Skip to comments.Where's the American empire when we need it?
Posted on 12/05/2010 12:09:27 AM PST by MinorityRepublican
Currency wars. Terrorist attacks. Military conflicts. Rogue regimes pursuing nuclear weapons. Collapsing states. And now, massive leaks of secret documents. What is the cause of such turbulence? The absence of empire. View Only Top Items in This Story
During the Cold War, the world was divided between the Soviet and U.S. imperial systems. The Soviet imperium - heir to Kievan Rus, medieval Muscovy and the Romanov dynasty - covered Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and propped up regimes in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The American imperium - heir to maritime Venice and Great Britain - also propped up allies, particularly in Western Europe and East Asia. True to the garrison tradition of imperial Rome, Washington kept bases in West Germany, Turkey, South Korea and Japan, virtually surrounding the Soviet Union.
The breakup of the Soviet empire, though it caused euphoria in the West and led to freedom in Central Europe, sparked ethnic conflicts in the Balkans and the Caucasus that cost hundreds of thousands of lives and created millions of refugees. (In Tajikistan alone, more than 50,000 people were killed in a civil war that barely registered in the U.S. media in the 1990s.)
The Soviet collapse also unleashed economic and social chaos in Russia itself, as well as the further unmooring of the Middle East. It was no accident that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait less than a year after the Berlin Wall fell, just as it is inconceivable that the United States would have invaded Iraq if the Soviet Union, a staunch patron of Baghdad, still existed in 2003. And had the Soviet empire not fallen apart or ignominiously withdrawn from Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden never would have taken refuge there and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, might not have happened.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Then I saw how everything is Americana. The shops, the malls, the food, the movies, the music, the fashion, the TV, the you - name it.
And just about all you hear about is: America this and America that.
When I lived in the US we never talked about Germany this or Germany that. Or Britain this and Britain that. Or France this and France that.
It was a surprise. LoL!
The reason for the sudden up tic in anarchy and chaos in the last two years is because of the of the weak and feckless leadership , or more appropriately lack of leadership, of President Obama.
Every wanna be strong man and dictator knows Obama can be rolled with no consequences. It's Obama’s willful refusal to act that is the problem, not America's capability to take to necessary action.
President Bush was at least respected, if not feared, by the bad guys which is the reason things were different under Bush
Not so much comtempt IMHO as self-delusion so common of useful idiots...
I am a Marine...defender of freedom against tyranny
and when I enter the valley of death
and the angel of Satan appears at my shoulder
I will be resolute and fear no evil
And my Lord in heaven will guide my sword.
It is in China. Staying with our jobs.
Even with the founding of America, it was starting to become obvious that the world military hegemony of Britain was too expensive and destined to fall apart. Empires came and empires went, as was clear from a reading of history. So what to do?
Instead of trying to rule everybody, create a form of government, republican-democracy, where there is far less inclination to hostility and aggression between nations. The democratic revolution.
Many US presidents have been firm believers in this idea, that the only nations the US can ever fully trust are democracies, and that kings and tyrants are inherently our enemies, precisely because they cannot ever be trusted. And so the idea of “exporting democracy” was born.
This is not colonialism, but it is so effective that the remaining dictators of the world have to pretend to be democracies and keep to democratic values. The revolution conquered the world, more or less.
Does that mean that all nations are equal? Certainly not. And why does the US still pay for military hegemony?
For the reasons that there are still tyrannies. But America has been more successful because it has been using a different philosophy.
We are not the world’s policeman for our own profit, but to keep tyrants down. And if we make money from peace and trade, that is all well and good.
Eventually, we strongly hope that whoever takes the reigns after us will have the same attitude. We can hope.
The Army changed the Class A Uni to Blue from Green recently (other changes were made to all Uni's also).
It can create some confusion.
What have you NeoCons accomplished?
You brought Hamas into power and you gave Iraq to Iran.
"War on Terror," my @ss.
As far as Iraq goes, a profound lesson for future reference was that when we cleaned up the mess, our worst mistakes were philosophical ones, made with good intentions. These contrasted with what worked, which is how we should do things in the future.
