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Author Topic: American Colossus - Is the United States an empire  (Read 8530 times)
Nagual
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« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2004, 07:36:13 »

So, a bunch of UN guys went corrupt; and we should just give up on the idea of the world being overseed by all of its nations, united...Huh

That's a little too easy!  Especially when the other choice is an even more corrupt "Shoot first and maybe ask questions later" solution!

The UN is the only viable solution.  It might take time.  It might never be perfect.  But the whole world just can't be controlled by one country.
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« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2004, 13:12:02 »

Hi, Nagual.  No one wants the world to be run by one country and most poople in the USA do not us to be the world's overseer or whatever you want to call it.  

But the  UN as it exists is ineffective when it comes to crisis situations.  For example, it hasn't been able to stop the trade in sex slaves, many of whom are children.  It hasn't been able to stop the slaughter in the Sudan or the practice of slavery there.  It just barely criticizes these things.  It is totally ineffective against terrorists of all sorts.  Oh, they collectively give lip service against all these things, but unless or until they become a world government - the proverbial hated One World Government, how much can they do?  

Do we really want this bunch in charge of the world?  Some of them are from countries where they are letting their own people starve - the North Koreans for example.  Food Aid workers can't get into some African countries beause of all the warring factions and slaughter some of it being done by the "official" governments who have a place in the UN.

About the only thing uniting the "United Nations" right now is their collective hatred of the USA.  We are an easy target for their criticism.  We all know they don't want to criticize the countries where war, starvation, slavery, and brutality might be considered the national code of conduct.  In the meantime, more millions suffer in unspeakable ways.  They are very vocal in talking about an imperialistic agenda in the USA but relatively silent on the brutality that goes on in the countries of too many of its members.  

And I am not one that believes those countries should be "westernized".  They shouldn't follow in the path of other countries, they should follow their own paths or make new ones.  

But plain and simple human decency is possible in every culture.  And maybe it is time they started speaking up for that.

It is a much needed body of leaders in need of better leadership from every country and also in need of reform and enforcement of its code of ethics.  When was the last time any country's ambassador was tossed out for unethical conduct?  

Most Americans would gladly bring all our troops home and put them on our own borders.  All the polls show this to be true.  However, we have yet to have any presidential candidate willing to listen to the will of the people on this.  

We want good foreign relationships with other countries.  The UN may be the best we have right now as an international body of representatives.  That doesn't mean that once in a while they don't all need to be told to go to hell.  

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« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2004, 13:12:02 »

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Nagual
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« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2004, 17:52:40 »

quote:
About the only thing uniting the "United Nations" right now is their collective hatred of the USA.

Ahhhhh... come on!  Stop this "they hate us" thing!
The world don't hate the US; the world is just ticked-off to see one country bullying/annoying everybody else; polluting like nobody else (producing 24% of the CO2 emissions for 4.6% of world population); etc...
quote:
But the UN as it exists is ineffective when it comes to crisis situations.

I agree for now.
quote:
The UN may be the best we have right now as an international body of representatives.

Another thing we agree on!
quote:
That doesn't mean that once in a while they don't all need to be told to go to hell.

Based on...?
The weapons of mass destruction lame excuse?
The still unproven link between Saddam and the 9/11 thing?
Bush did not gave the finger to the UN because the UN was wrong-doing...  He did it because he could not wait anymore.  He's been waiting for years to attack Iraq; planning it as soon as he became president (months before 9/11).

So, once more, the UN is far from perfect; but the US is far from being a viable alternative.  No single country is; not even mine.
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Mick
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« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2004, 18:43:37 »

quote:
Originally posted by Nagual

So, a bunch of UN guys went corrupt; and we should just give up on the idea of the world being overseed by all of its nations, united...Huh

The UN is the only viable solution.  It might take time.  It might never be perfect.  But the whole world just can't be controlled by one country.


The UN has obviously has had some successes but largely it seems to operate well in the aftermath of hostilities and so on. To be all round successful I think it will need to be more proactive where problems exist. The Oil for Food issue should have been resoled transparently earlier by the UN itself. The Balkans is another all too recent memory of where more could have been done earlier, in the first genocide 250,000 people killed. Unfortunately Europes countries also share the shame of extensive handwringing while the innocents died. I think it can be said that it was the intervention of the US that brought the cause of that shame to an end albeit with more violence but we live in a funny old world Sad

As Jenadots suggests, for the UN to perform a unifying and problem solving function it needs to lead from the front and not simply be a club of an incredible number of despots (everyones list would be different I am sure). Which countries currently hold the human rights chair, I think one is Libya (now perhaps in from the cold) is one?

