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America's Imperial Delusion -- The US drive for world domination has no historical precedent
Guardian (UK) ^ | June 14, 2003 | Eric Hobsbawm

Posted on 06/14/2003 9:01:43 AM PDT by Mister Magoo

America's imperial delusion

The US drive for world domination has no historical precedent

Eric Hobsbawm Saturday June 14, 2003 The Guardian

The present world situation is unprecedented. The great global empires of the past - such as the Spanish and notably the British - bear little comparison with what we see today in the United States empire. A key novelty of the US imperial project is that all other empires knew that they were not the only ones, and none aimed at global domination. None believed themselves invulnerable, even if they believed themselves to be central to the world - as China did, or the Roman empire. Regional domination was the maximum danger envisaged until the end of the cold war. A global reach, which became possible after 1492, should not be confused with global domination.

The British empire was the only one that really was global in a sense that it operated across the entire planet. But the differences are stark. The British empire at its peak administered one quarter of the globe's surface. The US has never actually practised colonialism, except briefly at the beginning of the 20th century. It operated instead with dependent and satellite states and developed a policy of armed intervention in these.

The British empire had a British, not a universal, purpose, although naturally its propagandists also found more altruistic motives. So the abolition of the slave trade was used to justify British naval power, as human rights today are often used to justify US military power. On the other hand the US, like revolutionary France and revolutionary Russia, is a great power based on a universalist revolution - and therefore on the belief that the rest of the world should follow its example, or even that it should help liberate the rest of the world. Few things are more dangerous than empires pursuing their own interest in the belief that they are doing humanity a favour.

The cold war turned the US into the hegemon of the western world. However, this was as the head of an alliance. In a way, Europe then recognised the logic of a US world empire, whereas today the US government is reacting to the fact that the US empire and its goals are no longer genuinely accepted. In fact the present US policy is more unpopular than the policy of any other US government has ever been, and probably than that of any other great power has ever been.

The collapse of the Soviet Union left the US as the only superpower. The sudden emergence of a ruthless, antagonistic flaunting of US power is hard to understand, all the more so since it fits neither with long-tested imperial policies nor the interests of the US economy. But patently a public assertion of global supremacy by military force is what is in the minds of the people at present dominating policymaking in Washington.

Is it likely to be successful? The world is too complicated for any single state to dominate it. And with the exception of its superiority in hi-tech weaponry, the US is relying on diminishing assets. Its economy forms a diminishing share of the global economy, vulnerable in the short as well as long term. The US empire is beyond competition on the military side. That does not mean that it will be absolutely decisive, just because it is decisive in localised wars.

Of course the Americans theoretically do not aim to occupy the whole world. What they aim to do is to go to war, leave friendly governments behind them and go home again. This will not work. In military terms, the Iraq war was successful. But it neglected the necessities of running the country, maintaining it, as the British did in the classic colonial model of India. The belief that the US does not need genuine allies among other states or genuine popular support in the countries its military can now conquer (but not effectively administer) is fantasy.

Iraq was a country that had been defeated by the Americans and refused to lie down. It happened to have oil, but the war was really an exercise in showing international power. The emptiness of administration policy is clear from the way the aims have been put forward in public relations terms. Phrases like "axis of evil" or "the road map" are not policy statements, but merely soundbites. Officials such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz talk like Rambo in public, as in private. All that counts is the overwhelming power of the US. In real terms they mean that the US can invade anybody small enough and where they can win quickly enough. The consequences of this for the US are going to be very dangerous.

Domestically, the real danger for a country that aims at world control is militarisation. Internationally, the danger is the destabilising of the world. The Middle East is far more unstable now than it was five years ago. US policy weakens all the alternative arrangements, formal and informal, for keeping order. In Europe it has wrecked Nato - not much of a loss, but trying to turn it into a world military police force for the US is a travesty. It has deliberately sabotaged the EU, and also aims at ruining another of the great world achievements since 1945: prosperous democratic social welfare states. The crisis over the United Nations is less of a drama than it appears since the UN has never been able to do more than operate marginally because of its dependence on the security council and the US veto.

