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Should the U.S. Offer Iraq Statehood?
Sierra Times ^ | May 5, 2003 | J. Neil Schulman

Posted on 05/05/2003 9:31:30 PM PDT by J. Neil Schulman

Should the U.S. Offer Iraq Statehood?

By J. Neil Schulman © 2003

Despite the endless repetition from campus Trotskyists and unreconciled supporters of Ohio Senator Robert Taft’s 1952 presidential bid, the United States of America is not now, nor has it ever been, an empire.

If the United States were an empire, the Stars and Stripes would today be flying over Ottawa, Mexico City, Havana, Panama City, Managua, San Salvador, Manila, Madrid, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Saigon, and Kuwait City. At least.

The United States does not have colonial ambitions, and that defines imperialism. We back friendly foreign regimes and sometimes aid even unfriendly ones, when we perceive it in our strategic interest. Too often the enemy of our enemy is a friend, even if the “friend” is as miserable as Stalin, Mao, Marcos, Somoza, or Saddam, and too often we’ve had to clean up the mess afterwards.

But there is nothing that I can find in the Federalist Papers, in the Constitution of the United States -- even in the writings of Old Rightists and New Leftists -- that says the maximum number of states allowed in the Union is 50, or that for a state to be added to the union its people have to be English speaking.

America is not a territory. It is a revolution. Its founding document declares,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence is not merely applicable to a particular time and place. The least important thing about it is the secession of colonies from its homeland. It is a statement of how human affairs should be organized, and is as applicable in Asia - or on Mars - as it was to Massachusetts and Virginia.

So the question needs to be asked. If the peoples of Iraq, just liberated from a brutal dictator, ever voted in a referendum that their future lay with the Americans who have spent their blood and treasure to free them, would it be imperialism, or merely American, to welcome them into the Union?

We say we believe in separation of church and state. Should we keep a state out of the union because the majority of its people are of a different religion than most of us? Utah doesn’t seem to have been much of a mismatch, has it?

English is not their first language. But if one added up the square mileage of all the neighborhoods in the United States where English isn’t spoken as a first language, might not it equal the square mileage of Iraq?

Iraq would not be physically connected to the United States. But neither is Hawaii. And just a few years before it became a state, the most common first language of Hawaii was Japanese.

I can hear the howls already: This proves American imperialism! It’s about the oil! He wants Iraq’s oil!

Not me. I want orbital solar-power satellites, interplanetary nuclear spaceships, and countertop cold fusion. If fifty years from now the United States is still burning petroleum, America will have failed the test of progressive capitalism.

Like most Americans, I’m a provincial isolationist at heart. It took hijacked American commercial passenger jetliners being crashed into American office buildings for me even to notice that there were foreigners who really hated us. Americans like me don’t even like foreigners enough to want to colonize them.

But we don’t define America by race, religion, or ethnicity. If our cultural strength has come by inviting diverse foreigners to immigrate to our shores, is it much different to invite twenty-four million of them to bring their country with them? I don’t recall reading anywhere that a necessary precondition for becoming an American was being homeless and penniless.

I know this is a long shot. The American Bill of Rights is a Harsh Mistress. Becoming an American – becoming a person who defines his or her identity not by the past but in possibilities for the future, and habituating easygoing tolerance rather than inbred xenophobia – is hard work.

But wasn’t that the point of America in the first place?

Copyright © 2003 by J. Neil Schulman. All rights reserved.

J. NEIL SCHULMAN is the author of two Prometheus award-winning novels, Alongside Night and The Rainbow Cadenza, short fiction, nonfiction, and screenwritings, including the CBS Twilight Zone episode "Profile in Silver." His latest novel, a finalist for this year's Prometheus Award, is the comic fantasy Escape from Heaven. His articles have appeared in publications ranging from National Review to the Los Angeles Times. His personal website is http://www.jneil.tv/.



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: america; american; antiamericanism; colonialism; constitution; empire; imperialism; independence; iraq; mesopotamia; oil; politics; revolution; state; statehood

1 posted on 05/05/2003 9:31:31 PM PDT by J. Neil Schulman
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Hell No!
2 posted on 05/05/2003 9:42:15 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Oh please.......
3 posted on 05/05/2003 9:43:25 PM PDT by Joe Hadenuf
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Dude....hook me up with what you're smoking.
4 posted on 05/05/2003 9:45:57 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Hey, let Iraq in and Texas out. That will keep it at fifty.
5 posted on 05/05/2003 9:54:09 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot
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To: Mind-numbed Robot; Joe Hadenuf
Even so, we ought to consider inviting Mexico into the Union. Each of their estados can become counties.
6 posted on 05/05/2003 10:01:33 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Pleased to see you again. I met you in GEnie days. You probably don't remember CATSMEOW.