I watched the programme that started this thread and found it interesting as it provided a potted history of the US from being a few states on the east coast to encompassing the 48 contiguous states ( 3 cents an acre and we all know about the Alamo Smiley I have visited the Alamo, the significant British and French contribution to the garrison is hidden around the corner [Sad] ) and then acquiring Alaska and Pacific interests including the Philippines and other pacific islands and how they panned out. This was then followed by the various 20 C conflicts. The programme presented a positive aspect to some of the outcomes of such activity and also where the outcome was not so positive. The author and presenter is a British historian currently at NYU and also holds a chair at Standford. He is, for an academic, surprisingly hawkish and suggested that US restraint over a number of international issues has resulted in several subsequent problems arising.
I thought some interesting viewpoints were presented and is somewhat thought provoking.
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Gwathren
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« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2004, 19:34:36 »

quote:
Originally posted by Jenadots


If the European Union wants to run the world, a la The French and The German leaders -- they are welcome to it.  They don't want to do the fighting and the dying, but they certainly seem to want in on the money end of things.  They want the rebuilding contracts which are financed by the USA's taxpayers.  I am tired of hearing how the US "shouldn't have done that" but now that you did, we want a piece of it.  Spoken like true, former colonialists.



JENADOTS,

I'm shocked. I hope this is not how most americans see the situation.
You are wrong. The EU is not trying to rule the world. I don't think I'm old enough to judge your government, but I have seen similarities in your actions with the russian government. That was not a compliment.

Europe has always tried to maintain good realtionships with USA. I seriously can not understand how can you take a stand like that against the french, who have tried to be your friends from the founding of your country. Are you a teacher? Does the name La Fayette sound familiar to you?

USA is a very powerful country. At some stage we might be happy that we also have Russia, India and China. I really hope you don't think that all muslims want to destroy capitalism.

And about the topic. Russia? Maybe.. But USA will never be an empire.
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« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2004, 19:34:36 »



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Nagual
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« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2004, 10:54:48 »

Two big changes I would like to see from the UN are:
1. No more of this VETO crap.  Too many times the UN tried to do something; but has been blocked by one of the veto-holding member (see US/Israel stuff for example).
2. All countries should have the same voting rights/powers.  No discrimination.

But keep in mind too that quite a few powerful countries would be very happy if the UN disapeared; and would do anything to make it look bad...
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narfellus
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« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2004, 16:24:43 »

ok, how about this: Utopia. World government with the same spiritual path, NOT religion. Everyone is on the same road to self enlightenment. Sure, it sounds crazy because with our current mindset and political structure (all countries included) we aren't even close to reaching a utopian society. But it has happened in other parts of God's big ol' universe, and it can happen again. Everthing that all of you are talking about boils down to one of two things: Fear and Love. We fear our neighbors, we fear change, we fear loss, we fear control, we fear the unknown. We love friends, we love freedom of choice, we love comfort, and we love loving.

How does this relate to "Is America an Empire?" Well, our leaders (and other leaders) are making many of their decisions based on fear. It is a natural human condition that takes concentrated effort to overcome. I myself have never been interested in politics. The issues, complexity and overabundance of laws seemed so unecessary to me, almost a way to confuse the layman and let the few elite control the masses. Yeah, so i'm a layman. But i do my part for humanity in my own way, and i try my best to do it with love, not fear.
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Nagual
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« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2004, 05:44:27 »

Don't forget greed...  Greed is at least as common as fear.
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narfellus
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« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2004, 10:58:18 »

oh yeah, greed is a big fear, related to fear of loss. Collect and accumulate as much as you can because someone else might take it away. One of the 7 Deadlies...
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MJ-12
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« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2004, 13:18:23 »

xx
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Eol007
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« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2004, 15:20:55 »

Hi all,

I have found it invaluable to observe how this thread has developed, and sincerely appreciate your thoughts as they have materialized into view on this most unique of platforms on the net! I thought it might be timely to feed another morsel of food for thought! So do please find an interesting snippet cut from the entry on wordiq.com at the end of my rambling muse - see: http://www.wordiq.com/definition/American_Empire

Personally I regard myself as apolitical after nigh on rejecting politics as a big fat raw deal - having in my formative years been brought up in an overtly politicized family and culture. So normally I would not partake in this type of debate, but then I am guilty of starting this thread (ho hum)!