H ow is the world to confront - contain - the US? Some people, believing that they have not the power to confront the US, prefer to join it. More dangerous are those who hate the ideology behind the Pentagon, but support the US project on the grounds that it will eliminate some local and regional injustices. This may be called an imperialism of human rights. It has been encouraged by the failure of Europe in the Balkans in the 1990s. The division of opinion over the Iraq war showed there to be a minority of influential intellectuals who were prepared to back US intervention because they believed it necessary to have a force for ordering the world's ills. There is a genuine case to be made that there are governments so bad that their disappearance will be a net gain for the world. But this can never justify the danger of creating a world power that is not interested in a world it does not understand, but is capable of intervening decisively with armed force whenever anybody does anything that Washington does not like.

How long the present superiority of the Americans lasts is impossible to say. The only thing of which we can be absolutely certain is that historically it will be a temporary phenomenon, as all other empires have been. In the course of a lifetime we have seen the end of all the colonial empires, the end of the so-called thousand-year empire of the Germans, which lasted a mere 12 years, the end of the Soviet Union's dream of world revolution.

There are internal reasons, the most immediate being that most Americans are not interested in running the world. What they are interested in is what happens to them in the US. The weakness of the US economy is such that at some stage both the US government and electors will decide that it is much more important to concentrate on the economy than to carry on with foreign military adventures. Even by local business standards Bush does not have an adequate economic policy for the US. And Bush's existing international policy is not a particularly rational one for US imperial interests - and certainly not for the interests of US capitalism. Hence the divisions of opinion within the US government.

The key questions now are: what will the Americans do next, and how will other countries react? Will some countries, like Britain, back anything the US plans? Their governments must indicate that there are limits. The most positive contribution has been made by the Turks, simply by saying there are things they are not prepared to do, even though they know it would pay. But the major preoccupation is that of - if not containing - educating or re-educating the US. There was a time when the US empire recognised limitations, or at least the desirability of behaving as though it had limitations. This was largely because the US was afraid of somebody else: the Soviet Union. In the absence of this kind of fear, enlightened self-interest and education have to take over.

This is an extract of an article edited by Victoria Brittain and published in Le Monde diplomatique's June English language edition. Eric Hobsbawm is the author of Interesting Times, The Age of Extremes and The Age of Empire


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: communism; erichobsbawm; imperial; paxamericana; superpower; unitedstates
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These kinds of articles really upset me. I particularly despise his quote that the US is dangerous because it believes that it is doing "humanity a favour." Well, if saving millions of Iraqi lives, thousands of Bosnian lives, etc. is dangerous, then is the alternative, allowing brutal regimes to mercilessly torture their own citizens unchecked, a preferable world?
1 posted on 06/14/2003 9:01:43 AM PDT by Mister Magoo
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To: Mister Magoo
I really don't think we need to be lectured on colonialism by the United Kingdom, what?
2 posted on 06/14/2003 9:04:42 AM PDT by RISU
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To: Mister Magoo
More dangerous are those who hate the ideology behind the Pentagon, but support the US project on the grounds that it will eliminate some local and regional injustices. This may be called an imperialism of human rights.

God forbid that European elitists be subjected to an imperialism of human rights and elimination of regional injustices.

The European elitists amaze me sometimes with paragraphs like these.
3 posted on 06/14/2003 9:08:09 AM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: Mister Magoo
"But patently a public assertion of global supremacy by military force is what is in the minds of the people at present dominating policymaking in Washington"

The above belies the author's limited understanding of his subject. Like many of his persuasion he assumes re-arranging his prejudices is a form of thinking. It is not.

4 posted on 06/14/2003 9:10:12 AM PDT by shrinkermd
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Mister Magoo
The cold war turned the US into the hegemon of the western world. However, this was as the head of an alliance. In a way, Europe then recognised the logic of a US world empire, whereas today the US government is reacting to the fact that the US empire and its goals are no longer genuinely accepted. In fact the present US policy is more unpopular than the policy of any other US government has ever been, and probably than that of any other great power has ever been.

