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Is encouraging democracy the same thing as imperialism?

WI Crippler

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I have often seen many posters make reference to American "imperialism". Since the establishment of the 50th state, I find it hard to argue that we fit the ideal of traditional "imperialism" anymore, as it relates to aspects of taking and holding land for the benefit of the state. IMO, American imperialism, which could be best described as our expansion into the current 50 states from the original 13 colonies formed after the Revolution against the British Empire, is effectively over.

From our actions in WWII to support our allies from the fascist Nazi regime, and our efforts during the cold war to keep the communists out of western Europe, the liberation of South Korea from the communists, the liberation of Iraq from its dictator, our continued support for democratic allies around the world I find it hard to equate our actions with the imperialistic past of european colonialism, Persian imperialism, etc.....

And if these actions are the actions of imperialism, were we not also imperialistic in our dealings in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 90s?

We have influence, yes. But I don't necessarily equate our influence with imperialism. I don't necessarily equate fighting a war, regardless of its location, as imperialistic. Its the attitude of taking and subjecting other states as your territory or vassals that equals imperialism.
 

rathi

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Its true that the U.S. has not engaged in the literal definition of imperialism since we made Hawaii a state. However, if you think we spent the last 50 years "promoting democracy" you are more naive than the people who claimed the U.S. engaged in imperialism. U.S. cold war policy was about ensuring we had unfettered access to natural resources and "combating communism", formal control of territory wasn't actually important.
 

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I have often seen many posters make reference to American "imperialism". Since the establishment of the 50th state, I find it hard to argue that we fit the ideal of traditional "imperialism" anymore, as it relates to aspects of taking and holding land for the benefit of the state. IMO, American imperialism, which could be best described as our expansion into the current 50 states from the original 13 colonies formed after the Revolution against the British Empire, is effectively over.

From our actions in WWII to support our allies from the fascist Nazi regime, and our efforts during the cold war to keep the communists out of western Europe, the liberation of South Korea from the communists, the liberation of Iraq from its dictator, our continued support for democratic allies around the world I find it hard to equate our actions with the imperialistic past of european colonialism, Persian imperialism, etc.....

And if these actions are the actions of imperialism, were we not also imperialistic in our dealings in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 90s?

We have influence, yes. But I don't necessarily equate our influence with imperialism. I don't necessarily equate fighting a war, regardless of its location, as imperialistic. Its the attitude of taking and subjecting other states as your territory or vassals that equals imperialism.
You're right that that's what imperialism is. However, there are many ways in which imperialism can be pursued.

WW2, the Korean War, and the Cold War were relatively without U.S. imperialistic intentions. The Vietnam War was less about imperialistic intentions, but also had elements of supporting the military-industrial-congressional complex of the time. The Gulf War of the '90's smacked even more of imperialistic intentions since Hussein invaded Kuwait, which has oil and was a seller to the U.S., so while we went to war to help free Kuwait from invasion, we also went to war to preserve our oil supply. Yes, we went into war in Afghanistan to bring Al Quaeda to justice for the 9/11 attacks, but Bush sent us into Iraq stating that there were connections between Iraq and Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Such a connection has yet to be proven, as has all the other pretexts in which G.W. Bush sent us to war. So did we go to Iraq to stop terrorists, or to free the people of Iraq, or to gain control of the oil there, or to finish what G.H.W. Bush started in the '90's? I still don't know.

As for U.S. involvement in Bosnia and Kosovo, it should be remembered that that was not a wholly U.S. action. Rather, it was a NATO action that was done with the support of Europe, especially the United Kingdom, who had vested interests in the horrors of ending the genocide going on there because it was "in their backyard," so to say. None of the other Middle Eastern countries really supported the U.S. going to war with Iraq, and none have helped us very much.

So those are the differences between the different conflicts. They aren't all equal, nor fought with equal innocence.
 

