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Index » Regional/Local » USA/Canada » US Empire Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
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R_P Avatar

Posted: Jul 2, 2022 - 2:56pm

Empire Burlesque *
What comes after the American Century?
In February 1941, as Adolf Hitler’s armies prepared to invade the Soviet Union, the Republican oligarch and publisher Henry Luce laid out a vision for global domination in an article titled the american century. World War II, he argued, was the result of the United States’ immature refusal to accept the mantle of world leadership after the British Empire had begun to deteriorate in the wake of World War I. American foolishness, the millionaire claimed, had provided space for Nazi Germany’s rise. The only way to rectify this mistake and prevent future conflict was for the United States to join the Allied effort and
accept wholeheartedly our duty and our opportunity as the most powerful and vital nation in the world and . . . exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit.

Just as the United States had conquered the American West, the nation would subdue, civilize, and remake international relations.

Ten months after Luce published his essay, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the United States, which had already been aiding the Allies, officially entered the war. Over the next four years, a broad swath of the foreign policy elite arrived at Luce’s conclusion: the only way to guarantee the world’s safety was for the United States to dominate it. By war’s end, Americans had accepted this righteous duty, of becoming, in Luce’s words, “the powerhouse . . . lifting the life of mankind from the level of the beasts to what the Psalmist called a little lower than the angels.” The American Century had arrived.

In the decades that followed, the United States implemented a grand strategy that the historian Stephen Wertheim has fittingly termed “armed primacy.” According to the strategy’s noble advocates, human flourishing, international order, and the future of liberal democratic capitalism depended on the nation spreading its tentacles across the world. Whereas the United States had been wary of embroiling itself in extra-hemispheric affairs prior to the twentieth century, Old Glory could now increasingly be seen flying across the globe. To facilitate their crusade, Americans constructed what the historian Daniel Immerwahr has dubbed a “pointillist empire.” While most empires traditionally relied on the seizure and occupation of vast territories, the United States built military bases around the world to project its power. From these outposts, it launched wars that killed millions, protected a capitalist system that benefited the wealthy, and threatened any power—democratic or otherwise—that had the temerity to disagree with it.

As Luce desired, by the end of the twentieth century, the United States, a nation founded after one of the first modern anticolonial revolutions, had become a world-spanning empire. The “city on a hill” had evolved into a fortified metropolis.

But in the past six years, two transformational events have begun to reshape the United States’ place in the world. First, the election of Donald Trump suggested to domestic and foreign audiences alike that the country might not be forever beholden to the idea that global “leadership” was a vital American interest. Instead of proclaiming the inviolability of the vaunted “liberal international order,” Trump approached international relations as any corrupt businessman would: he tried to get the most while giving the least. He thus withdrew from several international organizations and agreements—including the World Health Organization, the Paris climate agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the Open Skies Treaty—and initiated trade wars intended to boost American business. Taken with his bellicose rhetoric, these actions demonstrated that the world could no longer assume that the United States was committed to defending the geopolitical status quo.

Second, the emergence of China as an economic and military powerhouse has decisively ended the “unipolar moment” of the Nineties and Aughts. The country only recently referred to as a “rising tiger” (Orientalism never dies) now boasts, according to some measures, the largest military and economy on earth. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank offer alternatives to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and other Western-dominated institutions, which, to put it mildly, aren’t exactly beloved in the Global South. (...)


westslope Avatar

Location: BC sage brush steppe

Posted: Jan 23, 2021 - 10:09am

Should start a new thread entitled:  The Ongoing Decline of a has-been great power:  Great Britain

Biden removes Winston Churchill bust from display in Oval Office, U.K. tabloids erupt

British Journalist Andrew Pierce found it telling that Biden had replaced Churchill 'with the hard left failed socialist Cesar Chavez'


I was a volunteer community organizer for the United Farm Workers of America AFL-CIO for a brief period in the early 1980s.   The union attempted to secure better wages and working conditions for what were mostly Chicano farmworkers, i.e., American citizens of Mexican descent.  In Arizona, the long-term goal was to reverse the right-to-work legislation.

There were numerous problems with the UFWA but the overall goals were understandable.  Back then, if wages went to US$7.00/hour, farms would react by increasing mechanization and lay workers off and reduce seasonal hirings.

It is really very sad to contemplate the full negative fall-out from the Roman Catholic Church labour supply policy.  The Catholic Church was not created to hurt the working poor.  It did and still does.  Tragic.  