In other words, when they needed the US to save their asses from communist rule, they were fine in accepting US help and US soldiers dying on their behalf. Now, they would rather us gone.

The collapse of the Soviet Union left the US as the only superpower. The sudden emergence of a ruthless, antagonistic flaunting of US power is hard to understand, all the more so since it fits neither with long-tested imperial policies nor the interests of the US economy. But patently a public assertion of global supremacy by military force is what is in the minds of the people at present dominating policymaking in Washington.

The projection of US military power is the single thing responsible for maintaining a level of peace in the world.

Within ten years, I fully expect that the US will again have to come to the aid of Europe to protect it from Islamic terrorism from within it's fast growing Muslim population. Americans will again sacrifice their lives in support of an ungrateful European Union.

6 posted on 06/14/2003 9:12:34 AM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: Mister Magoo

About the author ....

7 posted on 06/14/2003 9:12:55 AM PDT by dighton (NLC™)
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To: Mister Magoo
I see that the Leftist Internationale has taken upon itself to reiterate one of the principle lies of Stalinism, namely that the United States is an imperialist power which seeks world domination.

And this from people who routinely assert that the United Nations be allowed to redistribute the wealth of the planet, try anyone in any country, and assert military power in the name of "human rights."

One suspects that the real problem with the United States isn't imperialism but competition.

8 posted on 06/14/2003 9:12:58 AM PDT by Reactionary
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To: dighton
Oh, boy!
9 posted on 06/14/2003 9:13:26 AM PDT by Reactionary
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To: Mister Magoo
Brings to mind that little ditty:

We are the champions,
We are the chammmmmpppppions,
We are the champhions,
Of the Worldddddddd!
10 posted on 06/14/2003 9:13:27 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Pukin Dog
The sudden emergence of a ruthless, antagonistic flaunting of US power is hard to understand

Yeh, maybe we did over-react a tad to 9-11. Now, on to Syria and Iran...and North Korea...
11 posted on 06/14/2003 9:15:03 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Mister Magoo
The collapse of the Soviet Union left the US as the only superpower. The sudden emergence of a ruthless, antagonistic flaunting of US power is hard to understand ... The author needs a 9/11 in his nation, then he will perhaps grasp the global peril now spreading murder and mayhem from the radicalized faction of Islam, dubbed Islamism. I wonder, is the author a 'mooslem'?
12 posted on 06/14/2003 9:15:13 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: Mister Magoo
Eric Hobsbawm, 86 years old and "unrepentant" "lifetime" Communist. He sees only through the template of a dead and discredited and now ancient Marxism. You know almost without reading it that anything he has to say came out of the wrong end of a cow.
13 posted on 06/14/2003 9:16:28 AM PDT by T'wit
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To: dighton; Mister Magoo
More about the author:

Eric Hobsbawm is no doubt intelligent and industrious, and he might well have made a notable contribution as a historian. Unfortunately, lifelong devotion to Communism destroyed him as a thinker or interpreter of events. Such original work as he did concerned bandits and outlaws. But even here there is bias, for he rescued them from obscurity not for their own sake but as precursors of Communist revolution. His longer and later books are constructed around the abstractions of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat and the supposedly pre-ordained class struggle between them, capital and capitalism, empire and imperialism—in short the Marxist organizing principles which reduce human beings and their varied lives to concepts handy to serve a thesis worked up in advance and in the library. This material, needless to say, was derived from secondary sources.

The purpose of all Hobsbawm’s writing, indeed of his life, has been to certify the inevitable triumph of Communism. In the face of whatever might actually have been happening in the Soviet Union and its satellites, he devised reasons to justify or excuse the Communist Party right to its end—long after Russians themselves had realized that Communism had ruined morally and materially everybody and everything within its reach. He loves to describe himself as a professional historian, but someone who has steadily corrupted knowledge into propaganda, and scorns the concept of objective truth, is nothing of the kind, neither a historian nor professional.

