Cola Terrorism And Why Is America In Love With It?

While it seems that Americans are still recovering from the harrowing effects of 9/11 attacks and war on terror is also still being fought in many parts of the world with the assistance of America and its allies, they are not so much concerned about the “Cola Terrorism” that is wreaking more havoc than the so-called terrorists do in the name of religion or any other ideology endearing to them. On the contrary it is being promoted as a symbol of universal drink that is also traditional, patriotic, friendly, and American.”

As a report by “Vision of Humanity” indicates, the four deadliest terrorist group responsible for the most deaths in 2021 were Islamic State (IS), Al-Shabaab, the Taliban and Jamaat Nusrat Al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM). However, these four groups were responsible for around 3,364 deaths from terrorism, representing 47 percent of total deaths in 2021. Another 2,775 of terrorism deaths were not attributed to any organization. Three of these four groups were also the deadliest groups last year, with JNIM replacing Boko Haram this year.

Regardless of the title of terrorists groups and nature of attacks, some reports reveal that around 20,000/- people are killed in the whole world and the death rate is also declining. For instance,according to Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 33,555 people were killed during the year 2014 and the number declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2018, falling by 15.2 per cent to 15,952/-

But if compare the loss of lives being caused by terrorist groups with that being caused by so-called soft/carbonated drink makers, especially Coca Cola, we will have some shocking revelations.

According to an article of Washington Post (published more than seven years ago on June 29, 2015), scientists are asking people across the globe to lay off sugary drinks, linking the consumption to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year, including more than 25,000 Americans. Latin America, in particular, had among the highest death rates, with Mexico topping the list at 405 deaths per million adults, or about 24,000 total deaths.

Thus carbonated drinks (such as American giants Coke and Pepsi) are killing (though to some extent invisibly or silently) nearly nine times more people per year than terrorist attacks but America is not ashamed of this fact and continues to condemn only those terrorists who seem to posing a threat to her imperial ideology.

Moreover, it is amazing to know that President Donald Trump also reportedly drinks a dozen Diet Cokes each day. And the reason, as Belén Fernández (Contributing editor at Jacobin Magazine) suggests, is that Coca Cola (NYSE: KO and one of the largest beverage company selling lore than 500 products in more than 200 countries and territories) may help the president “Make America Great Again”.

I have written more elaborately and extensively on the shenanigans of cola companies in my e-book that is available on amazon:

Many other critics are also of the view that there is a sinister connection between Coca Cola and imperialism as a vice-president of the company is believed to have recently observed in a memo to an associate that “Apparently some of our friends overseas have difficulty distinguishing between the United States and Coca-Cola.”

And, in addition to causing health problems leading to killing many humans, Coca Cola is also among the world’s biggest polluters. The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo are ranked as the world’s top plastic polluters for the 4th consecutive year according to Break Free From Plastic (a coalition movement aimed at reducing plastic waste throughout the globe), whose latest global Brand Audit report also charges the same leading plastic polluters for fueling the climate crisis.

Consequently Thousands of seabirds and sea turtles, seals and other marine mammals are also being killed each year after ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it.

And last but not the least, soda companies are also responsible for the global water crisis as they are over consuming the already depleted groundwater resources, especially in water scarce countries, such as India and Pakistan and thus facing community protests in many rural areas of India and other countries.

However, all these problems are ignored or swept under the carpet of glitzy advertisements or propaganda that best serves the interests of American imperialism. Through massive advertisement campaigns (on which billions of dollars are spent), fizzy drink(s) like Coca Cola are projected as national drinks symbolizing the idea of American democracy and Western civilization. Moreover, according to Mark Pendergrast (a freelance journalist with numerous publications focusing on the relationship between social phenomena and subcultures created by various global and local socioeconomic structure), Coca-Cola substitutes modern religion because it promotes worldviews more appealing than existing religions, such as the general myth of love, happiness, peace, and universal friendship.

In short, Coca Cola in not only playing havoc with people’s lives and resources across the globe, but also impacting and polluting indigenous cultures by exploiting the human desire (to pause and refresh?) to the point where, as one scholar suggests, people are consuming the interpretation of the product rather than the actual liquid.

References:

i) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/06/29/sugary-drinks-linked-to-180000-deaths-a-year-study-says/

ii) https://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/11/health/diet-coke-trump-health-effects/index.html

iii) https://www.visionofhumanity.org/the-four-deadliest-terrorist-groups-in-2021/

iv) https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2017/12/23/coca-cola-red-and-whitewashing-the-empire

v) Mark Pendergrast, For God, Country & Coca-Cola: The Definitive History of the Great American Soft
Drink and the Company That Makes It: Third Edition Revised and Expanded (Basic Books, eBook, 2013)

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Aizaz Baqir

I am a freelance writer and translator based in Multan, Pakistan having interests in reading, writing, travelling and social services.