WI Crippler

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Its true that the U.S. has not engaged in the literal definition of imperialism since we made Hawaii a state. However, if you think we spent the last 50 years "promoting democracy" you are more naive than the people who claimed the U.S. engaged in imperialism. U.S. cold war policy was about ensuring we had unfettered access to natural resources and "combating communism", formal control of territory wasn't actually important.
Well to agree with you a bit, during the Cold War we didn't always use or support democracy to combat communism. But I think moving forward we have found that supporting democracy and encouraging it in places is more beneficial than a short term solution of installing a favorable dictator. Of course we do things with an end benefit to us in mind. Nobody can afford to be alturistic on the world stage. But I don't think that American domination, in a traditional imperialistic sense is the goal of our country. Stopping communism was a goal that had net benefit to us, and for the people involved in those supported countries. People weren't risking life and limb crossing the Berlin wall to get to the great communist experience. Nobody floats to Cuba on a tire for their superior system of governance. South Koreans aren't scrambling to cross the DMZ. Democracy may have its imperfections, but the movement of people towards democracy seems to imply it is a better way of life, and thus should have our full support and encouragement.

We have to remember that we largely bear the burden of wherever we decide to go, even if our allies support us. Its not too much to ask that we be the primary beneficiary of whatever business/resource that country can provide, in return for our support and deterrence of their enemies. I don't think that equates to imperialism, but rather a trade of materials and services for protection and support.
 

spud_meister

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its more of a mob protection racket than imperialism :2razz:
 

Demon of Light

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I have often seen many posters make reference to American "imperialism". Since the establishment of the 50th state, I find it hard to argue that we fit the ideal of traditional "imperialism" anymore, as it relates to aspects of taking and holding land for the benefit of the state. IMO, American imperialism, which could be best described as our expansion into the current 50 states from the original 13 colonies formed after the Revolution against the British Empire, is effectively over.
Here is the first definition one gets for imperialism:

the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies.
Source: Dictionary.com

By this definition the U.S. has definitely been pursuing an imperialist policy for the past century. What has changed is our manner of extending rule or authority.

From our actions in WWII to support our allies from the fascist Nazi regime, and our efforts during the cold war to keep the communists out of western Europe, the liberation of South Korea from the communists, the liberation of Iraq from its dictator, our continued support for democratic allies around the world I find it hard to equate our actions with the imperialistic past of european colonialism, Persian imperialism, etc.....
That is because you put it in such rosy terms. Our efforts to "keep the communists out" involved false flag terror attacks to influence elections, bribery, and pro-American propaganda. These same tactics were used in Japan to maintain the dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party. South Korea was not a democracy by any stretch and Saddam was put in power by the U.S. and his genocide of Kurds officially blamed on Iran. Hell, there is evidence we induced Saddam into war with Kuwait and it makes perfect sense.

We used Saddam to keep Iran in check, but as a side effect Saddam had gotten too powerful. So we made sure there was an opportunity to crush him. The U.S. method of extending authority is through the use of deceit and manipulation.

And if these actions are the actions of imperialism, were we not also imperialistic in our dealings in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 90s?
Actually, it is hard for me to consider those acts of U.S. imperialism considering those territories have essentially been put under the authority of the EU. It is more EU imperialism with the U.S. assisting.
 

rathi

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The Gulf War of the '90's smacked even more of imperialistic intentions since Hussein invaded Kuwait, which has oil and was a seller to the U.S., so while we went to war to help free Kuwait from invasion, we also went to war to preserve our oil supply.
That wasn't imperialism. We have fair trade agreements with the Saudi's and Kuwait and protecting them was both the practical and moral choice.

Yes, we went into war in Afghanistan to bring Al Quaeda to justice for the 9/11 attacks, but Bush sent us into Iraq stating that there were connections between Iraq and Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
I won't pretend to know what insanity prompted Bush to invade Iraq, but imperialism was not his goal. If you look how the oil contracts were handed out, the U.S. got absolutely nothing compared to the costs of the war. Obama is still in there out of political cowardice, not a desire to dominate the region.
 

Civil1z@tion

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First, let's acknowledge there are multiple definitions of imperialism. There is the straight-up land grab imperialism that was most common prior to WW2 and the US engaged in that from expansion of its territory against the Native Americans to taking over the Philippines. Puerto Rico can actually be described in such a manner, though today a solid majority of the populace wants to remain a part of the US (and at least as many Puerto Ricans would like to become a state as would like independence) so at this point its basically consensual. The US hasn't really engaged in this type of imperialism since 1945 when we let the Philippines go.

