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View Diary: Out of Control NSA Spied on U.N., E.U. (214 comments)

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  •  Just one disagreement... (27+ / 0-)

    ...the U.S. empire, if you exclude the Indian and Mexican wars of Manifest Destiny, got started in 1898, not 1946.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 06:39:45 AM PDT

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    •  Why exclude those wars? (8+ / 0-)

      > if you exclude the Indian and Mexican wars of Manifest Destiny

      Why exclude those? The patterns established there seem to be exactly what continued into 1898 and beyond. The expansionism and desire for control seems to me all part of the same whole.

      •  Likely more due to "external" activities (2+ / 0-)

        than "internal" just IMHO.

        Once the USA began to venture abroad in the world in a powerful way, then the definition of "Empire" certainly fits.

        However, I'm with you as far as those wars and genocides being part and parcel of Empire-building.

        I think MB would agree as well.  It's just that "Empire" generally means acting aggressively in various places around the world, rather than in 'internally' (Indian wars/genocide) or adjacently (Mexico).  [That's as much as you can call "expanding your borders" "internal."]

        Anyway, Tally-ho!

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 08:48:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, personally, I never exclude the Indian... (3+ / 0-)

        ...wars and the Mexican war. But some do argue from a more traditional version of empire building even though, say, the Aztec Empire operated the same way at one level as the U.S. did: It stole what belonged to somebody else, killed large numbers of those who resisted, and imposed Aztec rule upon the conquered.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 01:19:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, you're right about that. (9+ / 0-)

      I'd actually go further and state that it seriously got started with the Indian Removal Act in 1830, continued with the Trail of Tears, when that asshole Andrew Jackson ignored the Supreme Court and decided that massive ethnic cleansing was a great policy.

      Nonetheless, prior to 1941, in the first half of the 20th century, the U.S. had had numerous quality administrations and was pretty isolationist. The confluence of Hitler/The Japanese Empire/Stalin/Mao all arriving in a dense time frame and the horrors of WW II then pushed the U.S. into a very different mode, arguably understandably so, at first.

      What we now need to do is get out of that competition of empires mode and move to a more collaborative, cooperative role.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 07:30:50 AM PDT

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      •  During and after WWII, there were political and (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ukit, la urracca, Meteor Blades

        business plans to enforce an American Empire of commerce around the world beginning with the aftermath of WWII.  

        International trade was to be pushed to the benefit of the USA, while also rebuilding other nations who would be encouraged to engage in wide-ranging trade under US auspices, protection and guidance. Thus, the interlinking defensive treaties also benefited trade and the US economy as a whole.

        Bretton Woods and other major conferences were designed to insure this took place, ostensibly to benefit all allies, but the US was the main beneficiary.

        It wasn't accidental that the USA emerged as a global power in commerce. It was intentional on the part of US business and political leaders.

        I see what you are saying about the confluence of events. There's something to that. But the opportunity was not only welcomed, but rushed into and embraced with open arms.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 08:54:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure I'm understanding (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence

          why that's a bad thing.

          Why wouldn't the USA do its best to become a global commercial power? I think there's nothing illegitimate there nor do I think that necessarily involves aspirations to empire.

          I think that's different from the motivations militarily. I think the fear (legitimate in my opinion) of the Soviets established that.  That fear went away and we were on our way to downsizing and then 9/11 happened, and that fear was reborn anew in terrorism.

          I don't believe America seeks to be an empire, but I do believe that America, not having the experiences of other parts of the world, has an overly strong aversion/fear of danger (legitimate and illegitimate) and reacts in accordance with that fear with a strong military and a global reach.

          •  American commerce was 'enforced', let's say (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lawrence, some other george

            'guided', and assured via military power.

            Perhaps all the American people do not seek to be an empire, but the powerful corporate interests and banking interests definitely expect that our nation behaves as an empire and under the protection of our military whenever necessary.

            Supporting conservative anti-communist leaders and politicians was also, conveniently, supporting our own business interests.

            You can readily Internet search for "US military interventions" and read up on our political interference and assassinations on behalf of "anti-communist" interests and if you look a bit deeper, you'll see how these supported our business interests. In fact, in some cases, supporting corporate adventures was the entire reason for our military/CIA interventions.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 10:09:53 AM PDT

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            •  not really (0+ / 0-)

              if you are talking post WWII it was more guided by the fact that we were the only force on the planet able to counter the force of the Soviet Union.

              Let's assume for the moment that after the war we returned to our isolationist ways.

              Do you think there's still a West Germany? Do you think places like Austria, Italy, maybe even Greece stay out of the Soviet Bloc?

              Europe and other nations wanted and needed us to be strong, and part of that is economically.  There was mutual benefit there a lot more than some kind of military bullying.

              If you want to compare what real economic bullying through military intervention is, look at the empires of England and Spain and France.  They did a lot more than we ever did in that vein.

              I'm on-board with the US did some evil stuff and does so today, we aint saints and we have plenty of sins, but this we are the source of all evil and nothing we do isn't sin is over the top IMO.

    •  Hawaii annexed against will of the Hawaiian people (2+ / 0-)

      ("Hawaii is the U.S. Tibet." Discuss.)

      And the Philippines too. By all means, 1898.

      There are a lot of great cartoons from the period lampooning America's sudden rush to embrace imperialism and colonialism, something it had always stood apart from:
      http://www.bing.com/...

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ☮ ♥ ☺

      by lotlizard on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 12:09:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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