R_P Avatar

Posted: Jan 23, 2021 - 9:33am

The Rubble of Empire
Doctrines of Disaster and Dreams of Security as the Biden Years Begin
Rebecca Gordon
If you need proof that the last superpower, our very own empire, is indeed crumbling, consider the year we’ve just lived through, not to mention the first few weeks of 2021. I mentioned above some of the factors that contributed to the collapse of the famed Roman empire in the fifth century. It’s fair to say that some of those same things are now evident in twenty-first-century America. Here are four obvious candidates:

Grotesque Economic Inequality:
Wild Overspending on the Military:
Corruption So Deep It Undermines the Political System:
A Country in Ever-Deepening Conflict:


R_P Avatar

Posted: Jul 3, 2020 - 12:46pm

End of empire
The era of US dominion has now passed

R_P Avatar

Posted: Jul 9, 2019 - 11:20am

US Foreign Policy Is A War On Disobedience
It’s a machine with the same values as Napoleon or Hitler or Genghis Khan or any other imperialist conqueror from ages past; the only difference is that it pretends not to be the thing that it is. The US markets itself as an upholder of rules-based liberal democratic values, even though it consistently flouts international law, wages imperialist wars of aggression, imprisons journalists, crushes dissent and uses propaganda just as much as any totalitarian regime. The only difference is that it does so in a way that enables its supporters to pretend that that’s not what’s actually happening. (...)

But the thing about neocons and the rest of the increasingly indistinguishable proponents of American imperialism is that their underlying thesis is actually fundamentally correct: the US empire does depend on endless war in order to maintain its dominance over other nations. America doesn’t have the leverage to stay on top using economic prowess alone; it requires both the carrot of US military backing and the stick of US military aggressions. War is the only adhesive holding the US-centralized empire together, and the more its economic dominance slips away in the face of China’s economic rise, the more ham-fisted and desperate its warmongering is necessarily going to get.


R_P Avatar

Posted: Feb 17, 2019 - 6:15pm

How the US has hidden its empire
The United States likes to think of itself as a republic, but it holds territories all over the world – the map you always see doesn’t tell the whole story.

There aren’t many historical episodes more firmly lodged in the United States’s national memory than the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is one of only a few events that many people in the country can put a date to: 7 December 1941, the “date which will live in infamy,” as Franklin D Roosevelt put it. Hundreds of books have been written about it – the Library of Congress holds more than 350. And Hollywood has made movies, from the critically acclaimed From Here to Eternity, starring Burt Lancaster, to the critically derided Pearl Harbor, starring Ben Affleck.

But what those films don’t show is what happened next. Nine hours after Japan attacked the territory of Hawaii, another set of Japanese planes came into view over another US territory, the Philippines. As at Pearl Harbor, they dropped their bombs, hitting several air bases, to devastating effect.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was just that – an attack. Japan’s bombers struck, retreated and never returned. Not so in the Philippines. There, the initial air raids were followed by more raids, then by invasion and conquest. Sixteen million Filipinos – US nationals who saluted the stars and stripes and looked to FDR as their commander in chief – fell under a foreign power.

Contrary to popular memory, the event familiarly known as “Pearl Harbor” was in fact an all-out lightning strike on US and British holdings throughout the Pacific. On a single day, the Japanese attacked the US territories of Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, Midway Island and Wake Island. They also attacked the British colonies of Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong, and they invaded Thailand.

At first, “Pearl Harbor” was not the way most people referred to the bombings. “Japs bomb Manila, Hawaii” was the headline in one New Mexico paper; “Japanese Planes Bomb Honolulu, Island of Guam” in another in South Carolina. Sumner Welles, FDR’s undersecretary of state, described the event as “an attack upon Hawaii and upon the Philippines”. Eleanor Roosevelt used a similar formulation in her radio address on the night of 7 December, when she spoke of Japan “bombing our citizens in Hawaii and the Philippines”.

That was how the first draft of FDR’s speech went, too: it presented the event as a “bombing in Hawaii and the Philippines”. Yet Roosevelt toyed with that draft all day, adding things in pencil, crossing other bits out. At some point he deleted the prominent references to the Philippines.