The next is still about political domination but does not require technically taking over a country. 19th century protectorates were like this and this form of imperialism has been rather popular in history being used by empires as different as Rome, China, and Persia. In essence the leader of a country is simply a puppet of the larger country. This was a very popular US tactic in the Cold War that has gradually faded since then (the US still sometimes backs dictators but far less than we did in the Cold War).

Both those forms of imperialism are pretty non-controversial definitions but then we get into more contentious definitions.

First there is "economic imperialism." In this case the elites of a country don't have to be stooges of the greater power but instead it means an economic relationship where one partner dominates the other. The contention is not so much whether this happens (it definitely does) but whether it should be called imperialism. Yes the EU has manipulated its trading relationship with North Africa to give them the most benefit (by getting free trade on their comparative strong points of manufacturing and services but keeping protectionism on their comparative weak point of agriculture), but should that be in the same category as the Scramble for Africa? My feeling on that is probably no, but it is something to take note of. If we consider this imperialism then there are a ton of imperialist nations out there to varying degrees, the US just being one of the biggest (though in this form of imperialism the EU is probably bigger).

Then we have "cultural imperialism." This is the most contentious form of imperialism as it doesn't even require any actions by the stronger nation's government to come about. This is about the spread of ideas, entertainment, and fashion to other cultures and those culture then losing their distinctiveness. The US is definitely the biggest "imperialist" here but given that people are accepting these ideas without any force or pressure being applied by the US government in most cases, calling it imperialism seems a little ridiculous to me.

So are we imperialist? In some ways yes. The real question is whether this is a bad thing.
 

Tucker Case

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Are we promoting democracies or are these "puppet regimes"?

Operation Ajax, for example, instilled what was essentially a puppet regime in Iran. That was imperialism, just not overt imperialism.

I think we are engaging in a sort of economic and ideological imperialism. While we don't gain direct control over these nations, per se, we do get a sort of indirect control over them.
 

MilesMilitis

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I have often seen many posters make reference to American "imperialism". Since the establishment of the 50th state, I find it hard to argue that we fit the ideal of traditional "imperialism" anymore, as it relates to aspects of taking and holding land for the benefit of the state. IMO, American imperialism, which could be best described as our expansion into the current 50 states from the original 13 colonies formed after the Revolution against the British Empire, is effectively over.

From our actions in WWII to support our allies from the fascist Nazi regime, and our efforts during the cold war to keep the communists out of western Europe, the liberation of South Korea from the communists, the liberation of Iraq from its dictator, our continued support for democratic allies around the world I find it hard to equate our actions with the imperialistic past of european colonialism, Persian imperialism, etc.....

And if these actions are the actions of imperialism, were we not also imperialistic in our dealings in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 90s?

We have influence, yes. But I don't necessarily equate our influence with imperialism. I don't necessarily equate fighting a war, regardless of its location, as imperialistic. Its the attitude of taking and subjecting other states as your territory or vassals that equals imperialism.
Depending on how you define the term, "Imperialism" can represent anything from the blatantly aggressive military conquest which characterized the establishment of past empires, to the more reactionary preservation of, or sometimes promotion of, certain economic and political interests beyond one's own borders that so colors modern international affairs. If we are going by the former definition, then, no, the US can not be said to be "Imperialist" in the classical sense of the word. However, going by the second; I'd argue that there more than likely isn't a single nation on this planet which doesn't practice "Imperialism" in some manner or (more importantly) wouldn't if they had the power and position to do so.

People have a hard time coming to grips with the idea, but the simple fact of the matter is that, from any "realist standpoint, states are not "moral" actors. They are rational actors who seek to preserve their own power and survival through active measures. In a "dog eat dog" world, this will very often result in measures which seem "Imperialistic." While not an example of classical Imperialism in the "gold and glory" sense of the word, the United States' actions with regard to the spread of "Democratic" ideals can be seen as fitting in along this same vein.
 

