Criticism of the United States government encompasses a wide range of sentiments about the actions and policies of the United States.
The U.S. has been criticized for making statements supporting peace and respecting national sovereignty, but while carrying out military actions such as in Grenada, fomenting a civil war in Colombia to break off Panama, and Iraq. The U.S. has been criticized for advocating free trade but while protecting local industries with import tariffs on foreign goods such as lumber and agricultural products. The U.S. has also been criticized for advocating concern for human rights while refusing to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The U.S. has publicly stated that it is opposed to torture, but has been criticized for condoning it in the School of the Americas. The U.S. has advocated a respect for national sovereignty but has supported internal guerrilla movements and paramilitary organizations, such as the Contras in Nicaragua. The U.S. has been criticized for voicing concern about narcotics production in countries such as Bolivia and Venezuela but doesn't follow through on cutting certain bilateral aid programs. However, some defenders argue that a policy of rhetoric while doing things counter to the rhetoric was necessary in the sense of realpolitik and helped secure victory against the dangers of tyranny and totalitarianism.
The U.S. has been criticized for supporting dictatorships with economic assistance and military hardware.
President Bush has been criticized for neglecting democracy and human rights by focusing exclusively on an effort to fight terrorism. The U.S. was criticized for alleged prisoner abuse at Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib in Iraq, and secret CIA prisons in eastern Europe, according to Amnesty International. In response, the U.S. government claimed incidents of abuse were isolated incidents which did not reflect U.S. policy.
Some critics charge that U.S. government aid should be higher given the high levels of gross domestic product. The U.S. pledged 0.7% of GDP at a global conference in Mexico. However, since the U.S. grants tax breaks to nonprofits, it subsidizes relief efforts abroad, although other nations also subsidize charitable activity abroad. Most foreign aid (79%) came not from government sources but from private foundations, corporations, voluntary organizations, universities, religious organizations and individuals. According to the Index of Global Philanthropy, the United States is the top donor in absolute amounts.
In 1930–1940 the US collaborated with Stalin regime by building around 1500 factories in the USSR using a slave labor of political prisoners. The USA also covered up genocide of East Ukraine in 1932–1933, that killed between 4 and 6 millions of Ukrainians and in the midst of it established a diplomatic relationship with the USSR.
There has been sharp criticism about the U.S. response to the Holocaust: That it failed to admit Jews fleeing persecution from Europe at the beginning of World War II, and that it did not act decisively enough to prevent or stop the Holocaust.
Critic Robert McMahon thinks Congress has been excluded from foreign policy decision making, and that this is detrimental. Other writers suggest a need for greater Congressional participation.
Jim Webb, former Democratic senator from Virginia and former Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, believes that Congress has an ever-decreasing role in U.S. foreign policy making. September 11, 2001 precipitated this change, where "powers quickly shifted quickly to the Presidency as the call went up for centralized decision making in a traumatized nation where, quick, decisive action was considered necessary. It was considered politically dangerous and even unpatriotic to question this shift, lest one be accused of impeding national safety during a time of war."
Since that time, Webb thinks Congress has become largely irrelevant in shaping and executing of U.S. foreign policy. He cites the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA), the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement, and the 2011 military intervention in Libya as examples of growing legislative irrelevance. Regarding the SFA, "Congress was not consulted in any meaningful way. Once the document was finalized, Congress was not given the opportunity to debate the merits of the agreement, which was specifically designed to shape the structure of our long-term relations in Iraq" (11). "Congress did not debate or vote on this agreement, which set U.S. policy toward an unstable regime in an unstable region of the world." The Iraqi Parliament, by contrast, voted on the measure twice. The U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement is described by the Obama Administration has a "legally binding executive agreement" that outlines the future of U.S.-Afghan relations and designated Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally. "It is difficult to understand how any international agreement negotiated, signed, and authored only by our executive branch of government can be construed as legally binding in our constitutional system," Webb argues.
Finally, Webb identifies the U.S. intervention in Libya as a troubling historical precedent. "The issue in play in Libya was not simply whether the president should ask Congress for a declaration of war. Nor was it wholly about whether Obama violated the edicts of the War Powers Act, which in this writer's view he clearly did. The issue that remains to be resolved is whether a president can unilaterally begin, and continue, a military campaign for reasons that he alone defines as meeting the demanding standards of a vital national interest worth of risking American lives and expending billions of dollars of taxpayer money." When the military campaign lasted months, President Barack Obama did not seek approval of Congress to continue military activity.
