U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday during his visit to Vietnam—a nation still suffering from a U.S. invasion that lasted 20 years—that big nations should not bully smaller ones.
Obama also spoke of the relationship between the U.S and Vietnam amid tensions with China and moves to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Obama alluded to China’s recent actions in the South China Sea,when he made his bully remark, but it is China that has criticized the increased U.S. military presence in the area which has included naval patrols and exercises within the region.
Despite Obama’s anti-bully rhetoric, in just the past 70 years U.S. imperialism has intervened in more than 35 "smaller" nations.
William Blum’s classic book, "U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II", documents over 30 military interventions and coups by the U.S. around the globe. These include Iran in 1953; Guatemala in 1954; Vietnam in 1955; and Cambodia in 1970, just to name a few.
According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, the U.S. military is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, with nearly 150,000 of its active-duty personnel serving outside the U.S. and its territories.
Currently the U.S. has active combat troops in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama spoke of the secretive TPP, saying that the free trade agreement will help countries like Vietnam and spur regional cooperation.
Critics of the of the TPP have said that the agreement gives too much power to international corporations who can sue governments in private tribunals for obstructing future profits, which, according to critics, will impede rights, especially in the realms of health, environment and safety.