1) Iraq’s institutions were rotten to the core. On one hand, when we recognized this, and replaced an institution with a western style one, it worked like a charm. On the other hand, when we tried to preserve and rebuild an existing institution, it was a recipe for abject failure, that wasted time and resources, and never did work.
J. Paul Bremer and his young and enthusiastic subordinates actually deserve much credit for what should be a prosperous Iraq in the future, unless the Iraqis bungle things up. He created a world class financial system model based on what had proven to work best in a dozen other countries—without the baggage they developed bringing those systems about.
So in this case, the lesson that should be learned is that respecting the existing culture’s way of doing business is wrong, when there are better ways of doing things. The Iraq occupation will hopefully, in the future, be compared with the MacArthur occupation of Japan, and found wanting because of our desire to be respectful instead of efficient.
And the nightmare version of what we did in Afghanistan is, and will remain a disaster, for just this reason. There, we should have begun with a blank slate, keeping none of their worthless, corrupt, and stupid systems at all. Had we done so at the very start, they would be doing a lot better than they are.
2) Another grave error was America’s ceaseless effort to be “internationalist” with our endeavors. Iraq’s legal system was based on the French Code Civil, which is in turn based on Napoleonic Law that itself is based on Roman Law. In past, we foolishly allowed this to become the dominant international legal system, though our own, and Britain’s legal system, based on Common Law, is far superior to it in every way.
Preserving this system as the Iraqi legal system did them no favors, as a Code Civil legal system stifles entrepreneurship, creativity, and business success, in favor of elitist micromanagement.
Efforts to be internationalist also meant that we encouraged other countries, with no such scruples, to outbid America for Iraqi oil, and other lucrative deals.
So the lesson learned should be that internationalism sucks, and is for suckers.
3) Americans loathe big brother government, which ironically increases in America every day. However, we refrained from using these techniques in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they might have been profoundly good in stabilizing those nations.
The US Army should have had dozens of squad sized units whose function would be to record the identities of every Iraqi we met. This means the whole gambit. Photographs, fingerprints, voice prints, DNA sample, laser height and weight. Then each and every one would be issued an ID card, with just their picture on the front, and encrypted dot matrix 2D bar code on the back.
And that ID card would be their voting card, ration card, government anything card, military and police ID, driver’s license, internal passport, everything.
After that, every time anybody talked to an Iraqi, their card would be scanned, so our personnel would immediately know if they were up to hanky panky. If their card was lost or destroyed, they would be detained until their identity was verified and they were issued a new card. If their card was a fake, they would be detained. It would be extremely hard to be a terrorist. And any al-Qaeda foreigner would be an easy mark.
For us, 1984 is horrific oppression. For them, peace and stability.
4) American foreign policy is about democracy when we want it to be about democracy. And while this is not all the time, it is a far sight more than anyone else.
What is the cause of such turbulence? The dumba$$, immature, inexperienced, democrats are in charge. Washington Post, did you really think an inexperienced Community Organizer could handle the job? Did you really think the inexperienced Hillary could handle running the State Department? For real, did you really believe that? If so, then you are idiots.
Maybe for this neocon and his chickenhawk think tank buddies. When he was in his 20's there were hot wars in Asia, Africa, Central & South America killing thousands weekly. Guess this "historian" missed this chapter in the wonderful history of empires.
This piece is riddle with outright insanity. How does he get away with it? Does anyone outside of the Washington Post, NYT, and yes, Fox News take neocons seriously anymore?
Maybe this Historian was smoking some grass in his ‘20s as he was getting his PhD at an Ivy League college, just saying.
Hard lefty, and an advocate of perpetual war, now that the commies are gone. He's a stone-cold fascist, and if you object to his goals, you are shouted down as an anti-semite and worse.
Maybe I'm insulated, but it seems these creeps are finally losing influence among the rank & file conservatives. But, they have the think tanks, Fox News and talk radio in their pockets.
Am I exaggerating? Is not everything in this guy's column insane?