Continued...


14 posted on 06/14/2003 9:16:37 AM PDT by general_re (ABSURDITY, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.)
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To: dighton
Welp, that explains a lot...if he wasn't senile, his "unrepentant Communist" stance would more than cover it. So, consider the source. Stick a fork in him.
15 posted on 06/14/2003 9:17:35 AM PDT by redhead
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: dighton
We-ell, a picture is a thousand words, ain't it now.
17 posted on 06/14/2003 9:24:25 AM PDT by bvw
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To: Mister Magoo
This bloodthirsty Gulag-builder would have no problem with global imperialism as long as it was SOVIET imperialism.

May God have mercy on his soul when they meet face to face.

18 posted on 06/14/2003 9:24:52 AM PDT by Dr. Thorne
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To: Pubbie; Mister Magoo
We are not a @#$% empire!

Ah, but we are.

We've been working towards it for 200 years. We've been closing in on it for the past 50 years.

And now we do control the world from Wall Street to the hardware in the sky.

Thank God.

19 posted on 06/14/2003 9:32:03 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: Mister Magoo
Americans have no interest world domination, in altering alien cultures, or in interfering in the affairs of other people.

However, they are intensely interested in preserving liberty and justice for all within the United States. Americans don't give a hoot what people of other lands believe or what their customs are--other than a healthy curiosity, and they have no interest in interfering with them.. They believe passionately in tolerance, and they are a very tolerant people.

On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by dangerous fanatics whose proclaimed ambition is world domination, the destruction of the United States and the other Western democracies, and the establishment of a world-wide Islamic theocracy with the Koran as the only constitution and the shariah as international law. These fanatics have the overt and covert support of a number of foreign governments and many of their people, who share the ambition.

America's consequent military response is purely defensive in reaction to this threat.

It is in the interest of the governments and the people of the Free World to assist the United States in stopping this threat and preventing these fanatics from fulfilling their ambition.

The situation is a repeat of the threat posed by The Third Reich in the 20th century, and the parallels are striking. Those who threaten freedom and free people must be stopped. Apeasement will not work.

Americans deserve--and need--the support of the people of the world.

People who think like the author of this article are the enablers of tyrrany, whether they realize it or not. They would be wise to reassess their thinking.

The entire world is under serious threat, and the Americans need all the help they can get.

20 posted on 06/14/2003 9:32:54 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Atrocities do not always begin with bloodshed. Some start with genteel legalisms.~Claudia Rosett)
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To: dighton
His 'Age of Revolution' was required reading in my late '60's PoliSci course taught by another commie - Tom Bottomore.

One consolation is this - I sincerely doubt that anyone ever became a communist from reading Hobsbawm's dreary texts.
21 posted on 06/14/2003 9:39:19 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: RISU
"A key novelty of the US imperial project is that all other empires knew that they were not the only ones, and none aimed at global domination."

"I really don't think we need to be lectured on colonialism by the United Kingdom, what?"

I find it ironic that a denizen of the BRITISH "once-global" empire seems to have forgotten completely the existence of the attempt by Socialism/Communism to forge a global empire, yet has the temerity to castigate the United States, which is not, and has never been, an imperial power (a WORLD power, yes, but not an imperial one). The US had its chance to go down the road of global empire after winning the Spanish-American war, and taking possession of much of Spains global possession--but ultimately decided not to go that route, voluntarily dispossessing itself of those territories.

22 posted on 06/14/2003 9:41:15 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: Mister Magoo
A few minor errors in the piece. The US economy is not weak (in fact it continues to go stronger vis a vis Europe and Japan, in part for demographic reasons and the on-going draining of the planet of the best and the brightest to the US), the US did not wreck the EU, and the EU is not wrecked (although France is making moves that might wreck it), France rather than the US wrecked NATO, and the roadmap IS a policy, and indeed one supported by Europe.

The author clearly doesn't like the idealistic and proactive, and now preemptive bent of US foreign policy. Fair enough. I do. I suspect if the US ceased all of that, the author would like the planet less in 10 years than he does now, and would be whining about the US abadoning its "responsibilites" as the planet's lone hyperpower.

