I ask our readers, especially those who lean left or center (or liberal) if I may, meaning those of us who seriously want Peace, to read the following article, and determine who it is written by someone on the left, center, or right of the political spectrum?
It uses words such as American Imperium, which rings not only of American Empire but also of American Imperialism. In a previous article I did related to this subject, The U. S. Needs a Broad-Based Peace Movement, I mentioned that some fiscal conservatives meeting with members of the Peace movement, to discuss if a combined anti-war effort was feasible, warned against describing the United States as imperialist.
Fiscal conservatives reasoned that rhetoric would get up the hackles of (turn off) many Americans. But, they were comfortable describing the United States as an Empire. Well not only does that fly in the face of logic, but now even conservatives are using the rhetoric of American imperialism. We can’t say one thing and mean another.
The point for anyone who has been lobbying, marching, protesting, or down right hitting the streets seriously wanting Peace is that if YOU do not cooperate with fiscal conservatives in this rhetorical debate on YOUR terms the conservatives will take the high ground in more effectively getting the message out.
Simply put the fiscal conservatives will steal the message those passionately wanting Peace have been championing since 9/11 that America is not only an Empire but an Imperialist Empire.
Wars for Empire need to end, because WE can no longer afford them (this is the message fiscal conservatives are moving out on come November 2010), not only that but they call for rolling back the American Empire by cutting down or eliminating foreign military bases the Empire no longer needs.
Without giving the name of the author who wrote this, it is only an exerpt, I see this as a trial balloon being floated by a moderate conservative to see what the reaction is NOT from anti-war activists, or even neoconservatives, but FROM fiscal conservatives who have finally connected the dots between the billions spent and continue to be spent on our Offense Budget
Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, Veterans Today News
Ending the American Empire by the author of the book “Churchill, Hitler and ‘The Unnecessary War.”
“A decade ago, Oldsmobile went. Last year, Pontiac. Saturn, Saab and Hummer were discontinued. A thousand GM dealerships shut down.
To those who grew up in a “GM family…what happened to GM was deeply saddening. Yet the amputations had to be done — or GM would die.
And the same may be about to happen to the American Imperium.
The American Empire
But with the Stalinization of half of Europe, the fall of China, and war in Korea came NATO and alliances with Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan and Australia that lasted through the Cold War.
In 1989, however, the Cold War ended dramatically with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the retirement of the Red Army from Europe, the break-up of the Soviet Union and Beijing’s abandonment of world communist revolution.
Uncle Sam soldiered on.
Overnight, our world changed. But America did not change.
We clung to the old alliances and began to add new allies. NATO war guarantees were distributed like credit cards to member states of the old Warsaw Pact and former republics of the Soviet Union.
We invaded Panama and Haiti, smashed Iraq, liberated Kuwait, intervened in Somalia and Bosnia, bombed Serbia, and invaded Iraq again — and Afghanistan. Now we prepare for a new war — on Iran.
The American Warfare State
Author Laurence Vance has inventoried America’s warfare state.
We spend more on defense than the next 10 nations combined.
Our Navy exceeds in firepower the next 13 navies combined. We have 100,000 troops in Iraq, 100,000 in Afghanistan or headed there, 28,000 in Korea, over 35,000 in Japan and 50,000 in Germany. By the Department of Defense’s “Base Structure Report,” there are 716 U.S. bases in 38 countries.
Chalmers Johnson, who has written books on this subject, claims DOD is minimizing the empire. He discovered some 1,000 U.S. facilities, many of them secret and sensitive. And according to DOD’s “Active Duty Military Personnel Strengths by Regional Area and by Country,” U.S. troops are now stationed in 148 countries and 11 territories.
The Bloated Pentagon Budget
Estimated combined budgets for the Pentagon, two wars, foreign aid to allies, 16 intelligence agencies, scores of thousands of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our new castle-embassies: $1 trillion a year.
While this worldwide…bases may [or may not] have been necessary when we confronted a Sino-Soviet bloc spanning Eurasia from the Elbe to East China Sea, armed with thousands of nuclear weapons and driven by imperial ambition [that is now ours] and ideological hatred of us, that is history now.
Military Bases We Do Not Need
It is preposterous to argue that all these bases are essential to our security. Indeed, our military presence, our endless wars and our support of despotic regimes have made America, once the most admired of nations, [remains] almost everywhere resented and even hated.
