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pat gilbert


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Ken mentioned he was dumbfounded by Obama's rhetoric. Are Americans oblivious to imperialism?



The main factor in conflict is that it is created by someone other than the apparent enemies as illustrated by the article. It also indicates that the most likely instigator is the one making the instigations as with Johnson and the Vietnam war or Lincoln and the Civil War or Polk and the Mexican American War.

Also mentioned in the article is how american foreign policy starting with Wilson has followed the same M.O.


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  • Sep 13 2013: I don't know if I'd call it imperialism.
    In my mind, imperialism constitutes initiating war in attempt to gain control of an occupied area. I suppose that indirect control could also qualify if annexation is for some reason impractical.

    What the US is currently doing since the end of the cold war is not imperialistic. Notice the government in Iraq, set up as a democracy--not under US control at all, and not even especially friendly to the west, neither a devoted ally nor a puppet. If control was the issue at hand, they'd have set up a replacement dictator, like was standard protocol during the cold war when control actually was an issue. Even then control was often times so shaky that it couldn't really constitute as imperialism--setting up largely independent proxies and annexing land is hardly the same thing.
    Either the US was very incompetent in achieving its imperialistic ambitions, or more likely, they had a different objective in mind.

    One can easily argue that the US' recent military interventions (and occupation in some cases) all fit the US' economic or security interest (or were at least intended to even if it didn't work out as planned).
    My response to that is "obviously". You can't expect the US to act against its own interest--but as long as gaining direct control over a conquered region is not an objective, I wouldn't call it imperialism. Blood for oil, maybe, but not blood to expand upon the empire.
    Its instating your will by force of arms, but not quite the same as imperialism. The difference is more than semantic--there are real world implications to the difference.

    Less recent historic conflicts, like the Mexican-American war, or the long series of conflict with native American tribes, are of course excluded from what I've written above. Some of those very much involved imperialism, in the very traditional sense...
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      Sep 13 2013: Did you read the article?

      American Imperialism is not done by direct control but by installing a dictator as with the Shaw of Iran or the dictator who was in charge of Vietnam before the U.S. went there.

      The point I'm making is that the U.S. egged on the other countries to have an excuse to engage them or they flat out lied as in the case of Johnson.
      • Sep 14 2013: That was during the cold war. Its been some time and a fair shift in foreign policy since.

        You can put the historical record up to trial all you want, it won't accomplish anything. Looking at more recent involvements (post cold war), there doesn't appear to be much desire to gain control over occupied areas.

        In fact US forces were itching to get out of Iraq for most of their stay and from what I've heard, harbor a similar attitude with Afghanistan. Seeing as the US wants to set up democracies (infamous for making crap proxies) in the two countries, its not exactly imperialism.
        It might not have been a smart move regardless, but its not imperialistic.
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          Sep 14 2013: The article calls it imperialism and that it hasn't changed since Wilson.

          I recommend reading the article
      • Sep 15 2013: I've read the article, and I disagree with a fair deal of it.
        Post cold war, the US' actions aren't what you call imperialist. The control it has over occupied territories after the temporarily stationed troops leave is too shaky for that.

        The conspiracy theory about pearl harbor doesn't help by the way. FDR was just as surprised as anyone; the signs of an impending attack are all obvious in retrospect, but at time...
        Don't automatically blame on malice what can be adequately explained by simple incompetence.

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