The author tried to take a macro tour de horizon, and crashed at the end of the runway without ever getting off the ground.

23 posted on 06/14/2003 9:46:27 AM PDT by Torie
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To: general_re
thanks for posting that -- excellent article. However, I think there is a simpler explanation for why university-bred 'intellectuals' seemed to be particularly attracted to Communism. Most of these 'intellectuals' think they are smarter than everyone else and, as a result, because they are so smart they should be the ones who are in charge. Communism presents the perfect ideology for such a person. It provides them with both the justification for seizing power as well as the means for employing it -- because Communists believe that in order for an earthly workers' paradise to come into existence, the Communist Party must have absolute power to do what it will. And what is the Party? Well, the Party is a small elite of people who have demonstrated their intellectual fitness by mastering the difficult to understand (indeed some might say absolutely nonsensical) tenets of Communism. As a result, Communism presents the perfect fit for university professors who aspire to greater things than just being the petty tyrant in the classroom.
24 posted on 06/14/2003 9:52:49 AM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: Mister Magoo
So, if I understand his point correctly, it is something to the effect of this:

"America is trying to conquer the world. Well, maybe not conquer the world, but they want to be able to take out the occasional deranged government with impunity, and replace it themselves."

So what? By his own admission, we're not out to conquer the world, and the world (Europe, for instance) can't even clean up their own yards (Bosnia, for example). If America shows up at the doorstep of the occasional brutal thug and wipes him out, that will encourage others to act more sociably. It also won't generate fear, except in rotting old Communist sympathizers and the French, because all we will leave behind is a fresh start for the people.

25 posted on 06/14/2003 10:04:30 AM PDT by Steel Wolf (Stop reading my tag line.)
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To: Mister Magoo
The Middle East is far more unstable now than it was five years ago.

This is somehow supposed to be bad or unwanted? I cannot understand the left's devotion to "stability" since they have always been the ones who supported popular revolutions to overthrow oppressive governments and free the working classes. They seem to have gone 180 degrees and are now supporting all the most brutal dictatorships around the world in the name of "stability." The Middle East needs more instability. If you take the left's current infatuation with homosexual rights, women's rights, and the right to express oneself through pornography -- there are no more oppressive governments in the world than those in the Arab countries of the Middle East. The left should want revolution in these countries. Are they racist? Do they think that the only people who deserve free governments are those in the white countries of Europe?

26 posted on 06/14/2003 10:06:46 AM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: vbmoneyspender
The funny thing is, communism as it's been implemented around the world is deeply anti-intellectual - communism can brook no dissent to its orthodoxy, and intellectuals in general, and university professors in particular, are regarded as a threat to the stability of the state and the party, because of the possibility of dissent from honest investigators. Communists don't want honest intellectuals, they want mental plantation-dwellers like Hobsbawm, who have simply learned a slightly more erudite way of bleating out party platitudes, much like Orwell's sheep in "Animal Farm".

Consider the following real-world case: in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge regularly murdered people who wore glasses, on the theory that they were more likely to be educated and intellectual, an episode which remains shockingly perverse, even from the jaded perspective of nearly thirty years later. The irony of Hobsbawm's pursuit of communism, and the pursuit by other self-proclaimed intellectuals, is that the system they lust after has the goal of positively stifling and destroying true intellectualism by stifling and destroying the very sort of freedom of intellect that permits them to evangelize on behalf of communism. They use the very freedoms we afford to them in order to try and destroy the same freedoms for others. Ironic, no? ;)

27 posted on 06/14/2003 10:09:35 AM PDT by general_re (ABSURDITY, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.)
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To: Mister Magoo
The writer makes some over-broad assumptions, and you seem to agree with him. Your difference seems to be that you would try to justify something that flies in the face of both traditional American Foreign Policy & The Law Of Nations.