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Just to comment on dialogue style before getting to substance: Everyone keeps saying "our" and "we," but I don't know why anyone would want to imply possession of the most brutal government acts when they were completely uninvolved and their existence irrelevant to whether they occurred or not. It's this conceptual metaphor of the "nation-state as person" that impedes reasonable dialogue a lot of the time, when some chauvinistic people can accuse critics of the government of "hating America." What is "America," exactly, ignoring the mistake of application of a name for two continents to one country? When people talk about what "America" does, they're talking about what the United States government, usually the executive branch of the federal tier of the United States government, does. Everyone's happy being critical of individual administrations and figures within them, but citing "America" is like a cloak over these people, a sort of curtain that the Wizard of Oz hides behind to make himself appear more impressive, if you will. When Operation Ajax is discussed, it's a matter of what the Eisenhower administration and Kermit Roosevelt's CIA personnel did, not what "America" or "we" did.
 

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Is encouraging democracy the same thing as imperialism?
When you consider thatn encouraging democracy is in response to the alternative, it's more like self defense. A little bit of imperialism used to fight a **** load of imperialism.

Call what you will, but compared to the alternative, I don't have a problem with encouraging democracy.
 

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Here is the first definition one gets for imperialism:



Source: Dictionary.com

By this definition the U.S. has definitely been pursuing an imperialist policy for the past century. What has changed is our manner of extending rule or authority.
No actually what you are trying to due is change the definition of imperialism by making up your own definitions of rule and authority.

That is because you put it in such rosy terms. Our efforts to "keep the communists out" involved false flag terror attacks to influence elections, bribery, and pro-American propaganda.
False flag terror attacks? For example? Perhaps you would have preferred several other North Korean or Cuban like totalitarian police states? Imperialism implies that we were seeking to control these nations when it wasn't about our gaining control but rather about the Soviets not gaining control, it was based on principle not self gain.

These same tactics were used in Japan to maintain the dominance of the Liberal Democratic Party.
And what you think the Japanese Communists had or could have achieved popular support and even if they could do you think that would be a good thing? I much prefer current Japan to current China don't you or perhaps you have a fetish for totalitarian police states.

South Korea was not a democracy by any stretch
And it wasn't a totalitarian police state either like its neighbor to the north. I'll take an authoritarian over a totalitarian system any day of the week.

and Saddam was put in power by the U.S. and his genocide of Kurds officially blamed on Iran. Hell, there is evidence we induced Saddam into war with Kuwait and it makes perfect sense.
Saddam was not put into power by the U.S. and the evidence that we greenlighted Iraq's war with Kuwait comes from the Baathist regime produced transript, Glaspie did not give Saddam the go ahead that's conspiracist propaganda the same as the U.S. being responsible for putting Saddam in power.

We used Saddam to keep Iran in check, but as a side effect Saddam had gotten too powerful. So we made sure there was an opportunity to crush him. The U.S. method of extending authority is through the use of deceit and manipulation.
lol ya we sure bulked up Saddams power by providing him with only .5% of his total foreign arms consisting mostly of dual use items; such as, helicopters and bulldozers retrofitted for military purposes after the fact, FYI Saddam was primarily armed by the Soviets and the French.
 
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Orion

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Spreading democracy is cultural imperialism, and so is the global "free" market. Anywhere our products go, our culture goes too. Britain paved the way with the East India Company, then once mercantilism declined the framework was replaced with capitalism.

It's hard to find places in this world where you won't see a coca cola logo or news of the American war. The Cold War permitted the U.S. to proliferate its culture and currency, with lasting affects to this day. It's not imperialism in the colonial sense, but that's why it's called neo-imperialism.
 

Civil1z@tion

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Cultural Imperialism has the weakest argument for being bad in my opinion. Cultural imperialism nowadays consists of people willing adopting Western ideas and practices in a range of things. Nobody is forcing anyone in the world to eat at McDonalds, they do so because they want to do so (whether because its cheap or they think it tastes good doesn't really matter). Culture imperialism can only be considered exploitative from those who don't really want cultural interaction. One could try to make the argument that you want cultural interaction on some sort of "even playing field" (though what that would even mean is up to debate) but ultimately no one is forcing people to eat hamburgers or watch American movies. At most the American government could be forcing other governments to allow their people to have the option of consuming those things (and really most of the time other governments want to have those options) and if you think giving options equates to forcing people to choose one way then you really don't have a high opinion of foreign cultures.
 

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Spreading democracy is cultural imperialism, and so is the global "free" market. Anywhere our products go, our culture goes too. Britain paved the way with the East India Company, then once mercantilism declined the framework was replaced with capitalism.

