The World Without US (2008);

World_Without_US_Cover“The World Without US” is a documentary asking a simple question: what if we pulled our military out of other countries, and used it only to defend ourselves?

The filmmakers talk to a number of people, and they gather a wide variety of responses.

One mother in Serbia blames the US for the loss of her son and her husband. They were NOT killed by a US attack. To her, they were killed because the US waited too long to intervene. By doing nothing, we were responsible for her loved ones’s deaths.

Again, we did nothing, but we get the blame. Her country was, by the way, “protected” by a group from the European Union, though they were not allowed to shoot, even if to protect civilians. A Dutch unit–according to the film–was even captured. Some of the ethnic cleansers wore Dutch uniforms as they shot civilians dead. Eventually, the US intervened, and the killing stopped.

The next ethnic cleansing that popped up in that region, we didn’t wait. We bombed and shot and snuffed out the murderous hordes. The US did.

The only thing defending Japan right now is, essentially, the US Military. Japan has a good navy and a good air force (stocked with US ships and planes, respectively), but what if the US pulled out our military troops? Would Japan have to develop “the bomb” to keep safe? One thing they (understandably) swore they’d never build?

Taiwan would certainly be taken quickly if we left.

The Middle East would be a massive dust storm as Iran took Israel, then Kuwait, Iraq, and whomever else they wanted to.

A well-trained Boy Scout troop could take over many of the European Economic Union countries, because they have only token militaries.

According to the film–and its expert commentators–if the US pulled out of every foreign land, and concentrated on defending our own country, the global map would change very quickly.

The beautiful part of this documentary is the number of people who RESENT our government interfering in their countries. Were I a four-star general, I’d basically post a banner on our airfield gate saying “FUCK YOU! ‘BYE!”, and bring every service member home.

I think I’d do that in a lot of countries.

In some areas–South Korea, for one–we are essentially the only thing keeping the North Koreans from taking over. And North Korea has nukes. Seoul could be rubble before our last C-5B Galaxy landed all our troops and equipment back home.

We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on the military, and yet we aren’t at war protecting the US. We’re stuck in Afghanistan and Iraq, because we had a President who got us in there under false pretenses.

The documentary would say, “Let them sort out which pile of rubble belongs to whom, andlet’s go back home.”

Again, the world would be a very different place. Moreover, the United States would be a very different place. If our government took half  the military budget, and sunk that money into education, infrastructure, and Social Security, it would enrich our lives. A $200,ooo,ooo,ooo windfall would take a chunk out of our national debt, or provide a tax break.

One of the most moving pictures in “The World Without US” is during the segment on Japan. The narrator is describing how the US essentially provides Japan’s military protection at no charge, while a gleaming, high-tech train pulls into a station. That’s infrastructure. Ours isn’t nearly that good.

It’s a tough question, whether or not to pull-out the US military world wide. It would cause a hell of a lot of turmoil, but we’d still have the best army in the world. We’d be safe at home, and we could work on becoming the economic power we once were.

The Twentieth Century was the American Century, so historians say. The Twenty-First will likely be The Asian Century. I think we could win all the victories we need without firing a shot. Sadly, I’d also have no problems letting other countries short themselves out. We’re like Mike Tyson getting into a street fight, then having to stay in the street fight for year-after-year.

One part of this documentary I thought I’d hate, but I ended up liking was a fake Presidential candidate, promising to bring our military home. He listed all the benefits the American people would receive. It was some pretty serious campaigning.

And sadly, I think I’d vote for the son of a bitch.

Grade: B+


About tom

B.A. in Literature, Minor in Film Theory and Criticism, thus meaning all I’m trained is to write blog posts here. Neptune is my favorite planet–it vents methane into the solar system like my brother does. I think Chicken McNuggets look like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. There are times when I’m medicated, which is why I wrote about McNuggets. Buy some today and tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, Beyond that: mammal, Floridian, biped.Good Night, and Good Luck. Besos, tom
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2 Responses to The World Without US (2008);

  1. Lurkertype says:

    Sounds fascinating, and infuriating.

    Yep, let ’em sort out themselves with their own money.


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