
Should the boycott include all US:
What else could be included on the list of boycottables?
What should be excluded from the list?
What about US organizations or companies that oppose US policies, should they too be boycotted?
What about consulting with major unions and other organizations in the US?
South African activists supported the international anti-apartheid boycott, will US activists do likewise?
What if there is little or no support from within the US?
Because Canada and the US re so closely tied economically, a "Boycott US" campaign would hurt us too. Are Canadians and others who are tied to the US, willing to embrace such a campaign?
I'm curious to see what people think of this. Is this an idea whose time has finally come?
Here are the first 10 sites that came up with the Google search:
CorpWatch.org - News - Egypt: Protest Groups Boycott US Products
... Home > News > Egypt: Protest Groups Boycott US Products. IN THE NEWS.
... Egypt: Protest
Groups Boycott US Products By Khaled Hanafi Islam Online July 22, 2002. ...
www.corpwatch.org/news/PND.jsp?articleid=3148 - 18k - 16 Oct 2002 - Cached
- Similar pages
Saudis boycott US products -DAWN - Business; 28 April, 2002
... Click to learn more... Please Visit our Sponsor (Ads open in separate
window) Saudis boycott US products By Syed Rashid Husain. RIYADH ...
www.dawn.com/2002/04/28/ebr11.htm - 15k - Cached - Similar pages
CNNfyi.com - Calls to boycott US products challenge Arab ...
... Calls to boycott US products challenge Arab consumers. America's economic
and cultural presence, such as these soft drink vending ...
www.cnn.com/2000/fyi/news/12/01/arab.boycott.ap/ - 26k - Cached - Similar
E-mail this :National campaign to boycott US products: Arab ...
. Nov (30 - 6) 2000 11, Issue No. 24, . Archives .
Feedback . Ad Info 30 - Aug - 2002 /09:08 PM GMT. ...
star.arabia.com/article/sendmail/0,5597,24_171_Jordan%3B+The+front+page_JORDAN,00.html - 17k - Cached -
... Home: Jordan: The front page National campaign to boycott US products:
rally to change American policy in region "EVERY DOLLAR you pay to buy ...
star.arabia.com/article/0,5596,24_171,00.html - 15k - Cached - Similar pages
[ More results from star.arabia.com ]
USATODAY.com - Arab nations see boycotts of US products
... The US is the arch-foe of Islam, and we must boycott US products as
much as possible,"
Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, spiritual leader of the Lebanese ...
www.usatoday.com/money/world/2002-06-26-arab-boycott.htm - 30k - Cached -
ummahnews.com || Original Accurate News for the Ummah
... www.nst.com. 9 May 2002. A grassroots campaign to boycott US products
in Saudi Arabia
has already taken its toll on many local businesses, with sales dropping ...
www.ummahnews.com/viewarticle.php?sid=3421 - 9k - Cached - Similar pages
... SAUDI ARABIA: BOYCOTT US PRODUCTS' CAMPAIGN GAINS MOMENTUM 24 April
2002 | Sarah
Abuljadayel | Arab News - Saudi Arabia The Saudi market is inundated by ...
www.aquascript.com/psc/archives.asp?xid=807 - 28k - 16 Oct 2002 - Cached
ANN/Groong -- Committee issues program details on boycott of US ...
... and products manufactured by pro-Israeli industries issued a document
its program, principles and goals entitled Boycott US products, Save ...
groong.usc.edu/world/me/msg01352.html - 4k - Cached - Similar pages
Boycott Israel News
... View Previous Issues. BOYCOTT ISRAEL CAMPAIGN. Saudis boycott US products.
April 27, 2002 By Syed Rashid Husain For Dawn Online. RIYADH ...
www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-news-0048.html - 11k - Cached - Similar pages