UPDATE BELOW – Monday 10/31
“The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilize savage and senile and paranoid peoples while blundering accidentally into their oil wells.”
--John T. Flynn, conservative American writer, 1944
By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
I once thought only Communists used the word imperialism when referring to American politics. As a Vietnam veteran against the war when I came home in 1971, I was in solidarity with those protesting against it.
Still, some slogans like “Imperialistic Pigs” or “Imperialistic Puppets” vaguely troubled me. I didn’t like that word for some reason. It made me uneasy.
Of course I really didn’t understand it’s full meaning and admittedly didn’t go out of my way to find it out. Instead, I went with a knee-jerk reaction and put the word in my Commie file. After all, back in those days Commies used the word in scathing verbal attacks against America.
In fact imperialism is defined as extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.
It’s been a long and painful road since the Soviets were our mortal enemy. Along the way America invaded Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of national security. Ours. We extended our military presence in the world to 126 countries under the guise of protecting democracy.
President Obama announced the majority of our troops will be out of Iraq by January 2012, but what about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan?
More alarming, Obama and his corral of Chicken Hawks recently announced the invasion of a new frontier. They sent 157 Green Berets to Uganda as military advisors in what is being described as the first phase of a military operation that will spread to other nearby African states.
The Pentagon’s questionable reasoning for this mission is based upon lies designed to hide our capitalistic goals – there’s oil in Libya – and other African states have natural resources we can plunder.
We’re going in – wearing White Hats and all – to save Uganda from some roving gang of thugs that’s supposedly terrifying all the good people in southern Africa. An earlier generation of Chicken Hawks in Washington said the same thing about Vietnam.
The warmongers are ready to rip Africa apart, like the vultures they are, in order to keep the industrial complex rolling. Africa screams…but no one hears. The ghosts of thousands of American troops who have died in dirty little imperialistic wars/actions since Vietnam must be restless.
As long as we have influential Chicken Hawks lobbying for wars and military actions, they’ll continue. Military ambitions will run rampant as long as obscene profits - made on the back of the American taxpayer - can be made. All under the guise of democracy and national security.
Capitalism became patriotism as politicians persuaded the public that America needed a worldwide military presence. The lies flowed with the cash. Business as usual.
Our government has created a system of proxy rule, by way of client states and dependent regimes. Few dare call it imperialism. Indeed, the most militant defenders of the policy greatly resent the term. They call it leftist propaganda.
My sentiments are the same as Mark Twain’s were back on Oct. 15th, 1900, when he wrote the following for the New York Herald:
“I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”
Here we are over 100 years later, still putting our talons into other countries. That’s very discouraging. As much as I love America, I’m ashamed that we act like a superpower with no soul.
As It Stands, I watch Americans protesting the economy daily now, and I find myself hoping that this growing movement of outrage will add demands to pull our troops out of every country we now occupy.
I seldom comment on emails I get in response to my columns, but felt compelled to thank all the people who filled up my mail room (in the last 24 hours) with feedback on this column! Wow! It appears I struck a nerve. The thing that really surprises me is it was ALL positive feedback. That’s almost scary this Halloween!!!