Liquidation of the American Empire is a fiscal need not political
Liquidation of this empire should have begun with the end of the Cold War. Now it is being forced upon us by the deficit-debt crisis. Like GM, we can’t kick this can up the road any more, because we have come to the end of the road.
Can the Two Party system do it, if so how and why?
Republicans will fight new taxes. Democrats will fight to save social programs. Which leaves the American empire as the logical lead cow for the butcher’s knife.
What do conservatives and anti-war folks have in common always have?
Is it not absurd to borrow hundreds of billion annually from China — to defend Asia from China?
Is it not a symptom of senility to borrow from all over the world in order to defend that world?
Not Our Founding Fathers’ Idea
In their Mount Vernon declaration of principles, conservatives called the Constitution their guiding star. But did not the author of that constitution, James Madison, warn[ed] us that wars are the death of republics?
Under the Bush administration
Under Bush II, conservatives, spurning the wisdom of their fathers, let themselves be seduced, neo-conned into enlisting in a Wilsonian crusade that had as its declared utopian goal “ending tyranny in our world.”
How could conservatives whose defining virtue is prudence and who pride themselves on following the lamp of experience have been taken into camp by the [Neoconservative] hustlers and hucksters of empire?
Has the Obama administration doe any better?
Now that Barack Obama has embraced neo-socialism, Republicans are about to be given a second chance. And just as Rahm Emanuel said liberal Democrats should not let a financial crisis go to waste, but exploit it to ram through their agenda, the right should use the opportunity of the fiscal crisis to take an axe to the warfare state.
Veterans Today Editorial Comment: above is the message that fiscal conservatives intend taking from those who have fought for Peace while these folks went along with being Neo-conned.
The answer is not to debate whose cause Peace is but embrace fiscal conservatives reminding them (1) they were not in the streets when they were being Neo-conned – YOU were, and (2) are fiscal conservatives NOW willing to hit the streets in peaceful protest and demonstrations beside activists of the Peace movement? For if not they are only stealing your show without doing the heavy lifting?
Using words that come right out of the meeting between fiscal conservatives and leaders of the Peace movement, this author closes by noting that Ron Paul’s victory at CPAC may be a sign the prodigal sons of the right are casting off the heresy of neoconservatism and coming home to first principles.
Closing commentary by Bobby Hanafin
AMERICA IS AN IMPERIALIST NATION BY DEFINITION
Imperialism, defined by The Dictionary of Human Geography, is “the creation and maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire [The American Imperium being the most recent in history], based on domination and subordination.”
Imperialism has been described as a primarily western concept that employs “expansionist – mercantilism and latterly communist – systems.” The Global Economy may be viewed as a form of MERCANTILISM that favors the American Imperium and Western industrialized nations. Put another way the Capitalist system.
Imperialism is considered the control by one state [United States] of other [International] territories.
America is a Direct and Indirect Imperialist Nation
Through political or military means (direct imperialism as in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East in general), the imperial power may take over the government [overthrow a dictator or back one up, or support a puppet government as in Iraq and Afghanistan] of a particular territory, or through economic processes (indirect imperialism as in Iraq), in which the concerned region is officially self-governing [IRAQ] but linked to the imperial power [U.S.] by (often unequal) trade relations).
LET US NOT FORGET THAT MANIFEST DESTINY WAS THE RULE OF THE DAY FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS IN THE U.S.A.
Furthermore, the notion of cultural imperialism [MANIFEST DESTINY] is indicated by “existing or traditional ways of life and ways of thinking [that] are subordinated to the culture of the imperialists.” The American culture (however defined) is superior to that of the people of nations we control or support (tongue in cheek) for it has been our Manifest Destiny granted us by God as ONE NATION under God. Thus the emphasis on religious conversion and missionaries going hand in hand with military expansion and conquest.
The conservative writer above notes how fiscal conservatives have been, “neo-conned into enlisting in a Wilsonian crusade,” a play on words for it was this blind faith in crusade of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) based on Manifest Destiny, imperialism, and right-wing religious zeal that got fiscal conservatives conned in the first place.
The term imperialism commonly refers to a political or geographical domain such as the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Portuguese Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Dutch Empire, the French Empire, the Russian Empire, the Chinese Empire, the British Empire, or the American Empire.
However, the term can equally be applied to domains of knowledge, beliefs, values and expertise, such as the empires of Christianity (see Christendom) or Islam (see Caliphate).
Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I’ve posted on Veterans Today, I’ve had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner.
My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me.
Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000.
I’ve been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I’m now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house.
I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.