It's hard to find places in this world where you won't see a coca cola logo or news of the American war. The Cold War permitted the U.S. to proliferate its culture and currency, with lasting affects to this day. It's not imperialism in the colonial sense, but that's why it's called neo-imperialism.
So now conquering nations and installing your own governiships which answer to the central leadership within the native capital is somehow the equivalent of voluntary contractual agreements between individuals and groups of individuals? Meh. Oh and neo-Imperialism implies something totally separate from cultural imperialism it impies that modern developed nations use less developed nations to produce raw materials which the more developed nations use to produce made products which they then sell back to the less developed nations at prices that exceed those of the raw materials and create in the lesser developed nations a perpetual cycle of dependence and subservience to the more develped nations. It was and is the argument used by Marxists to explain why Marx was wrong and capitalism didn't fail. It is a laughable assertion due to the actions of developed nations promoting modernization with in less developed nations so that they can produce goods of their own which the developed nations which are bought by the developed nations for example in China.
 
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Demon of Light

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No actually what you are trying to due is change the definition of imperialism by making up your own definitions of rule and authority.
The United States has made use of extensive systems of control. The British Empire was built first with corporations and independent organizations, not state action. The American Empire simply builds on that method to allow the same extent of control as state action without the difficulties of managing a large foreign territory.

False flag terror attacks? For example? Perhaps you would have preferred several other North Korean or Cuban like totalitarian police states? Imperialism implies that we were seeking to control these nations when it wasn't about our gaining control but rather about the Soviets not gaining control, it was based on principle not self gain.
If it wasn't the Soviets we would have found some other threat to excuse our actions. Notice how there always seems to be a convenient excuse? During Clinton's Presidency humanitarian intervention was the name of the game. Under Bush it all became about rogue states and terrorism, which were largely just empty terms to describe whoever is attempting to challenge U.S. dominance. We gladly sided with Yugoslavia because they turned on the Soviets and at the same time were more than happy to woo Castro until he turned to the Soviets. Yet this drive to against the Soviets didn't stop us from aiding anti-colonial movements in Portuguese colonies. Also though Nasser was anti-communist and happy to deal with the West his Pan-Arab ideals were considered a serious threat to the U.S. efforts in the region.

Anything that resisted U.S. influence was immediately labeled anti-American and inevitably communist. Notice how after the Soviet Union collapsed the U.S. did not stop its efforts against Russia. The robber barons flooded into Russia and the other former states were wooed. The Cold War was really just a myth invented to justify American imperialism. Our efforts to isolate and encircle the Soviets are ultimately what caused them to behave so hostile towards us.

And what you think the Japanese Communists had or could have achieved popular support and even if they could do you think that would be a good thing? I much prefer current Japan to current China don't you or perhaps you have a fetish for totalitarian police states.
Japan was force-fed Western-style "democracy" and its power as a nation stripped. I would prefer Japan have found its own way rather than being told. China is pursuing its own path and to call it a totalitarian police state just shows your own lack of knowledge on the subject. It seems you actually believe the propaganda Western media feeds people daily.

And it wasn't a totalitarian police state either like its neighbor to the north. I'll take an authoritarian over a totalitarian system any day of the week.
A difference of such little significance, especially since we would have just as happily endorsed a totalitarian system.

Saddam was not put into power by the U.S. and the evidence that we greenlighted Iraq's war with Kuwait comes from the Baathist regime produced transript, Glaspie did not give Saddam the go ahead that's conspiracist propaganda the same as the U.S. being responsible for putting Saddam in power.
Many members of the State Department clearly communicated that they would not take issue with what was going on between Iraq and Kuwait. It would hardly be the first time we coaxed another country into war in order to weaken a potential threat. The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan was a desired outcome for the U.S., which it deliberately sought to instigate. Such manufactured actions are hardly unusual. The Gulf of Tonkin comes to mind. There is evidence not only that Saddam was given soothing words from the U.S. to induce him into invading Kuwait, but that the U.S. was doing everything it could to keep Saddam there and mislead the world into thinking he was planning more aggression all in order to justify a war against Iraq. A little reminder about who was top boss and a good way to justify continued American military dominance in the world given the imminent end of the Cold War.