One difficulty of the American government is that the lack of oversight for Presidents offers no safeguards for presidential incompetency. For example, Barack Obama has been increasingly criticized for his expansive views on executive powers and mismanaging of several situation, including the Syrian Civil War. In addition, George W. Bush, who was criticized as entering the Iraq War too hastily, had no reproach for his advocacy of the war.
George H. W. Bush was criticized for stopping the first Iraq War too soon without finishing the task of capturing Saddam Hussein. Foreign policy expert Henry Kissinger criticized Jimmy Carter for numerous foreign policy mistakes including a decision to admit the ailing Shah of Iran into the United States for medical treatment, as well as a bungled military mission to try to rescue the hostages in Tehran.
Virtually every President in modern history has been criticized for incompetency in some fashion. However, there are little to no mechanisms in place to provide accountability. Since the only way to remove an incompetent president is with the rather difficult policy of impeachment, it is possible for a marginally competent or incompetent president to stay in office for four to eight years and cause great mischief.
Presidents have not only foreign policy responsibilities, but sizable domestic duties too. In addition, the presidency is the head of a political party. As a result, it is tough for one person to manage disparate tasks, in one view. Many believe that this overburdened duty of presidents allows for incompetency in government.
Since the constitution requires no prior experience in diplomacy, government, or military service, it is possible to elect presidents with scant foreign policy experience. Clearly the record of past presidents confirms this, and that presidents who have had extensive diplomatic, military, and foreign policy experience have been the exception, not the rule. In recent years, presidents had relatively more experience in such tasks as peanut farming, acting and governing governorships than in international affairs. It has been debated whether voters are sufficiently skillful to assess the foreign policy potential of presidential candidates, since foreign policy experience is only one of a long list of attributes in which voters tend to select candidates. President Obama has been widely criticized as too inexperienced for the job, having only served in government for three years before his presidential election. However, party leadership and donors were adamant in their advocacy due his broad appeal, leading to a nominee with little experience.
In addition, an increasing difficulty for providing well-versed Presidents is that the American people in recent years are, in increasing numbers, more distrustful of their government and longterm, career politicians. As such, inexperienced candidates often perform better.
In contrast to criticisms that presidential attention is divided into competing tasks, some critics charge that presidents have too much power, and that there is the potential for tyranny or authoritarianism. Many presidents have circumvented the national security decision-making process, including Obama, Bush, Clinton, and Reagan, as well as others historically. Many critics see a danger in too much executive authority.
Abolish ICE is a political movement that proposes abolition of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The movement gained traction in June 2018, due to controversy of the Trump administration family separation policy.American democracy promotion in the Middle East and North Africa
American democracy promotion in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) aims to encourage governmental and non-governmental actors in the region to pursue political reforms that will lead ultimately to democratic governance. As an area of the world vital to American interests yet generally entrenched in non-democratic, authoritarian rule (with the exceptions of Jewish-majority democratic Israel and semi-democratic Lebanon, Iraq, Palestinian National Authority and Turkey), MENA has been the subject of increasing interest on the part of the American government and democracy promoters, particularly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, with many viewing democratic transition as essential to regional stability and international security.American efforts to promote democracy in the region are generally characterized by top-down and bottom-up democratization strategies, which can be pursued simultaneously. The former top-down approach involves putting rhetorical and diplomatic pressure on regimes to reform and can go so far as to involve direct American military engagement installing democratic government (as is the case in Iraq following the 2003 invasion). The U.S. government generally pursues the latter bottom-up approach by funding international organizations that help strengthen the bases for gradual democratic transition (the rule of law, accountable government institutions and expanded political competition) in the MENA region by offering technical assistance and training to political parties and electoral management bodies, engaging with civil society, producing assessments and polls, and promoting female political participation. Some have criticized American democracy promotion in MENA for ineffectiveness, a lack of consistency, taking a one-size-fits-all approach and using democracy to justify military intervention abroad. Moreover, It's said that US democracy promotion had been accompanied by heavy costs for US and considerable damage to the target countries.American imperialism
American imperialism is the term for a policy aimed at extending the political, economic, and cultural control of the United States government over areas beyond its boundaries. Depending on the commentator, it may include military conquest, gunboat diplomacy, unequal treaties, subsidization of preferred factions, economic penetration through private companies followed by intervention when those interests are threatened, or regime change.The US is generally agreed to have had a policy of formal imperialism in the late 19th century. The government of the US does not refer to itself as an empire today, but some commentators refer to it as such, including mainstream Western writers such as Max Boot, Arthur Schlesinger, and Niall Ferguson.The United States has also been accused of neocolonialism, sometimes defined as a modern form of hegemony that uses economic rather than military power, and sometimes used as a synonym for contemporary imperialism.Anti-Americanism