Yet an innate curiosity must have sneaked into my mind from somewhere! Seeking to explain this question for myself may have been in part due to: how I see myself (as only but one minute player) sharing the stage with all spiritually evolving (or reawakening) individuals in our times! Like many of your good selves I have been for not some small time: feeling and thinking about bigger questions (ha ha)! Certainly ones way beyond the closed modern historical analysis portrayed within the article/d documentary introduced at the start of the thread.

For example could it not be argued whether the United States is viewed as an empire or not, that there is a need in today’s global community at large: to evolve from myopic tribal thinking (as an Empire might be considered as tribal model at the extreme) to a more enlightened and mature standing as a magnificent collective of ensouled beings who share and share alike in glorious harmony and transcendent love this small spot in time and space on planet Earth!

Regardless if we buy into New Age thinking or not – is it not high dry time to reject dominator thinking and ideology? How do we in fact move beyond the pale, jump out of the Jack in the box and sever the strings of the false prophets? Is it as blinding simple as embracing wholeheartedly our dual nature as physical and spiritual beings to live in harmony on heaven on Earth? Is this purely idealistic clap-trap, or a true potential waiting to emerge from the chrysalis, a phoenix raised from the ashes of humanity’s final desperate call at the end of time?

Enough of my rambling...  and amateur diatribe on politics and spirituality [Wink]



Stephen [Smiley]


American Empire

For other uses, see American Empire (disambiguation)
American Empire is an informal, emotionally freighted term that is used to collectively describe the United States' influence and trends toward political expansion beyond the bounds of continental North America, an extension of the expansive American theme of 'Manifest Destiny'.

Contemporary use of the term

Today, what many consider to be the "American Empire" does not fit historical definitions of imperialism and colonialism, but the United States influence takes on different and discreet forms. America's military presence by itself is breathtaking and influential. According to researchers [1] (http://www.inthenationalinterest.com/Articles/Vol2Issue29/Vol2Issue29Ferguson.html), around the world, the United States maintains 750 military bases or installations staffed by American military personnel in roughly 130 countries. The economic influence of American corporations is also substantial.
The term "American Empire" is today often mostly used as derogatory expression to personify America's military and cultural presence in nations around the world.

At the same time, many statesmen, scholars, and historians within the United States insist that America "is" an empire in the sense that the country holds tremendous power over the world, comparable to other great empires of history. Many thus argue that the United States should thus not shy away from using this power as a way of maintaining order, peace, and safety for both America and the world at large. This is ideology is exemplified by the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, which became influential in the 2003 decision to invade Iraq. As stated in PNAC's principles:
We need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles. [2] (http://newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm)

While supporters cite such ideology as one with motivations of global peace and stability, many in opposition view it as harmful to diversity, and reject the notion of a single dominating superpower in order to maintain "balance", "equality", "mutual respect", and "harmony" among all nations around the world.


P.S. Igonore every little word in my post - I have been deeply humbled by Nay's post in http://www.astralpulse.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12807 A must read 1st (LOL)
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jilola
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« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2004, 19:38:09 »

Here'sa thought that occured to me today.

The concept of a tribe, a village, a nation seems always to have been defined by the extent and speed of the communication available to the members of the group. By communication I mean the simple act of being a party in a personal and direct exchange of information aanf also the ability to understand and aceptthe predominant ideas and beliefs of the members of the environment in communicating.

In the distant past the distance was that of one's immediate hunting/gathering area and we had simple tribes, the tribal group.
As the tribal group developed it developed better comunications and the tribal nation was born being more extensive than a single tribe.

As time went on communication developed further leeadig to a nation tribe which we today call countries.

Now, the communication has developed to span the globe instantly, yet we still cling to the nation tribe as our societal structure where in fact we are distincly headed for the planetary nation.

The fact that every member of the human race is capable of communicating with anyone else given sufficient effort is a clear indication that we, as a race, have developed beyond the nation tribe and should be moving to embrace the planetary nation.

Every day we see in the news the consequences of resisting this trend while at the same time we coplain about the very indications that development is being postponed by the personal greed and lust foor gain of a very insignificant minority.

2cents & L&L
Jouni
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jilola
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« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2004, 22:40:22 »

Runlola:

It seems we agree again! [8D]

Religion, in my opinion, is only a means for perpetuating the /mation tribe/tribal nation. "If all else fails let's all have the same religion. That way there's a difference between us and them."