Also Saddam was a long-time asset of the CIA and Iraqi Ba'ath Party had strong ties to the CIA.

lol ya we sure bulked up Saddams power by providing him with only .5% of his total foreign arms consisting mostly of dual use items; such as, helicopters and bulldozers retrofitted for military purposes after the fact, FYI Saddam was primarily armed by the Soviets and the French.
We gave Saddam something else. We gave his forces training, intelligence, and the U.S. actively aided and insured Iraq got those foreign arms. It actually made good sense for the U.S. to avoid supplying much weaponry to Iraq given its ties with the Soviet Union and China. U.S. support was more significant and effective than simply giving them weapons.
 

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The United States has made use of extensive systems of control. The British Empire was built first with corporations and independent organizations, not state action. The American Empire simply builds on that method to allow the same extent of control as state action without the difficulties of managing a large foreign territory.
lol a royal charter is not the equivalent of a corporation


If it wasn't the Soviets we would have found some other threat to excuse our actions.
I'm sure.

Notice how there always seems to be a convenient excuse? During Clinton's Presidency humanitarian intervention was the name of the game.
What was the humanitarian intervention an excuse for exactly?

Under Bush it all became about rogue states and terrorism, which were largely just empty terms to describe whoever is attempting to challenge U.S. dominance.
So there wasn't a terrorist attack that killed 3,000 U.S. civilians? Are you asserting that it was a false flag operation? Are are you a twoofer?

We gladly sided with Yugoslavia which part because they turned on the Soviets
Yugoslavia like Egypt was a part of the non-aligned movement.

and at the same time were more than happy to woo Castro until he turned to the Soviets.
He, also, nationalized U.S. assets.

Yet this drive to against the Soviets didn't stop us from aiding anti-colonial movements in Portuguese colonies.
Not really following you here.

Also though Nasser was anti-communist and happy to deal with the West his Pan-Arab ideals were considered a serious threat to the U.S. efforts in the region.
So we were supposed to aid the militaristic dictatorship of Nasser? And if we had I'm sure you would be bitching about that as well.

Anything that resisted U.S. influence was immediately labeled anti-American and inevitably communist. Notice how after the Soviet Union collapsed the U.S. did not stop its efforts against Russia. The robber barons flooded into Russia and the other former states were wooed. The Cold War was really just a myth invented to justify American imperialism. Our efforts to isolate and encircle the Soviets are ultimately what caused them to behave so hostile towards us.

Um we didn't oppose Nasser until he accepted arms shipments from the Soviets, I don't ever recall labeling him a Communist. Which nation did we label Communist that wasn't in fact Communist?

Japan was force-fed Western-style "democracy" and its power as a nation stripped. I would prefer Japan have found its own way rather than being told.
Japan had engaged in militaristic campaign of mass murder through Asia and the Pacific, that was their own way, are you out of your mind?

China is pursuing its own path and to call it a totalitarian police state just shows your own lack of knowledge on the subject. It seems you actually believe the propaganda Western media feeds people daily.
Ya China's own way resulted in the largest genocide in the history of this planet sport. :roll:

A difference of such little significance,
Totalitarian is completely different than authoritarian, modern North Korea in relation to modern South Korea proves the validity of the Kirkpatrick doctrine.

especially since we would have just as happily endorsed a totalitarian system.
Prove it.

Many members of the State Department clearly communicated that they would not take issue with what was going on between Iraq and Kuwait.
No there is the proven false assertion that Glaspie said something similar to that, it was competely false, and there have been no other members of the State Department accused of making such statements.

It would hardly be the first time we coaxed another country into war in order to weaken a potential threat. The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan was a desired outcome for the U.S., which it deliberately sought to instigate.
So now the U.S. is responsible for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? WTF? You must be joking, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan to obtain a warm water point, we didn't instigate it.

Such manufactured actions are hardly unusual. The Gulf of Tonkin comes to mind.
At least one attack on a U.S. ship occurred in the Gulf of Tonkin by the North Vietnamese. Exaggerated yes? Manufactured? No.