It most emphatically is not our job to protect other peoples from their own Governments. There may be a self-interest involved in our waging war on certain foreign nations, which makes the war a legitimate use of American resources. There may be a propagandist's advantage to dwelling on an incidental consequence of such a war, that has the effect of liberating a people from tyranny. But there can be no moral justification for waging war solely for that latter purpose.

Have you ever read, Washington's Farewell Address, on foreign policy? Do you care about Constitutional Government--about what powers were given to the Federal Government, and for what purposes? Have you ever read Jefferson's 1793 Memo--when he was Washington's Secretary Of State--on this very issue? Do you understand why he advised that every Nation must be the judge of its own internal affairs?

Forgetting all that. For the proposition to fly, that would have Americans police the other Governments of the earth, based upon our assumptions as whatever, would be to embrace a moral code which would make "lynch law" appear a "liberal" reform.

No the writer in the Guardian--no exponent of an Anglo-Saxon tradition on either side of the Atlantic--was trying to embarrass us, because of some of the injudicious remarks that have been made lately, and you have fallen right into his lap.

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

28 posted on 06/14/2003 10:21:18 AM PDT by Ohioan
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To: RISU
I really don't think we need to be lectured on colonialism by the United Kingdom, what?

You need a score card. The Guardian is a vehicle of the British Left. It has a long history of being antagonistic to the British Empire. Personally, I happen to have a great deal of respect for the Imperial Britain of earlier generations--though very glad we escaped her control. She was a far worthier nation, when she vigorously pursued and defended her interests all over the globe.

I find the article offensive, not as hypocritical, but as grossly exaggerating the present level of confusion in our foreign policy. In short, I do not believe that we are actually doing that for which we are accused. If we were, however, it would be violative of American values every bit as much a part of our tradtion, as those that you implicitly deride were part of those of an earlier Britain.

I guess that last sentence makes sense.

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

29 posted on 06/14/2003 10:34:44 AM PDT by Ohioan
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To: Savage Beast
Oh, the Europeans don't mind American involvement if it's something they agree with. As long as the UN is in control, nary a peep is heard as to the great American hegemon. However, as as soon as we take our own interests to heart, the battle cry of Imperialism! is to be heard across the globe.

Typical hypocrisy from these insufferable Europeans. The very people who wish to push the United Nations into every nook and cranny of the globe never tire of moralizing against American power.

30 posted on 06/14/2003 10:47:54 AM PDT by Reactionary
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To: Savage Beast
Bump!
31 posted on 06/14/2003 10:48:40 AM PDT by jimkress
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To: Ohioan
There may be a propagandist's advantage to dwelling on an incidental consequence of such a war, that has the effect of liberating a people from tyranny. But there can be no moral justification for waging war solely for that latter purpose.

No moral justification? Surely you jest...

32 posted on 06/14/2003 10:51:27 AM PDT by general_re (ABSURDITY, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.)
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To: Mister Magoo
"My dear Mr. Hogsbawn,

What you have written is PURE POPPYCOCK, I can assure you,

While the British Imperialists' aim was to plunder Africa, Asia etc

The Americans aim for going abroad to intervene is to bring democrasy and freedom to the oppressed and enslaved peoples of our Planet, eg regime change and so on

Indeed, my good fellow, the American have, so far, donated billions upon billions of dollars of foreign aid to the poor of the world and not making a cent in return, while you buggers had stolen trillions from your colonies

Yes, indeed, sir, we do view with SILENT CONTEMPT your cunning and evil attempt at casting aspersions on the Great American people

Terribly devious of you to do that kind of thing, I must say

It's hitting below the belt, sir

and it's definately not criket, to say the least
33 posted on 06/14/2003 10:56:23 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: general_re
"But there can be no moral justification for waging war solely for that latter purpose."

Ah, yes. Freedom from tyranny is no justification for war. The European communist has stated his true opinion.

What he means is, freedom from tyranny is no justification for war unless one seeks to destroy liberal democracy. In that case, all forms of warfare are "justified." What one must not do, however, is seek justification for a war of liberation against Stalinists and Fascists.