Why did Roosevelt demote the Philippines? We don’t know, but it’s not hard to guess. Roosevelt was trying to tell a clear story: Japan had attacked the US. But he faced a problem. Were Japan’s targets considered “the United States”? Legally, they were indisputably US territory. But would the public see them that way? What if Roosevelt’s audience didn’t care that Japan had attacked the Philippines or Guam? Polls taken slightly before the attack show that few in the continental US supported a military defense of those remote territories.

Roosevelt no doubt noted that the Philippines and Guam, although technically part of the US, seemed foreign to many. Hawaii, by contrast, was more plausibly “American”. Although it was a territory rather than a state, it was closer to North America and significantly whiter than the others.

Yet even when it came to Hawaii, Roosevelt felt a need to massage thepoint. So, on the morning of his speech, he made another edit. He changed it so that the Japanese squadrons had bombed not the “island of Oahu”, but the “American island of Oahu”. Damage there, Roosevelt continued, had been done to “American naval and military forces”, and “very many American lives” had been lost.

An American island, where American lives were lost – that was the point he was trying to make. If the Philippines was being rounded down to foreign, Hawaii was being rounded up to “American”.

One reporter in the Philippines described the scene in Manila as the crowds listened to Roosevelt’s speech on the radio. The president spoke of Hawaii and the many lives lost there. Yet he only mentioned the Philippines, the reporter noted, “very much in passing”. Roosevelt made the war “seem to be something close to Washington and far from Manila”.

This was not how it looked from the Philippines, where air-raid sirens continued to wail. “To Manilans the war was here, now, happening to us,” the reporter wrote. “And we have no air-raid shelters.”



R_P Avatar

Posted: Feb 10, 2019 - 12:00pm

Pox Americana: Vijay Prashad on Venezuela, India, Mexico, Congo, and U.S. Hegemony
(...) The former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield has been aggressively lobbying for more sanctions, saying “perhaps the best solution would be to accelerate the collapse.” He says this while actually openly acknowledging that sanctions will kill innocent people, increase malnutrition, and bring “fairly severe punishment” for “millions and millions” of Venezuelans. Brownfield recently admitted the following:
If we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision — the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.
This is the former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela speaking at a Washington D.C. think tank, publicly saying that it is worth the price of lives and health and humanity of ordinary Venezuelans in order to overthrow a government the U.S. does not like. These sanctions are going to cost Venezuela $11 billion in oil revenue in 2019 alone. That amounts to nearly 95 percent of the money that Venezuela spent on the import of food and other goods last year. This isn’t targeting Maduro. Even The Economist stated the following about the logic behind the sanctions: “Mr. Guaidó and Mr. Trump are betting that hardship will topple the regime before it starves the Venezuelan people.” That’s not Chávez speaking from the grave. That’s The Economist.

When powerful political leaders in the U.S. want to change governments, the price of killing innocent people is always worth it. It’s the American way. And this is why Trump is being embraced on his Venezuela policy. He is promoting and advancing the bipartisan politics of empire. It is the same dynamic when the so-called adults on Capitol Hill support giving Trump sweeping surveillance powers or unending funds for an already insane military spending budget. For all the screaming about Trump being a grave threat to democracy, the worst president ever, or an unhinged maniac, when he boosts the policies of imperialism, he gets to join the club of the cops of the world. (...)


R_P Avatar

Posted: Oct 2, 2018 - 10:42am

Video: A Short History of U.S. Meddling in Foreign Elections / Mehdi Hasan

shampa1n Avatar

Location: Solent
Gender: Male

Posted: Aug 23, 2008 - 2:03pm


'America's Outrageous War Economy!'

Pentagon can't find $2.3 trillion, wasting trillions on 'national defense'

