View Poll Results: What force does the American Empire have on the world?

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  • Wholly Benevolent

    3 6.25%
  • Rather Benevolent

    15 31.25%
  • Hardly Benevolent

    5 10.42%
  • Not one way or the other

    2 4.17%
  • Slightly Malevolent

    3 6.25%
  • Malevolent

    3 6.25%
  • Very Malevolent

    3 6.25%
  • America is not an Empire

    14 29.17%
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Thread: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

  1. #21
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Unfortunately the more conservative members here apparently haven't actually read the dictionary definition of imperialism and when given the one that fits deny that it applies because they do not know the history of their own country. Empires have been built up by a variety of methods and in the case of the British Empire it was often built through corporations and independent groups only later to be replaced by direct governance and in many cases colonies were given considerable independence in their actions.

    Look into some of the U.S. treaties with these countries and consider U.S.-organized coups during the Cold War. Hell, the term banana republic was coined in the U.S. to describe the sort of system that defines American imperialism. I would say empires are never a benevolent force anymore than government is a benevolent force. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Ferris View Post
    The difference is that the British set up a puppet king while the U.S. allowed the people of Iraq to choose their own leadership.
    Of course, it would seem we have very little intention of allowing that choice to be a real one:

    Manning had been tasked with evaluating the arrest of 15 Iraqis rounded up by the Iraqi Federal Police for printing “anti Iraq” literature. “The Iraqi federal police wouldn’t cooperate with U.S. forces, so I was instructed to investigate the matter, find out who the ‘bad guys’ were, and how significant this was for the FPs,” he wrote.

    But when Manning had the literature translated, he discovered it was a scholarly critique of Iraq Prime Minister Al-Maliki titled Where Did the Money Go?, he wrote. The document was nothing more than a “benign political critique … following the corruption trail within the PM’s cabinet.

    “I immediately took that information and ran to the [U.S. Army] officer to explain what was going on. He didn’t want to hear any of it. He told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding MORE detainees.”
    Source: Wired

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  2. #22
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    Empire requires a Monarchy.

    English 101
    King Obama?

  3. #23
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    In general, the U.S. backed freedom of the seas has benefited most nations. The general consensus of world powers to end wars of conquest and promote stability has also been rather helpful. On the other hand, the U.S. has screwed over a bunch of countries in the last 70 years through invasion and coups. Our moronic cold war policy was responsible for most of it, although sometimes it was just about resources. Iraq is particularly unique, as the motives are still unknown. We didn't get any oil out of Iraq, so it wasn't about resources. Saddam was secular nationalist, so it wasn't about the ideological struggle with Muslim extremists. It wasn't even about strategic position, as we already had bases right next door in Saudi Arabia.

  4. #24
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    In general, the U.S. backed freedom of the seas has benefited most nations. The general consensus of world powers to end wars of conquest and promote stability has also been rather helpful. On the other hand, the U.S. has screwed over a bunch of countries in the last 70 years through invasion and coups. Our moronic cold war policy was responsible for most of it, although sometimes it was just about resources. Iraq is particularly unique, as the motives are still unknown. We didn't get any oil out of Iraq, so it wasn't about resources. Saddam was secular nationalist, so it wasn't about the ideological struggle with Muslim extremists. It wasn't even about strategic position, as we already had bases right next door in Saudi Arabia.
    Rathi, Have you lived in a Communist or post-Communist country?

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    when you have NO MORAL COMPASS.

  5. #25
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    I agree. I'm just not so scared of saying "Empire" and associating it with the American Republic. The fact of that matter remains that ancient Athens was a democracy yet still maintained an empire, without any emperor or tyrant. The Roman Republic had an empire before Julius Caesar came around, so why is it so hard for people to accept contemporary America as an empire? I suppose it comes from peoples' perception that empires were always out for self-profit and were completely un-idealistic, which couldn't be farther from the truth. We are an empire in a distinctly American sense. I have not seen any substantial level of evidence to refute that claim, but instead people that agree with the tenets of America's foreign policy but fear associating it with the one key word: empire.
    “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
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  6. #26
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    There is not one American base currently operating in any country, anywhere in the world, where the dutifully elected and acknowledged government of said country does not specifically approve of American forces. If by that standard alone, I maintain that America is not an empire.

  7. #27
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Rathi, Have you lived in a Communist or post-Communist country?
    Only visited on vacations. Don't really get the relevance.

  8. #28
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    There is not one American base currently operating in any country, anywhere in the world, where the dutifully elected and acknowledged government of said country does not specifically approve of American forces. If by that standard alone, I maintain that America is not an empire.
    You are aware that Saudi Arabia is a monarchy right? The U.S. exerts too little control to be called on empire, but you are dead wrong about local feelings on our bases.

  9. #29
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubub View Post
    I agree. I'm just not so scared of saying "Empire" and associating it with the American Republic. The fact of that matter remains that ancient Athens was a democracy yet still maintained an empire, without any emperor or tyrant. The Roman Republic had an empire before Julius Caesar came around, so why is it so hard for people to accept contemporary America as an empire? I suppose it comes from peoples' perception that empires were always out for self-profit and were completely un-idealistic, which couldn't be farther from the truth. We are an empire in a distinctly American sense. I have not seen any substantial level of evidence to refute that claim, but instead people that agree with the tenets of America's foreign policy but fear associating it with the one key word: empire.
    You cannot correctly associate "Empire" and "Republic" by etymology nor by definition, as an empire requires a monarchy. The fate of the territories that the United States occupies is not in the hand of a monarch, but a conglomerate of elected politicians, and by proxy, the American people.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

  10. #30
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    Re: Is the American Empire a Benevolent force for the World?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    You cannot correctly associate "Empire" and "Republic" by etymology nor by definition, as an empire requires a monarchy. The fate of the territories that the United States occupies is not in the hand of a monarch, but a conglomerate of elected politicians, and by proxy, the American people.
    Then was Thomas Jefferson denoting America would have an emperor when he talked about America's "Empire of Liberty"? Please, explain that to me.

    Empire noun. -
    a powerful and important enterprise or holding of large scope that is controlled by a single person, family, or group of associates


    "The essence of empire is not fighting, is not conquering, it’s training indigenous forces to project power on their own, in their own interest but also in your interest."

    –Robert Kaplan
    Last edited by Tubub; 06-19-10 at 08:01 PM.
    “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure...than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
    -TR

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