34 posted on 06/14/2003 11:01:22 AM PDT by Reactionary
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To: Mister Magoo
I find it amusing that in order to take a shot at the so-called US imperialism the venerable Brit editorialist must justify the British colonial occupations, and rather poorly at that.
35 posted on 06/14/2003 11:02:36 AM PDT by BlueNgold (Feed the Tree .....)
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To: general_re
I do not jest about something as serious as War.

If there is no direct American interest, there can be no justification under our system, for Americans to wage war. Our young men are not the playthings of our politicians. Our Government must act under the authority given it by the Constitution, or it acts illegally--and obviously immorally.

For an exposition on foreign policy issues, etc., see An American Foreign Policy.

There is a clear distinction between what may be permissible to a monarchy, that can trace its legitimacy back to a Feudal system, where in effect the population were the virtual property of the sovereign--and hence could be put at risk for his values, even if not related to their own direct interests as a people. But that is not the nature of the American Government, nor the American system. That is not the compact we embraced in the Constitution, after the compact theory of our system, set forth in the Declaration, was vindicated in the Revolution.

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

36 posted on 06/14/2003 11:05:09 AM PDT by Ohioan
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To: general_re

Strangely enough, this man will get his wish.

There will come a time, and I suspect sooner rather than later, when the world shows itself for the squalid place that it is. The Eurotrash, the African President's-For-Life, the shifty Asian con men lining their pockets with their subjects' taxes, and the loathsome creatures who rule the Middle East, have no interest in pursuing any sort of peaceful global order. The articles of capitalism: the rule of law, the principle of sanctity of contract, and the doctrines of representative government have no meaning out there.

We will tire of this. And then, once our Middle Eastern mission has gone sour, we will return home. In point of fact, there will be not global expansion, as this popinjay author believes, but a global retrenchment resembling the neutrality period of the 1930's. Only it will be an armed neutrality. September 11th has insured that.

The American people are not an imperial people. That is the central fact that puts paid to the straw man contstructed by the author.

This man will get his wish. We shall withdraw. And once we do, the world will go to hell. He is lucky. He will not live to see it.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

37 posted on 06/14/2003 11:08:41 AM PDT by section9 (Major Motoko Kusanagi has returned! Tanned, rested, and ready.....)
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To: headsonpikes
"...course taught by another commie - Tom Bottomore."

Let me guess, with that name ole Tom MUST have been a British homosexual.

38 posted on 06/14/2003 11:11:53 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: The Pheonix
It is remarkably difficult to find economic justification for European colonialism of the 1800s, with a few rare exceptions such as South Africa with its gold and diamonds.

The vast majority of colonies never came remotely close to paying back what it cost the "mother country" to acquire and run them.

Colonies were acquired for a lot of reasons, from humanitarian to rivalry with other powers. The occasional ignorant colonialist probably thought it was a good idea economically, but that didn't make it so.

BTW, the idea that colonialism is based on economic incentives is Lenin's most original contribution to Marxist "thought."
39 posted on 06/14/2003 11:13:23 AM PDT by Restorer (TANSTAAFL)
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To: Ohioan
If there is no direct American interest, there can be no justification under our system, for Americans to wage war. Our young men are not the playthings of our politicians. Our Government must act under the authority given it by the Constitution, or it acts illegally--and obviously immorally.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but oddly, I do not find such language contained in the Constitution, that war is only legal and moral when it fits such a definition - only that Congress may declare war, without specifying what the grounds for a declaration must or should be. One may appeal to extra-Constitutional texts in support of such a thesis, but the Constitution itself makes no such distinction between moral and immoral wars.

40 posted on 06/14/2003 11:15:56 AM PDT by general_re (ABSURDITY, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.)
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To: dighton
I took one look at that Toby Mug face (complete with handles) and couldn't stop vibrating enough to hit the "read about the author" link.

No wonder he's so disaffected in life. He's uglier than Uriah Heep.