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Last update: 7:27 p.m. EDT Aug. 18, 2008
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Yes, America's economy is a war economy. Not a "manufacturing" economy. Not an "agricultural" economy. Nor a "service" economy. Not even a "consumer" economy.
Seriously, I looked into your eyes, America, saw deep into your soul. So let's get honest and officially call it "America's Outrageous War Economy." Admit it: we secretly love our war economy. And that's the answer to Jim Grant's thought-provoking question last month in the Wall Street Journal — "Why No Outrage?"
There really is only one answer: Deep inside we love war. We want war. Need it. Relish it. Thrive on war. War is in our genes, deep in our DNA. War excites our economic brain. War drives our entrepreneurial spirit. War thrills the American soul. Oh just admit it, we have a love affair with war. We love "America's Outrageous War Economy."
Americans passively zone out playing video war games. We nod at 90-second news clips of Afghan war casualties and collateral damage in Georgia. We laugh at Jon Stewart's dark comedic news and Ben Stiller's new war spoof "Tropic Thunder" ... all the while silently, by default, we're cheering on our leaders as they aggressively expand "America's Outrageous War Economy," a relentless machine that needs a steady diet of war after war, feeding on itself, consuming our values, always on the edge of self-destruction.
  • Why else are Americans so eager and willing to surrender 54% of their tax dollars to a war machine, which consumes 47% of the world's total military budgets?
  • Why are there more civilian mercenaries working for no-bid private war contractors than the total number of enlisted military in Iraq (180,000 to 160,000), at an added cost to taxpayers in excess of $200 billion and climbing daily?
  • Why do we shake our collective heads "yes" when our commander-in-chief proudly tells us he is a "war president;" and his party's presidential candidate chants "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran," as if "war" is a celebrity hit song?
  • Why do our spineless Democrats let an incompetent, blundering executive branch hide hundreds of billions of war costs in sneaky "supplemental appropriations" that are more crooked than Enron's off-balance-sheet deals?
  • Why have Washington's 537 elected leaders turned the governance of the American economy over to 42,000 greedy self-interest lobbyists?
  • And why earlier this year did our "support-our-troops" "war president" resist a new GI Bill because, as he said, his military might quit and go to college rather than re-enlist in his war; now we continue paying the Pentagon's warriors huge $100,000-plus bonuses to re-up so they can keep expanding "America's Outrageous War Economy?" Why? Because we secretly love war!
We've lost our moral compass: The contrast between today's leaders and the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 shocks our conscience. Today war greed trumps morals. During the Revolutionary War our leaders risked their lives and fortunes; many lost both.
Today it's the opposite: Too often our leaders' main goal is not public service but a ticket to building a personal fortune in the new "America's Outrageous War Economy," often by simply becoming a high-priced lobbyist.



katzendogs Avatar

Location: Pasadena ,Texas
Gender: Male

Posted: Aug 21, 2008 - 5:38pm

exotraxx wrote:

What's the actual state of affairs - did the murder take place?
This is a question for that Texan blatherskite who always is offline - mentally - when things happen... unfortunately.

here ya go wingnut


dionysius Avatar

Location: The People's Republic of Austin
Gender: Male

Posted: Aug 21, 2008 - 8:28am

 edieraye wrote:

Hey there, good-deed-doer! 


edieraye Avatar

Posted: Aug 21, 2008 - 8:17am

 dionysius wrote:

The yogurt on the dairy shelf in the USA Disneyland supermarkets.



dionysius Avatar

Location: The People's Republic of Austin
Gender: Male

Posted: Aug 21, 2008 - 7:48am

 katzendogs wrote:

Just asking where "more civilized cultures" are located.


The yogurt on the dairy shelf in the USA Disneyland supermarkets.


Servo Avatar

Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male

Posted: Aug 20, 2008 - 10:11pm

 katzendogs wrote:
Just asking where "more civilized cultures" are located.
You have a problem right out of the gate.  It's not the places, it's the people.


katzendogs Avatar

Location: Pasadena ,Texas
Gender: Male

Posted: Aug 20, 2008 - 6:33pm

Servo wrote:

I think that's the root of the problem here in the US. The kind of thinking that is considered completely normal, even desirable here in the US would be considered nothing short of psychotic in more civilized cultures. Although Americans do a lot of chest-thumping about being "Christians", the fact of the matter is that the gods that the vast majority of Americans worship are themselves and their stuff.

Just asking where "more civilized cultures" are located.


Servo Avatar

Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male

Posted: Aug 20, 2008 - 6:29pm

 nuggler wrote:
Question I ask myself periodically & I believe I might even have asked it here a couple of times, much to the disgust of some. Should we not at least feel a little shamed by this consumer terrorist attitude of ours that has us ranking as one of the most wasteful nations on earth...? If we at least felt some shame might we not make more concerted efforts to change that pathological attitude...? Or does the shame interfere with our 24/7 goodtimes baby ensuring that we take every precaution not to feel it...?
I think that's the root of the problem here in the US.  The kind of thinking that is considered completely normal, even desirable here in the US would be considered nothing short of psychotic in more civilized cultures.  Although Americans do a lot of chest-thumping about being "Christians", the fact of the matter is that the gods that the vast majority of Americans worship are themselves and their stuff.

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