Americans in Cambodia say impunity, belligerence destroy U.S. image-Xinhua

Americans in Cambodia say impunity, belligerence destroy U.S. image

Source: Xinhua| 2022-05-12 13:43:56|Editor:

PHNOM PENH, May 12 (Xinhua) -- American nationals living in Cambodia said Wednesday that impunity and belligerence have destroyed the reputation of the United States and the U.S. is broken beyond repair.

Leaving Ohio in 1971 for Europe before moving to Cambodia nearly 10 years ago, an American man, who asked to be identified by his nickname Bob, said in the 1970s, America was regarded as a progressive and prosperous country, but its ramifications of the Vietnam War and other wars have caused people to see the U.S. in a harsher light.

"The impunity and belligerence of the USA have hurt its reputation severely," Bob told Xinhua.

Another American national Mariam Arthur, 55, who left California for Cambodia in 2007, said she had grown discontent with life in the U.S., saying that America is broken and beyond repair, specifically in legal system, medical system, food supply, environment and political system.

She said Cambodia is very cosmopolitan with people from so many different countries living here, so she heard a lot of opinions about America.

"Most foreigners in Cambodia don't trust the U.S. and feel that there is a hidden agenda behind its actions and policies," Mariam said.

"I think most of the world sees the U.S. as a bully. They see it interfering with other countries using terms like democracy and human rights," she added.

She said the U.S. is a "hypocrite" and fails to uphold these values itself.


Bob said the gravest problems the U.S. has are its reactionism, xenophobia or racism, and environment, among others.

"I see there are so many divisors in the USA as are fleas on a dog," he said. "The most prevalent one is 'WASPs' (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) against all others," and entitlement and arrogance are the prime motors for social discord."

Bob added that political parties should try to unify the nation for the good of all instead of only seeking power -- divide and conquer.

Mariam said the main social and political problem in the U.S. is division -- the division between Republicans and Democrats, right and left, white and black, rich and poor.

"Everyone is divided about something and won't listen to opposing views," she said. "There is no free speech in America currently, if someone disagrees with an opinion, they 'cancel' the person by blocking them, removing their content, or sometimes even threatening them."

She said Americans don't feel secure. They live in fear of a medical emergency or losing their job, even if they hate that job.

"Most Americans are living "paycheck-to-paycheck" and mired in debt, so they don't have time to really think about politics or investigate what their politicians are doing, so they depend on news channels which are highly unreliable and biased," Mariam said.


Bob said both major U.S. parties are damned to follow the money -- they must finance their campaigns -- and kowtow to those that have money.

"Healthcare, women's rights, fair wages, ecology, and many other topics are only given lip service because the ill, women, workers, or the planet do not fill campaign coffers," he said.

For the existing U.S. electoral system, he said the Electoral College is an outdated institution, and electors possess the legal prerogative to vote as they wish -- without regard to the popular election results.

"It should be abolished and like most civilized countries that elect their presidents by direct popular vote," he said.

Mariam said the problem is with voter fraud on many levels and there are real absentee ballots sent to dead people or non-citizens that get sent in fraudulently.

"There is tampering at polling stations. There is tampering with counting. Even if demands are heard, the government will only offer a token resolution and keep doing what it wants behind-the-scenes," she said.

For the existing U.S. electoral system, Mariam does not think reform will solve the voting problem, saying that first, votes need to be secure and the count needs to be secure.

"Any reform is useless if the votes are still fraudulent and the counting is tampered with," she said.

"Second, even if the votes are correct, the U.S. has become a nation of whiners who get angry when they don't get their way. It used to be that if your political party lost, you tried harder in the next election. Now everyone just feels angry and victimized," she added.


Mariam said for America to be great, it would have to be completely rebuilt, saying that there are too many institutions that are enslaving the citizens.

She said the "military-industrial complex," the "medical-industrial complex," global corporations only concerned with profit, food and water being poisoned, natural resources being depleted, gangs and government agencies running illegal drugs and human trafficking rings together, the list goes on.

She added that there are some politicians trying to address these issues, but they are silenced by the majority of corrupt politicians who have been running the country for decades.

"Making America great again would mean tearing down these institutions and structuring society in a way that is more focused on communities," Mariam said.

She said people's mindsets need to be changed from being so narcissistic and greedy to more compassionate.

"Maybe, it isn't the 'political system' that is destroying the U.S., but the people who are currently in politics," she said. "I suggest cleaning out all current politicians and voting for fresh candidates who are not bought and paid for by lobbyists working for corporations. It might not be a perfect idea, but it would be a start."

"The present U.S. political system is plutocratic or oligarchic, xenophobic, unjust, and impunitive," he said.


Mariam said even if her standard of living has not changed after leaving the U.S., her quality of life has definitely improved.

"I can live comfortably on 1,500 U.S. dollars per month in Cambodia, but in the U.S., most people pay more than that just for rent each month.

She said crime is much lower in Cambodia and that there are occasional bag snatchers, but more serious crimes are much less frequent than in the U.S.

"I have access to quality medical care that I can afford in Cambodia. A few years ago, I had a knee injury and I went to a high standard hospital where the doctor's consultation and MRI scan cost around 200 dollars," she said.

"I can't even imagine the thousands of dollars it would have cost in the U.S.," Mariam added.