Leni

41 posted on 06/14/2003 11:16:04 AM PDT by MinuteGal (Click Any Ship Icons to Link to Our "After-Cruise Report Buzz & Pics" Thread !)
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To: Mister Magoo
Poop.
42 posted on 06/14/2003 11:17:48 AM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: section9
While I find your point difficult to argue, I continue to be hopeful that you will turn out to be wrong about the descent of the outside world into death and destruction - in the name of basic humanity, if nothing else. Perhaps the rest of the world will discover their own Paines and Jeffersons and Washingtons and Hamiltons before things reach that state ;)
43 posted on 06/14/2003 11:19:34 AM PDT by general_re (ABSURDITY, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.)
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To: Restorer
"It is remarkably difficult to find economic justification for European colonialism of the 1800s, with a few rare exceptions such as South Africa with its gold and diamonds."

"The vast majority of colonies never came remotely close to paying back what it cost the "mother country" to acquire and run them."

Britain and Spain were extremely lucky in the colonial "game of dice". Spain with Mexico and Peru, and Britain with India and South Africa. The wealth stolen from there more than paid for the rest of the "less productive" colonies--FOR A WHILE. The other European "continental powers" weren't so lucky, and either got out of the "colony business" early on (Holland) or went broke trying to maintain them (France).

44 posted on 06/14/2003 11:19:51 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: Wonder Warthog
my dear warthog

the Dutch still tried to cling on to their colony of Indonesia (Batavia) in 1945 until the Indonesian Nationalists forces fought and drove them out to gain the Indonesian independence
45 posted on 06/14/2003 11:24:25 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: general_re
The Constitutional grants to Congress are all premised upon the concept that they promote the Common Defense or General Welfare--i.e. the exact opposite of the particular welfare of factions, which modern politicians slaver over.

Washington and Jefferson both made it very clear, what sort of foreign policy they envisioned. It is clearly one driven by both a respect for the Law of Nations and the dictates of morality in a Republican system. (See An American Foreign Policy.)

We have had now almost 85 years--since Wilson brought the League Treaty home in November, 1918--of arguments for a different foreign policy; but they never confront the far more compelling arguments that the Founding Fathers made for the one they gave us. (Rather the technique has been to blow smoke in the public face, with allegations that our traditions were "isolationist." But nothing could be further from the truth.)

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

46 posted on 06/14/2003 11:28:53 AM PDT by Ohioan
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To: Mister Magoo
What is it they don't remember about The Massacre of September 11th?

I won't ever forget or forgive.

http://video.artistdirect.com/video/player/frame/0,,1724437,00.html

http://www.hififusion.com/ecard/darrylworley/acm/2/

http://www.politicsandprotest.org/
47 posted on 06/14/2003 11:29:05 AM PDT by Hinoki Cypress
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To: Reactionary
One suspects that the real problem with the United States isn't imperialism but competition.

A bumpworthy sentence!

It's pretty bold for the Euroboobs (this guy's English, but still) to lecture us about imperialism -- the same folks who have the audacity to claim global jurisdiction for a court which they've simply breathed into existence.

48 posted on 06/14/2003 11:34:26 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Wonder Warthog
Besides India and S.Africa being profitable colonies, I would say the following were profitable too,ie

Malaya, with its plentiful tin and rubber. British companies own at least 70% of the tin-mines and rubber plantations

Ceylon, with its gems ,rubber, and tea plantations

Ghana, minerals and other raw materials

Kenya, loads of agricultural and other natural resources

Similarly Rhodesia, HK, etc

Some colonies provide vital/strategic military bases, like Malta, Aden, Singapore etc

hereby begging a question,"if colonies were not "CASH COWS", why did all the Imperial powers fought so hard to retain them? Indeed the WW2 was a war between the Imperial/colonial powers, a fight over colonial terrtories
49 posted on 06/14/2003 11:35:09 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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To: Wonder Warthog
to continue from my posting

"and indeed why did Colonial powers fought rather than give independence t their colonies...( if colonies were not money-making cash cows)
50 posted on 06/14/2003 11:37:10 AM PDT by The Pheonix
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