What is "imperialism"? My old pal responded to my use of that term recently this way:
Wait a minute...are you falling for their crap?
"Imperialism" is derived from "Empire".
That implies taking over territory by force - and keeping it.
We are taking it, and giving it back to the people, both in Iraq and
That is the antithesis of empire.
Here is my reply:
If you deny that the US has imperialism in it's DNA, then you are no better than Ahmadinejad denying the holocaust. Perhaps you forget the little theory of Manifest Destiny - where was the "giving it back" part of that little experiment in continental expansion? Just ask any N.A.I. you see about that.Then there was Teddy Roosevelt and his little "gunboat" diplomacy pack at the turn of the 20th Century. Did we "give back" the Marianas? Did we "give back" Puerto Rico? Did we "give back" American Samoa? Did we "give back" Hawaii? What do you call the "American Territories" if not part of an American Empire?
Imperialism is not just a policy of taking land and controlling it (which Israel clearly does, albeit for 'security' reasons). And we are building a HUGE embassy in the Green Zone in Iraq right now, which is technically American soil. Did the US ask for, and receive this massive tract of land? No. Paul Brehmer took it as the head of the Provisional Coalition Authority; Coalition of the "willing" that is..(wait, wait..you forgot Poland!!) So we have taken land we don't intend to give back, land that was once sovereign Iraqi soil. Imperialism is also an attitude of unilateral aggression which Bush decided to hurl us into. When the British did not like the way some little country was running it's affairs, it would attack them with military might on the pretense of security of the "Empire". Then, as part of the settlement (not much of a choice), the mercantile dominion would receive the best lucrative contracts for operating in that country's territory. Sound familiar? Iraq is a threat! Shock and Awe! What, no WMDs?? Well, let's "rebuild" Call in KBR, call in Blackwater USA, call in Halliburton...
My friend, we ARE imperialists. We just do it now to spread "freedom and democracy" because we are the "good guys" and the good guys must win at any cost to stop the "bad guys". Modern imperialism is no longer about natural resources, it's about the ultimate resource - fealty and allegiance to the American way. Shockingly enough, I think Bush actually said it best in the most clearly distilled version of the Wolfowitz doctrine ever: "If you're not with us...you're against us."