Monday, August 18, 2008
I wish Imperial America were just a fantasy of the mind. Something that exists as a mental concept, but cannot be tagged to anything in the real word. However, one has to be super and foolishly patriotic to avoid seeing the imperial ambitions of America.
There are many books by thoughtful and knowledgeable persons on this subject. Among my personal favorites are Noam Chomsky and Chalmers Johnson.
The Mexican War and the Spanish American War were both imperial wars. America was taken what they wanted to have a position of power and dominance. They were acts of aggression.
There may be justification in calling the Vietnam war -- imperial -- also.
Are we just altruistic "policemen of the world"? America seldom wages war when it is not in the interest of this country.
Basically, the power, wealth, military force and the espionage activities of the USA are in service to one thing primarily: the American Economic Empire.
Empires are of different types. Our foreign policy has mainly been in support of American capitalism. We have instigated coups (Iran, Chile, etc.); we have assassinated foreign leaders, e.g. Ecuador, Panama, and, doubt others not heard about because they are still to be uncovered.
We have employed in a joint government/ private effort "economic hit men" who travel around the world attempting to convince the leaders of third world countries to accept loans usually through the World Bank or the IMO that are not in the interest of the people of these countries, but of the small elite, and, mainly beneficial to American corporations. Once the country takes the bait, and discovers it hooked --- swamped by debts it can't repay as quickly as it should --- then all sorts of concessions can be wrung out of that nation: dirt cheap prices on raw materials, allow factories and other installations to be built--that primarily benefit the U.S. or our corporations. When the countries' leaders don't cooperate as in the aforementioned cases of Ecuador and Panama --- "accidents" such as explosions in helicopters occur that eliminate the recalcitrant populist leaders. The CIA's "jackals" have solved the problem.
There does not need to be "a leader of imperial dimensions,". This country is basically run by corporations. Who elects politicians? Who does Bush/Cheney bring in to the White House to write our energy policy?
What the corporate powers need is not necessarily a strong or even "bright" leader --- they need one who is pliable, willing to do their bidding, perhaps because he believes ideologically in the salvic grace of capitalism.
Here is the simple truth: "capitalistic democracy" is an oxymoron.
CAFTA and NAFTA are part of the American Empire. Fortunately, some countries in Latin America are waking up: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, and especially Venezuela.
What we need in the world is blocs that can defend themselves against economic domination by the U.S.A. As I said before, we only claim to be altruistic. America, its corporations, and to a much lesser extent, its people have lived "high on the hog" at the expense of the people of the third world.
It is almost true, perhaps, completely true ---- that we only do things that serve our national and self interest -- but we like to project the Good Samaritan image.
For an empire to succeed it must maintain a military presence throughout the world. According to the Base Structure Report, an annual report of the Department of Defense, in the year 2002 we had 725 bases in other people's countries.
We do not control completely the global economy. We are challenged by the European Union, China, India, Russia and a few others. However, we are the most powerful and influential player -- for the time being.
The global economy and the world in general is actually controlled by very large, complex and interrelated multi-national mega corporations.. The United States is largely a pawn of these entities. The World Government that was a favorite high school and college debate topic in the middle of the last century ---- is not going to be some enormous nation state --- it is going to be a world corporate state, probably of a rather small number of conglomerates. The nation state is becoming a myth.
So, America is being used by multi-national corporations for their interest --- and the interest of their shareholders. Together these economic leaders and their shareholders represent probably about !% of the world's population, but control about 90% of the world's wealth.
It does not matter much what the American people want --- they are just going along for the ride --- even though they haven't "woke" up yet.