Anti-Americanism (also called anti-American sentiment and Americanophobia) is a sentiment that espouses a dislike of or opposition to the American government or its policies, especially in regards to its foreign policy, or to Americans in general.Political scientist Brendon O'Connor of the United States Studies Centre in Australia suggests that "anti-Americanism" cannot be isolated as a consistent phenomenon, since the term originated as a rough composite of stereotypes, prejudices, and criticisms evolving to more politically-based criticism. French scholar Marie-France Toinet says use of the term "anti-Americanism" is "only fully justified if it implies systematic opposition – a sort of allergic reaction – to America as a whole."Discussions on anti-Americanism have in most cases lacked a precise explanation of what the sentiment entails (other than a general disfavour), which has led to the term being used broadly and in an impressionistic manner, resulting in the inexact impressions of the many expressions described as anti-American. Author and expatriate William Russell Melton described that criticism for the United States largely originates from the perception that the U.S. wants to act as a "world policeman."Negative or critical views of the United States' influence are widespread in Russia, the Middle East, Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea, but remain low in Vietnam, Israel, the Philippines, and South Korea, and certain countries in central and eastern Europe. As of 2018, countries in the European Union (EU) with the most positive opinions of the U.S. are Poland (79%), followed by Romania (78%), Lithuania 74% and Hungary (68%), according to Eurobarometer.Arnold Lockshin
Arnold Lockshin is an American-born Russian scientist. After he was dismissed from a position as a cancer researcher in Houston, he and his family received political asylum and citizenship in the Soviet Union.Criticism of United States foreign policy
Criticism of United States foreign policy encompasses a wide range of opinions and views on failures and shortcoming of United States policies and actions. There is a partly-held sense in America which views America as qualitatively different from other nations and therefore cannot be judged by the same standards as other countries; this belief is sometimes termed American exceptionalism and can be traced to the so-called Manifest destiny. American exceptionalism has widespread implications and transcribes into disregard to the international norms, rules and laws in U.S. foreign policy. For example, the U.S. refused to ratify a number of important international treaties such as Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and American Convention on Human Rights; did not join the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention; and routinely conducts drone attacks and cruise missile strikes around the globe. American exceptionalism is sometimes linked with hypocrisy; for example, the U.S. keeps a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons while urging other nations not to get them, and justifies that it can make an exception to a policy of non-proliferation.Criticism of government
Criticism of government may refer to criticism of particular government, or of the concept of government itself. In certain cases, such as in certain monarchies and authoritarian (or sometimes totalitarian or dictatorial) governments, criticizing the government is considered criminal speech and is punished in accord which the perceived severity of the claimed crime.
Anarchism – according to one definition, is the concept that all government is bad, and people would do better with no government.
Criticism of royalty – this includes criticism of the monarchy, and royal families
Criticism of democracy – criticism of democracy comes from various points of view, including monarchical, authoritarian, totalitarian, and libertarian points of view.
Criticism of communism (disambiguation)
Criticism of socialism
Criticism of presidential systems
Criticism of the United States government
Criticism of the Israeli governmentCriticism of the Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve System (also known as "the Fed") has faced various criticisms since it was authorized in 1913. Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman and his fellow monetarist Anna Schwartz criticized the Fed's response to the Wall Street Crash of 1929 arguing that it greatly exacerbated the Great Depression. More recent prominent critics include former Congressman Ron Paul.Surveys of economists show overwhelming opposition to abolishing the Federal Reserve or undermining its independence. According to Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder, "mountains of empirical evidence support the proposition that greater central bank independence produces not only less inflation but superior macroeconomic performance, e.g., lower and less volatile inflation with no more volatility in output."Criticism of the Food and Drug Administration
Numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations have criticized the U. S. Food and Drug Administration for alleged excessive and/or insufficient regulation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is responsible for the safety regulation of most types of foods, dietary supplements, drugs, vaccines, biological medical products, blood products, medical devices, radiation-emitting devices, veterinary products, and cosmetics. The FDA also enforces section 361 of the Public Health Service Act and the associated regulations, including sanitation requirements on interstate travel as well as specific rules for control of disease on products ranging from animals sold as pets to donations of human blood and tissue.A $1.8 million 2006 Institute of Medicine report on pharmaceutical regulation in the U.S. found major deficiencies in the FDA system for ensuring the safety of drugs on the American market. Overall, the authors called for an increase in the regulatory powers, funding, and independence of the FDA.Edward Snowden
Edward Joseph Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is an American whistle-blower who copied and leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 when he was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and contractor. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments, and prompted a cultural discussion about national security and individual privacy.