Faith is one thing. Faith is personal and immediate.
Belief is one thing. Belief is personal and immediate.
Religion is one thing. Religion is learned by rote and heard about.

Sounds like propaganda. Tastes like propaganda. Feels like propaganda. a) ignore it b)suppress it or c) find out what's it about?
 
2cents & L&L
jouni
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Nagual
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« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2004, 11:33:11 »

Privatization in Iraq is out of control (Paul Krugman NYT)
http://www.iht.com/bin/print.php?file=518281.html

PRINCETON, New Jersey Last November the top economist at the Heritage Foundation was very optimistic about Iraq, saying Paul Bremer 3rd, the U.S administrator in Iraq, had just replaced "Saddam's soak-the-rich tax system" with a flat tax. "Few Americans would want to trade places with the people of Iraq," wrote the economist, Daniel Mitchell. "But come tax time next April, they may begin to wonder who's better off." Even when he wrote that, the insurgency in Iraq was visibly boiling over; by "tax time" last month, the situation was truly desperate.

Much has been written about the damage done by foreign policy ideologues who ignored the realities of Iraq, imagining that they could use the country to prove the truth of their military and political doctrines. Less has been said about how dreams of making Iraq a showpiece for free trade, supply-side tax policy and privatization - dreams that were equally oblivious to the country's realities - undermined the chances for a successful transition to democracy.

A number of people, including Jay Garner, the first U.S. administrator of Iraq, think that the Bush administration shunned early elections, which might have given legitimacy to a transitional government, so it could impose economic policies that no elected Iraqi government would have approved. Indeed, over the past year the Coalition Provisional Authority has slashed tariffs, flattened taxes and thrown Iraqi industry wide open to foreign investors - reinforcing the sense of many Iraqis that the United States came as occupiers, not liberators.

But it's the reliance on private contractors to carry out tasks usually performed by government workers that has really come back to haunt America.

Conservatives make a fetish out of privatization of government functions; after the 2002 elections, President George W. Bush announced plans to privatize up to 850,000 federal jobs. At home, wary of a public backlash, he has moved slowly on that goal. But in Iraq, where there is little public or congressional oversight, the administration has privatized everything in sight.

For example, the Pentagon has a well-established procurement office for gasoline. In Iraq, however, that job was subcontracted to Halliburton. The U.S. government has many experts in economic development and reform. But in Iraq, economic planning has been subcontracted - after a highly questionable bidding procedure - to BearingPoint, a consulting firm with close ties to Jeb Bush, governor of Florida and the president's brother.

What's truly shocking in Iraq, however, is the privatization of purely military functions.

For more than a decade, many noncritical jobs formerly done by soldiers have been handed to private contractors. When four Blackwater employees were killed and mutilated in Falluja, however, marking the start of a wider insurgency, it became clear that in Iraq the U.S. has extended privatization to core military functions. It's one thing to have civilians drive trucks and serve food; it's quite different to employ them as personal bodyguards to U.S. officials, as guards for U.S. government installations, and - the latest revelation - as interrogators in Iraqi prisons.

According to a number of newspaper reports, employees from two private contractors, CACI and Titan, act as interrogators at the Abu Ghraib prison. According to Sewell Chan of The Washington Post, these contractors are "at the center of the probe" into the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. And that abuse, according to the senior defense analyst at Jane's, has "almost certainly destroyed much of what support the coalition had among the more moderate section of the Iraqi population."

We don't yet know for sure that private contractors were at fault. But why put civilians, who cannot be court-martialed and hence aren't fully accountable, in that role? And why privatize key military functions?

I don't think it's simply a practical matter. Although there are several thousand armed civilians working for the occupation, their numbers aren't large enough to make a significant dent in the troop shortage. I suspect that the purpose is to set a precedent.

You may ask whether the American leaders' drive to privatize reflects a sincere conservative ideology, or a desire to enrich their friends. Probably both. But before Iraq, privatization that rewarded campaign contributors was a politically smart move, even if it was a net loss for the taxpayers.

In Iraq, however, reality does matter. And thanks to the ideologues who dictated American policy over the past year, reality looks pretty grim.
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Eol007
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« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2004, 17:15:50 »

See: http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/heads/library/american.html

Discussion and documentary on the concept of the 'American Colossus'
Is the United States an empire?

Enjoy or not,


Stephen
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