America’s Chickens Have Come Home To Roost

America’s violence towards the world has come home
5 min readJun 4, 2020


Americans like to think they’re a Christian nation. They’re the Romans. (photo: Martha Raddatz)

People say ‘I served in Afghanistan, I can’t believe it’s happening here’. I find this appalling. What is happening is not OK, full stop. It was not OK in Falluja, it was not OK in Kabul, and it’s not OK in Washington DC. If you were wearing boots in these imperial wars you should be ashamed of yourself, not just disappointed that it’s come home.

Americans are shocked to see guns and Humvees rolling down their streets, but this has been America’s sovereign right across the world for decades. They’re horrified when a helicopter swoops low to scare away demonstrators, but that’s a well-established tactic. Those soldiers have probably done it before. Wait till they see what murderers can do with drones.

Americans are unhappy about being arrested, zip-tied, and tear-gassed, but imagine if that happens by an occupying Army. They can keep you in a cage, rape you, set dogs on you, torture and murder you — as American troops have. They can put a bag over your head, fly you around the world to be tortured, and then throw you in a cell at Guantanamo for the rest of your life.

This is what the rest of the world just lives with, these unaccountable thugs. At least Americans can make bail. Being brown and in an American soldier’s way is an unbailable offense. Often a death sentence.

There is no awareness of this, this imperial privilege. No sense that this horror and abuse is wrong, full stop, only that it’s wrong in America.

Pentagon officials note that the military is trained in using lethal power against foreign adversaries, not in law enforcement, and what is appropriate in Falluja is not in Farragut Square. (NYTimes)

There’s no context given on this, in the propaganda paper that is the NYTimes. It’s just a given. Yes, we can do whatever we want in Falluja. We can send future political candidates there to carry a gun and bear the white man’s burden. But God forbid such brutality should ever come home.



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at