Read the RAINBOW CADENZA and it made a vivid impression on me. Taught me that some men and some women hate me just because I'm female...just as some foreigners hate Americans just because we're Americans. Funny how these things come around.

Interesting to see people reacting the way they are to this proposal of yours. Conservatives can be slow to appreciate possibilities outside the box. ;-)
7 posted on 05/05/2003 10:04:12 PM PDT by ChemistCat (My new bumper sticker: MY OTHER DRIVER IS A ROCKET SCIENTIST)
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Good God, no.
8 posted on 05/05/2003 10:11:41 PM PDT by gcruse (Piety is only skin deep, but hypocrisy goes clear to the soul.)
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Could U.S. Senators from Iraq be any worse than the ones from California, Massachusetts, Washington, and New York? Could their congresscritters be any worse than our own "Baghdad" Jim McDermott, Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, Henry Waxman, or Charlie Rangel (to name but a few)?

Well, yes they could.

Let's just steal their oil and turn their country into one giant American military base. ....And perhaps turn Saddam's palaces - the ones still in decent shape - into giant resorts / golf courses.

9 posted on 05/05/2003 10:13:47 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: J. Neil Schulman
They would have to ask for it before we could consider it.

And then jump through all of the hoops, set up their own "territorial" government, etc.

I doubt that's going to happen... there's not much incentive for it. If they ever joined, the Senator from New York and Dickie Invisibrows Gebhardt would rape them blind to get money for their socialist health care plan.

10 posted on 05/05/2003 10:22:23 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge.)
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To: Cultural Jihad
Yeah, well, then Canada would want in and their goes the neighborhood. :-)
11 posted on 05/05/2003 10:23:59 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot
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To: J. Neil Schulman
That's utterly ridiculous and then some ! Get a grip.
12 posted on 05/05/2003 10:24:27 PM PDT by nopardons
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To: J. Neil Schulman
And what about all those islamo-terrorist sympathizers, not to mention the islamo-terrorists? As American citizens they would have every RIGHT to come here and go where they please within our nation, is that a comforting thought?
13 posted on 05/05/2003 10:26:20 PM PDT by nomad
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Sure. Why not? The Iraqis would have to have a state government, they would have to apply for statehood, and the 50 states would have to ratify it.

I would say the same for every country that we give foreign aid to. That would mean that Israel should be a state, or at least a territory, like Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.

Make ALL offers of foreign aid, be foreign purchases, where land is purchases, or leased for 99 years at a time. No more foreign aid!

14 posted on 05/05/2003 10:27:04 PM PDT by Frohickey
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To: J. Neil Schulman
YES. ABSOLUTELY. When they become a State they will be under the complete control of the Federal government. They will be unable to get free and cause trouble again. They will of course then be subject to income tax and withholding and so will not have any money to transfer around to terrorists or others. A large number of them will then live off of the Federal government and be beholden to it and have no urge to cause it problems. Within a few years none of them will care about politics or religion as long as the beer is cheap and the NFL playoff game is not interrupted. Sounds like a great plan.
15 posted on 05/05/2003 10:31:55 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: nomad
That's different from the status quo how? Tim McVeigh being a citizen free to travel anywhere helped us how? Mohammed Atta not being a citizen restricted him? Not!

Our borders are no tighter than they were 9/10/01.