In 2013, Snowden was hired by an NSA contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, after previous employment with Dell and the CIA. Snowden says he gradually became disillusioned with the programs with which he was involved and that he tried to raise his ethical concerns through internal channels but was ignored. On May 20, 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii, and in early June he revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill. Snowden came to international attention after stories based on the material appeared in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other publications including Der Spiegel and The New York Times.
On June 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed charges against Snowden of two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property, following which the Department of State revoked his passport. Two days later, he flew into Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, where Russian authorities noted that his U.S. passport had been cancelled, and he was restricted to the airport terminal for over one month. Russia later granted Snowden the right of asylum with an initial visa for residence for one year, and repeated extensions have permitted him to stay at least until 2020. In early 2016, he became the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an organization that aims to protect journalists from hacking and government surveillance. As of 2017, he was living in an undisclosed location in Moscow.Help Is on the Way
"Help Is on the Way" is a song by American rock band Rise Against, featured on their sixth studio album Endgame (2011). Inspired by lead vocalist Tim McIlrath's visit to New Orleans, the song is about the slow response time for aid to disaster stricken areas. It incorporates elements of punk rock and melodic hardcore, with lyrics that allude to Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. "Help Is on the Way" premiered on KROQ-FM on January 17, 2011, and was later released as Endgame's lead single on January 25. The song also featured in two games: Shift 2 Unleashed and Watch Dogs.
"Help Is on the Way" polarized critics, with some praising its lyrics and song structure, while others criticized it for being bland and repetitive. Despite the mixed reception, it remains one of the band's highest charting singles to date. It peaked at eighty-nine on the Billboard Hot 100, and reached number two on the Hot Rock Songs chart. The accompanying music video depicts an African-American family, as they attempt to escape increasing floodwater levels that engulf their neighborhood.Jerome Corsi
Jerome Robert Corsi (born August 31, 1946) is an American author, political commentator, and conspiracy theorist. His two New York Times best-selling books, Unfit for Command (2004) and The Obama Nation (2008), attacked Democratic presidential candidates and have been criticized for including numerous inaccuracies.In other books and columns for conservative sites such as WorldNetDaily and Human Events, Corsi has discussed conspiracy theories, such as the alleged plans for a North American government; the conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama is not a United States citizen; criticism of the United States government for allegedly covering up information about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; and alleged United States support of Iran in its attempts to develop nuclear weapons.In 2017, he became the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for the conspiracy theory website InfoWars, but no longer works for the website.In 2018 Corsi was subpoenaed by the Mueller Special Counsel investigation over his contacts with former Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone and foreknowledge of WikiLeaks releases of stolen Clinton emails. Corsi claimed that he turned down a plea deal with Robert Mueller, and denied any such contacts or knowledge. Draft court documents released in November showed that he emailed Stone several times, updating him about impending WikiLeaks releases of leaked emails.Napalm Death
Napalm Death are a British extreme metal band formed in Meriden, West Midlands, England, in 1981. While none of its original members remain in the group since December 1986, the lineup of vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway, bassist Shane Embury, guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Danny Herrera has remained consistent of the band's career since 1992's Utopia Banished, although, from 1989 to 2004, Napalm Death were a five-piece band after they added Jesse Pintado as the replacement of one-time guitarist Bill Steer; following Pintado's departure, the band reverted to a four-piece rather than replace him.
The band is credited as pioneers of the grindcore genre by incorporating elements of crust punk and death metal, using a noise-filled sound that uses heavily distorted, down-tuned guitars, grinding overdrive bass, high speed tempo, blast beats, vocals which consist of incomprehensible growls or high-pitched shrieks, extremely short songs and sociopolitical lyrics. The band's debut album Scum, released in 1987 by Earache Records, proved substantially influential throughout the global metal community. According to the Guinness World Records, their song "You Suffer" is the shortest song in the world, at only 1.316 seconds long.
Napalm Death have released sixteen studio albums, and are listed by Nielsen SoundScan as the seventh best-selling death metal band in the United States.Paul Robeson
Paul Leroy Robeson ( ROHB-sən; April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism. Educated at Rutgers College and Columbia University, he was also a star athlete in his youth. He also studied Swahili and linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London in 1934. His political activities began with his involvement with unemployed workers and anti-imperialist students whom he met in Britain and continued with support for the Loyalist cause in the Spanish Civil War and his opposition to fascism. In the United States he also became active in the Civil Rights Movement and other social justice campaigns. His sympathies for the Soviet Union and for communism, and his criticism of the United States government and its foreign policies, caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era.
