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 15 2013: Gave this more thought... as my old PC did not bring up the article, so I am kind of shooting blind. When I looked at the references of Polk, Lincoln and Johnson. We have seemed to have gone from classic imperialism to what I consider the progressive political evolution of Wilson.

    Mexico revolted against Spain about 1825 and sort had started as a free state, but was soon a dictatorship that could be considered worse then under Spain. From then until the war some 20 odd years later, there were enough "unneighborly" acts that would justify the war in Washington's mind. Polk was a generous imperialist and sent compensation. Lincoln held the union together and began the ending of the Federation of the United States as may have been predicted by the antifederalists.
    A succession of constitutional amendments pretty much gutted the intent of states rights in the constitution.
    The Spanish American War was probably the last war of flagrant imperialism.

    Wilson, the consummate progressive, saw that by appearing to save the day in WWI, that our "Foreign Policy" could be better used to influence global outcomes rather then get involved in War.
    FDR miscalculated the Japanese when our policies sought to tip the balance away from Japan in the late thirties and then suffered the attack on Pearl Harbor. After WW2, the standoff known as the cold war. There were influential outcomes made in Central America another areas, the dropped ball by Kennedy in Cuba, culminated by Johnson's miss in the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and that war. Since, the US has wheeled and dealed on just about every continent to influence local outcomes.
    I think that Wilson read the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and saw how Rome kept control over it's vast empire... considered that Rome was too obvious in it's manipulation and went for the more subtle approach. I am afraid that the end will be as bad as it did for Rome. And yes the Roman people were just as clueless as us...
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      Sep 16 2013: This from the article:

      When James K. Polk became president in 1845 he announced to his cabinet that one of his chief objectives was to acquire California, which was then a part of Mexico. As he wrote in his diary, “I stated to the cabinet that up to this time as they knew, we had herd of no open act of aggression by the Mexican army, but that the danger was imminent that such acts would be committed. I said that in my opinion we had ample cause of war.”

      Thus, long before the presidency of George W. Bush, James K. Polk advocated the neocon notion of the “pre-emptive war.” Polk recognized that the Mexican army had not committed any “act of aggression,” so he set out to provoke one by sending American troops to the border of Mexico in territory that historians agree was “disputed territory” at the time because of a very dubious claim by the U.S. government. None other than Ulysses S. Grant wrote in his memoirs that, as a young soldier serving under the command of General Zachary Taylor during the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War, he understood that he had been sent there to provoke a fight:

      The presence of United States troops on the edge of the disputed territory furthest from the Mexican settlements, was not sufficient to provoke hostilities. We were sent to provoke a fight, but it was essential that Mexico should commence it. I was very doubtful whether Congress would declare war; but if Mexico should attack our troops, the Executive [President Polk] could announce, ‘Whereas war exists by the acts of, etc.’ and prosecute the contest with vigor.

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      Sep 16 2013: Polk’s gambit worked; he did provoke the Mexican army. In his war message to Congress he then declared that “Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil. ... As war exists ... by the act of Mexico herself, we are called upon by every consideration of duty and patriotism to vindicate with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country.” This con game of provoking a war by showing up on another nation’s border, heavily armed with weapons aimed at the hoped-for belligerent, would be repeated many times in subsequent generations, right up to today’s provocation of a war in Syria.

      The invasion and conquest of Mexico enabled the U.S. government to acquire California and New Mexico at the cost of some 15,000 American lives and at least 25,000 Mexican casualties. It was an aggressive war of conquest and imperialism.

      "Lincoln held the union together and began the ending of the Federation of the United States as may have been predicted by the antifederalists.
      A succession of constitutional amendments pretty much gutted the intent of states rights in the constitution.
      The Spanish American War was probably the last war of flagrant imperialism."

      As I learned here on TED it started with McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819. Then Lincoln taking away the constitutional right secede. Then the 17th amendment. Then the general growth of federal government violating the 10th amendment.

      The article says that it the idea behind the policy was a progressive idea bring western values to the countries that were invaded.

      Wilson (progressive) - used the Lusitania known to be loaded with war supplies to taunt Germany into firing the first shot.

      FDR (progressive) - In addition the article did not mention that FDR cut off Japan's access to oil

      Truman (progressive) - Korean War

      LBJ/Kennedy (progressive) - Vietnam War

      Clinton (progressive) - Kosovo War

      Bush 1 (republican)- Iraq War
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      Sep 16 2013: Bush 2 (republican) - Iraq War, Afghanistan War.