Terrorism is a fact of life now, and the cover of the passport doesn't matter. Expanding our system to more of the world may only be re-arranging the deck chairs, but how else are we going to keep Iraq free of Binladen/Saddamalikes?
16 posted on 05/05/2003 10:32:20 PM PDT by ChemistCat (My new bumper sticker: MY OTHER DRIVER IS A ROCKET SCIENTIST)
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To: J. Neil Schulman
If you were trying to show the lunacy of neoconservative principles, I salute your piece of satire.
17 posted on 05/05/2003 10:49:49 PM PDT by rmlew ("Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.")
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
I'm all for that.
18 posted on 05/05/2003 10:52:35 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: ChemistCat
Then instead of working to bring more terrorists into America perhaps we should be working to close down our porous borders and make entry into this country thru legal means a bit more scrutinized? And as long as you are quoting the same tired speeches about "the evil rightwing McVeigh", lets not forget the radical lefties of the past, as well as now, however the real question we need to ask is do we really need to import any more terrorists? As you`ve pointed out we have our own to deal with, don`t we have more than enough already? Maybe you should try asking some citizens of Israel for their thoughts on that one, they seem to have lots of experience.
19 posted on 05/05/2003 11:19:53 PM PDT by nomad
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To: nomad
A couple of years of force-feeding them Hollyweird, MTV and Jerry Springer and their kids would be too fat, lazy, and disconnected to be islamo-crazies. (slight sarcasm alert)
20 posted on 05/05/2003 11:31:39 PM PDT by SoDak
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To: SoDak
You really want to turn them into mind-numbed vegetables? Turn them into Democrats! Seriously though, I can`t believe these guys, are they for real? Good god, why don`t we just give them a few dozen nukes while we`re at it! Talk about letting the wolves into the hen house! And if you think we have trouble with OUR borders, can you imagine THEIRS? Every fanatic in the Islamic world would make a bee line for Iraq and their free ticket to America, martyrdom and 40 virgins.
21 posted on 05/05/2003 11:59:21 PM PDT by nomad
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Cripes, J. Neil! Offer statehood to a California-sized basket case? We already have California!!
22 posted on 05/06/2003 12:02:54 AM PDT by capitan_refugio
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: nomad
Don't worry. The author is being silly at best, to prove some odd point. So am I. It's late, I can't sleep, and I have a 12 hour day ahead starting in less than 5 hours.
26 posted on 05/06/2003 12:39:46 AM PDT by SoDak
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Nice post,

I wrote a review to Escape from Heaven, (great book) for Amazon.com, but they wanted my credit card number for me to get it loaded to their site. That perturbed me enough that I haven't done it.

Now if we just did away with all the stupid federal "revenue sharing" there would be far less of a problem with Iraqi statehood.

27 posted on 05/06/2003 1:21:45 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: rmlew
If you were trying to show the lunacy of neoconservative principles, I salute your piece of satire.

I know Neil Schulman personally. While he's been one of my favorite authors for 20 years, and has my highest respect for his intellect, he nonetheless is being completely serious -- to his detriment, I would add.

The solution to empire-on-the-cheap, which we are practicing, is to stop doing it. Period. Not to extend the direct sway of the American garrison State to more of the world.

Neil has come close to jettisoning his libertarian (and, to a large extent, anarchist) principles out of his outrage over Nine Eleven, and I can empathize, but I cannot agree with him that it's appropriate. Nor, further, can I fathom the endorsement of State power that is behind such a suggestion as this. Nor, finally, can I understand how he misses the fact of Israel already being de facto U.S. territory, in every economic and military measurement, much more so than is a Puerto Rico -- and its being a nuclear-armed loose cannon.

28 posted on 05/06/2003 2:01:37 AM PDT by Greybird ("War is the health of the State." -- Randolph Bourne)
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To: Greybird
While many more reasons against come immediately to mind, I am reminded that in American history, We have done some pretty audacious things that later turned out to be spot-on. i.e. Louisiana Purchase.
29 posted on 05/06/2003 2:13:13 AM PDT by desertsolitaire
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To: Frohickey
The problem is that Iraq needs its own, much more conservative Constitution. For example, abortion. I would suspect that there would be a much larger problem with abortion in Iraq than the US. Secondly, public attire. If they are allowed to have nude bars and bikini beaches [since the US would turn all the beach land into Federal parks], and then there is FICA, which would be a terrible jolt for both Iraq and the US. Then building codes, Federal laws, etc. Iraq would be just as miserable as we are if not more so due to the shock.
30 posted on 05/06/2003 3:00:41 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: desertsolitaire
We are too much of a beurocratic minefield to be flexible enough to take in other cultures. They would revolt almost immediately. We are boxed in by liberal beurocratic blunderings of the past that the RINOS block with their bodies.
31 posted on 05/06/2003 3:02:54 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Iraq aside, I agree with the thrust of this article. The United States needs to expand. However, my standards for statehood are a little tougher. Any new state must be a net asset gain to the United States, the Constitution must be adopted in its entirety and the official language must become English. In the meantime, the would-be state could be made a territory in much the manner Puerto Rico is today.

I believe that in time, the United States will stretch from the Arctic Circle to the Panama Canal, including Cuba. At a bare minimum.

32 posted on 05/06/2003 3:18:03 AM PDT by SamAdams76 (California wine beats French wine in blind taste tests. Boycott French wine.)
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To: J. Neil Schulman
It is true that the Constitution provides an "open architecture", and that the Declaration is universalist.