In 1915, Robeson won an academic scholarship to Rutgers College, where he was twice named a consensus All-American and was the class valedictorian. Almost 80 years later, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He received his LL.B. from Columbia Law School, while playing in the National Football League (NFL). At Columbia, he sang and acted in off-campus productions. After graduating, he became a figure in the Harlem Renaissance with performances in The Emperor Jones and All God's Chillun Got Wings.
Between 1925 and 1961, Robeson recorded and released some 276 distinct songs, many of which were recorded several times. The first of these were the spirituals "Steal Away" backed with "Were You There" in 1925. Robeson's recorded repertoire spanned many styles, including Americana, popular standards, classical music, European folk songs, political songs, poetry and spoken excerpts from plays.Robeson performed in Britain in a touring melodrama, Voodoo, in 1922, and in Emperor Jones in 1925, and scored a major success in the London premiere of Show Boat in 1928, settling in London for several years with his wife Eslanda. While continuing to establish himself as a concert artist, Robeson also starred in a London production of Othello, the first of three productions of the play over the course of his career. He also gained attention in the film production of Show Boat (1936) and other films such as Sanders of the River (1935) and The Proud Valley (1940). During this period, Robeson became increasingly attuned to the sufferings of people of other cultures, notably the British working class and the colonized peoples of the British Empire. He advocated for Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War and became active in the Council on African Affairs (CAA).
Returning to the United States in 1939, during World War II Robeson supported the American and Allied war efforts. However, his history of supporting civil rights causes and pro-Soviet policies brought scrutiny from the FBI. After the war ended, the CAA was placed on the Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations and Robeson was investigated during the age of McCarthyism. Due to his decision not to recant his public advocacy, he was denied a passport by the U.S. State Department, and his income, consequently, plummeted. He moved to Harlem and from 1950 to 1955 published a periodical called Freedom which was critical of United States policies. His right to travel was eventually restored as a result of the 1958 United States Supreme Court decision, Kent v. Dulles. In the early 1960s he retired and lived the remaining years of his life privately in Philadelphia.Stormwatch (comics)
Stormwatch is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by WildStorm, which later became an imprint of DC Comics. Created by Jim Lee, the team first appeared in Stormwatch #1 (March 1993). After the WildStorm imprint was retired and its universe was merged with the main DC Universe, the group was depicted as a secretive team of superheroes who tackle dangerous missions while remaining unknown to the larger superhero community.United States Border Patrol
The United States Border Patrol (USBP) is an American federal law enforcement agency whose mission is to detect and prevent illegal aliens, terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States, and prevent illegal trafficking of people and contraband. It is the mobile, uniformed law enforcement arm of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).With 19,437 agents, the Border Patrol is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For fiscal year 2017, Congress enacted a budget of $3,805,253,000 for the Border Patrol.The current chief of the Border Patrol is Carla Provost.United States Patent and Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that issues patents to inventors and businesses for their inventions, and trademark registration for product and intellectual property identification.
The USPTO is "unique among federal agencies because it operates solely on fees collected by its users, and not on taxpayer dollars". Its "operating structure is like a business in that it receives requests for services—applications for patents and trademark registrations—and charges fees projected to cover the cost of performing the services [it] provide[s]".The USPTO is based in Alexandria, Virginia, after a 2005 move from the Crystal City area of neighboring Arlington, Virginia. The offices under Patents and the Chief Information Officer that remained just outside the southern end of Crystal City completed moving to Randolph Square, a brand-new building in Shirlington Village, on April 27, 2009.
The current Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO is Andrei Iancu. He began his role as Director on February 8, 2018. Iancu was nominated by President Trump in August 2017, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Prior to joining the USPTO, he was the Managing Partner at Irell & Manella LLP, where his practice focused on intellectual property litigation.The USPTO cooperates with the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) as one of the Trilateral Patent Offices. The USPTO is also a Receiving Office, an International Searching Authority and an International Preliminary Examination Authority for international patent applications filed in accordance with the Patent Cooperation Treaty.United States and the United Nations
The United States of America is a charter member of the United Nations and one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The United States is the host of the headquarters of the United Nations, which includes the usual meeting place of the General Assembly in New York City, the seat of the Security Council and several bodies of the United Nations. The United States is the largest provider of financial contributions to the United Nations, providing 22 percent of the entire UN budget in 2017 (in comparison the next biggest contributor is Japan with almost 10 percent, while EU countries pay a total of above 30 percent). From July 2016 to June 2017, 28.6 percent of the budget used for peacekeeping operations was provided by the United States. The United States had a pivotal role in establishing the UN.
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