      Obama (progressive) - Stepped up war in Afghanistan, if had his way we would be involved in Syria as well which could lead to WW3

      I'm thinking war is predominantly a progressive thing?

      War is such a specious idea that it can apparently only be furthered by subterfuge

      This problem is vastly under realized by Americans and a huge part of cronyism.
      This problem is as big as the domestic spending.
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    Sep 13 2013: Oh um Pat, i need to put one small thing straight otherwise i'm fine with everything. I was referring to the small commercial released by some group that PBS aired in that newshour link, not what O said. I don't actually listen to what the leaders state in their addresses and O's is pretty much what the anchors state before they air these addresses. It all sounds prerecorded to me as my countries leaders has the media beatup down pretty good.

    It's the beatup that is getting to the public, the feeling of being lied to or misdirected. That article has some damning information regarding Pearl Harbor, that's a new one for me and close to unbelievable which usually is close to the truth as was the revelation of the British released secret eavesdropping files on the WW2 POW german generals and officers.

    They have one card up their sleeve, they might not be able to reveal their sources due to national security but since Assad has alluded to having a stockpile the evidence for it's use must be furnished. It all looks like a feeding frenzy for Kerry and the Russians. Two years of backwards and forwards babbling and suddenly everyone is coming to the table.
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      Sep 14 2013: I understand ultimately it did come from O.

      WMDs were also a thin reason to go to war and as it turned out non existent. As well as Johnson flat out lying regarding the gulf of Tonkin.

      The Austrians say that war is the single biggest threat to a free world. Surprising I would think it would be central banks albeit hard to distinguish between the two.

      I suppose as there is more and more trade there will be less reason for imperialism.

      Where was the information about the German officers at?
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        Sep 16 2013: Oh, it's nothing revelational but for the times it would have been sensational if it was to be made public after the war at the trials.

        PBS, Secrets of the dead. Bugging Hitler's army

        One of my Governments in 90's put a moratorium on a archaeological site found on my peoples natural territory, that's a 50 year lock down where no data or any media anywhere can be used or accessed about the site. I know it's outside the topic but you can see the Q that comes to mind.

        Why? if it's archaeological then what could be there that the govt had to step in? It's not conspiracy and i've seen the Doco released on our televisions back then before the moratorium was put in place so, there's no secret base or anything but it scared the govt enough to put one in place.
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          Sep 17 2013: Somebody had something to hide. In this country the elected officials make way too much "classified" to hide their transgressions. The public officials should be held to a modicum of truth.
  • 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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    Sep 13 2013: Here is a interesting quote from Noam:

    In Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, the political activist Noam Chomsky argues that exceptionalism and the denials of imperialism are the result of a systematic strategy of propaganda, to "manufacture opinion" as the process has long been described in other countries.

    This must be where O got his quote of the US being exceptional. Putin jumped all of that. LOL.
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      Sep 13 2013: I hate to agree with Chomsky but I think he is right.

      I think I read somewhere that this was cooked up by Wilson or Lincoln to help them to go to war or whatever they were trying to sell to the constituents.

      Did you read the article? A real page turner that shocks me on how stupid we have been about buying the specious reasons we need to go to war.
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    Sep 13 2013: If I were one of those conspiracy theorist, I could make a case for a collusion between members of the academic world to dumb down the population of the USA and allow an Oligarchy of Academics to run the country under more progressive ideals ie. Woodrow Wilson. I would make a case by showing the downward spiral of public education and the attitude prevalent in many institutions of higher learning....
    I am not a conspiracy theorist.
    I don't see an imperialism.... an Emperor would have to be a strong, decisive individual without moral values and focused on taking total control of the nation. I see the President as a charismatic spokesman for an elitist group behind the scenes of government... well supported by economically successful students who are stooges of their college professors.
    I am not a conspiracy theorist.

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      Sep 13 2013: My definition of conspiracy theorist is a story being presented without factual data but instead conjecture, ambiguity, and theory.

      Did you read the article?

      It is not that.
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        Sep 15 2013: I said I was not a conspiracy theorist
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          Sep 15 2013: Ok, I agree about the Wilson progressive influence which is a conspiracy just not a theory.