The expansion of the sweet land of liberty is long overdue. I'm not sure Iraq is the place to start.

How about Alberta and Sonora first?

33 posted on 05/06/2003 3:36:56 AM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
I second that motion! Texas would be a rich country if 1/2 of our earnings and most of our resources were not taken away by the US Government! And we would take Bush back to be our president again!
34 posted on 05/06/2003 4:11:31 AM PDT by buffyt (global warming = greatest hoax ever purpetrated on humanity.)
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March
Depends on who is in control in Iraq. Under Hussein, pregnant women were beaten until they miscarried then the babies were killed. Abortion wasn't a problem for the Hussein regime.

I hope whatever government they come up with is much more humane & civilized than the Hussein regime. And you can't be a humane or civilized if your country condones abortion on demand. (to save mother's life, as in etopic pregnancy is not abortion on demand)
35 posted on 05/06/2003 4:15:41 AM PDT by buffyt (global warming = greatest hoax ever purpetrated on humanity.)
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To: nomad
Isn't that special. Tim McVeigh wasn't evil? Being rightwing somehow makes what he did okay? Or is it just that what he did is old news, not significant?

I'm not so partisan that everybody on "my side" who does a wicked thing gets a pass. I hope I'm NEVER that partisan.
36 posted on 05/06/2003 5:27:18 AM PDT by ChemistCat (My new bumper sticker: MY OTHER DRIVER IS A ROCKET SCIENTIST)
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To: Paleo Conservative
Why not? Rhode Island is a state.
37 posted on 05/06/2003 6:17:52 AM PDT by the gillman@blacklagoon.com
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To: nomad
I've been thinking about your post and I've decided that you see all Iraqis as terrorists.

I've lived in that part of the world. They're just people. They would benefit very much from a free-market system (imagine living where your President could walk into a big bank and demand a billion in cash--and get it!) and our system, flaky as it is, is the best in the world. If we don't co-opt them maybe the UN will. Isn't that a scary thought?

I'd embrace your xenophobia in a moment if I thought there was ANYTHING we could do with or within our borders that would make us safe. I live in the Oklahoma City area, so I KNOW better. Don't tell me I'm repeating tired speeches...it sounds too much like "9/11 was two years ago...move on, already."
38 posted on 05/06/2003 7:41:48 AM PDT by ChemistCat (My new bumper sticker: MY OTHER DRIVER IS A ROCKET SCIENTIST)
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To: Arkinsaw
You're forgetting one of the biggies. What a great source of cheap labor this would be.
39 posted on 05/06/2003 7:46:37 AM PDT by grania ("Won't get fooled again")
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To: ChemistCat
I never said that McVeigh wasn`t evil, I just find it interesting that when people mention home grown terrorists they insist on the rightwingers and give a pass to all those sixties lefties or the present day anarchist, watermellon, animal rights groups. I also never said that all Iraqis are terrorists, just enough of them, and their neighbors, to make this idea suicidal. As far as I`m concerned anyone is welcome to come to America if they truly desire freedom but after 9/11, don`t tell me I`m being xenophobic if I insist THEY prove they are not going to try to cut our throats.BTW, I think we can do a credible job of securing our borders if we really set our minds and efforts to it.
40 posted on 05/06/2003 3:09:15 PM PDT by nomad
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To: nomad
I accept that Marxist, leftist philosophies are going to generate terrorists as readily as do the Islamicists. However, it grieves me deeply when someone raised to be a conservative, Christian person can turn that way, and I think it's one heck of a cautionary note.

For some reason our current President is unwilling to do the hard job of securing our borders. I don't mean closing our borders--I mean securing them. For example, we need to provide a legitimate, controlled way of allowing laborers to come and go as they are now, with more safety for all concerned and real accountability for those who hire and house them. Not one person should be dying of thirst in the desert, raped by smugglers, left to wander the country uncontrolled, looking for work that might or might not be there. The current situation is unacceptable in so many ways, but we have let the Democrats set it up as if it's an issue of racism against Hispanics...it's not, but the President has let them get away with that. I agree with you that we could fix that.

That has nothing to do with the concept of giving Iraq statehood...we have 2 million Americans in prison right now, so by your argument, all US States should be removed from the Union, since we have non-law-abiding citizens in substantial numbers in our midst.
41 posted on 05/06/2003 3:24:51 PM PDT by ChemistCat (My new bumper sticker: MY OTHER DRIVER IS A ROCKET SCIENTIST)
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To: ChemistCat
The civil war answered the question of LEAVING the union, but I thought this article was about them ENTERING the union? Our criminals, as American citizens, are a problem only we should deal with, but you certainly can`t support the concept of importing more from ANY country?

However, you are still missing the point, given the fact that we are capable of creating our own, we don`t need to import any more terrorists and should in fact be doing every thing in our power to prevent their entry. Besides there IS a difference between some thug sticking up a liquor store for crack money and some Islamo-nuts flying planes into buildings in a hair-brained attempt to destroy our way of life. That craziness just seems to justify a more intrusive Government, look at the whole Homeland Defense machine, while I personaly trust GW, what if another Slick Willy gets into office? Judging from the anti-individual rights vitriol the left spouts those Islamo-creeps could just get their wish. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure or, keep them the hell out!

42 posted on 05/06/2003 9:53:06 PM PDT by nomad
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To: nomad
Um, that post wanders enough that I can't track your argument. Either that, or I'm too tired to follow it. I'll read it again tomorrow, I guess.
43 posted on 05/06/2003 10:02:23 PM PDT by ChemistCat (My new bumper sticker: MY OTHER DRIVER IS A ROCKET SCIENTIST)
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To: grania
You're forgetting one of the biggies. What a great source of cheap labor this would be.

Except as a state, everyone would get at least the minimum wage.

They would also get two US Senators, a bunch of representatives in the House, they would vote for president, and they would be subject to our laws, such as the ADA, the Civil Rights Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, etc. etc.
44 posted on 05/20/2003 1:25:13 AM PDT by Praxeas
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To: Praxeas
I think Iraq should be put on the path to Statehood. Offering nations U.S. Statehood would be less imperialistic than altering their governments by replacing leaders through coups like we do now. In the past, we ruled by proxy through the Shah of Iran, Pinochet of Chile, Noriega of Panama to name a few. Offering Iraq statehood would enable the Iraqis to govern themselves and participate in the government of the USA as a whole.

Also, making nations states of the union will add to America's wealth and power rather than draw on it. Once we finish rebuilding Iraq, if Iraq bacme a state, it will ad 25 million to America's population and $1 trillion to the GDP. Right now, our allies nor our "colonies" pay any taxes to maintain our armed forces. With statehood, they will have to.

And I think we should make Iraq, Liberia, and Afghanistan states. I think we ought to offer statehood to every Canadian province. I think we ought to purchase Greenland from Denmark and Siberia from Russia.

www.falconistparty.org
45 posted on 08/28/2003 8:43:16 PM PDT by Falconist
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To: Falconist
I think that any new states should at least be in this hemisphere.
46 posted on 08/28/2003 8:50:48 PM PDT by gogeo (Life is hard. It's really hard if you're stupid.)
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To: gogeo
I think we should expand in this hemisphere too. I think we should buy Greenland from Denmark, offer each Canadian province U.S. Statehood, and admit every Latin American nation into the union first as a territory and then as a state. The USA should emcompass ALL of America from pole to pole.

But Iraq, Afghanistan, and Liberia should be encouraged to join the union too. Once we rebuild those nations, other nations will want to join the USA too. Eventually, we will become the United States of Terra and unify the world under the government and rule of law of the U.S. Constitution, the prosperity of free-enterprise, the health and saftey protection of American law, the freedom of the U.S. Bill of Rights, the flag of the stars and stripes, and hopefully above all the cross of Jesus Christ.
47 posted on 08/30/2003 7:18:12 PM PDT by Falconist
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To: Falconist
One world governemnt, only on our terms?
48 posted on 08/31/2003 10:24:42 AM PDT by gogeo (Life is hard. It's really hard if you're stupid.)
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To: gogeo
Well if you look at the contenders for world leadership, China, India, Islam, the EU (led by France and Germany) and the UN, I think America is the best candidate for the job. I don't trust anyone else.

Even though America does some bad things in running its empire, America has been the most benevolent imperial power. No nation has rebuilt nations after conquering them since Greece and Rome. Germany, Korea, Japan can attest to that.

I would like to see U.S. Statehood extend to every nation excluding Israel. I see Israel remaining a seperate nation yet including in its borders Israel proper, Lebanon, the Siani Penisula, and Syria.

I would like to see the world united under the U.S. Government. But probably, we should remain in our own hemisphere for now. Maybe 200 years down the road, a UST will be possible.
49 posted on 08/31/2003 1:47:21 PM PDT by Falconist
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