There is evidence not only that Saddam was given soothing words from the U.S. to induce him into invading Kuwait,
No there isn't actually, the inverse is actually true, the U.S. said in no uncertain terms that if Saddam invaded the U.S. would respond and we then gave him ample opportunity to withdraw his forces warning that if he did not it would result in a state of war between us.

but that the U.S. was doing everything it could to keep Saddam there and mislead the world into thinking he was planning more aggression all in order to justify a war against Iraq. A little reminder about who was top boss and a good way to justify continued American military dominance in the world given the imminent end of the Cold War.
Um the U.S. did everything to get Saddam to withdrawal before we engaged in hostilities. We even set a deadline for him to withdrawal and stated if he did not we would attack, he thought we were bluffing, we were not.

Also Saddam was a long-time asset of the CIA and Iraqi Ba'ath Party had strong ties to the CIA.
Saddam was never an asset of the CIA, and there is no evidence to that effect.

We gave Saddam something else. We gave his forces training,
What training?

intelligence,
Only when it looked like Iran might suceed in conquering Iraq.

and the U.S. actively aided and insured Iraq got those foreign arms.
Really we had a say in Soviet Union arms distribution? Is there nothing we can't do?

It actually made good sense for the U.S. to avoid supplying much weaponry to Iraq given its ties with the Soviet Union and China. U.S. support was more significant and effective than simply giving them weapons.
U.S. support to Saddam was minimal at best.
 

Demon of Light

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lol a royal charter is not the equivalent of a corporation
You really need to get yourself educated on this matter. Most corporations used to only be able to form when they received a charter from the government. Some corporations still need to receive a charter from the government. While a charter is granted to other bodies it is granted to corporations and that includes royal charters. If you're saying the British East India Company was not a corporation then you can just GTFO.

I'm sure.
You should. Tell me, what possible reason did we have for the 1958 Lebanon War?

What was the humanitarian intervention an excuse for exactly?
Hello? Yugoslavia?

So there wasn't a terrorist attack that killed 3,000 U.S. civilians? Are you asserting that it was a false flag operation? Are are you a twoofer?
I think there is a good deal of reason to question the official story, and evidence indicating it was in some manner aided by actors in our government. However, even without 9-11 an excuse would have been found.

Yugoslavia like Egypt was a part of the non-aligned movement.
So were India and Cuba. Are you really telling me you think the non-aligned movement actually represented a neutral third party?

He, also, nationalized U.S. assets.
Of course, the actions to eliminate U.S. corporate monopolies on their country's economy was a factor.

Not really following you here.
We supported groups that actively fought Portugal, a supposed ally.

So we were supposed to aid the militaristic dictatorship of Nasser? And if we had I'm sure you would be bitching about that as well.
We didn't care that he was a dictator.

Um we didn't oppose Nasser until he accepted arms shipments from the Soviets, I don't ever recall labeling him a Communist. Which nation did we label Communist that wasn't in fact Communist?
We were working with Nasser and Egypt long after he received arms from the Eastern bloc. The U.S. government treated any lean towards leftism as a lean towards communism and by that I mean any effort to end corporate imperialism or strengthen worker's rights was seen as a dangerous step towards communism. The establishment in the United States opposed communism long before the Soviet Union came into being and various other movements of a similar nature. One common trait is these were all anti-establishment movements that advocated greater rights for the people. It is quite interesting as one can liken the resistance to such movement with the resistance of the European monarchies to republican revolutionaries.

Japan had engaged in militaristic campaign of mass murder through Asia and the Pacific, that was their own way, are you out of your mind?
So are you saying the Japanese only know how to kill and rape without us white folk telling them otherwise?

Ya China's own way resulted in the largest genocide in the history of this planet sport.
China has committed no genocide and please do no distort Chinese history. Too many people fall for that Cold War propaganda garbage and it still floats around contaminating people's thoughts.

Totalitarian is completely different than authoritarian, modern North Korea in relation to modern South Korea proves the validity of the Kirkpatrick doctrine.
There is a difference of degrees.

Prove it.
Am I really going to have to point out the totalitarian regimes we have supported and the ones we still support to this day? I would think you know enough about history.

No there is the proven false assertion that Glaspie said something similar to that, it was competely false, and there have been no other members of the State Department accused of making such statements.
You keep thinking I'm talking about her, but this was a clear position put forward by the U.S. No serious effort was made to dissuade Saddam from going to war and indeed we were quite soft to him to the point where there was no reason he would think the U.S. had any intention of going to war.

So now the U.S. is responsible for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? WTF? You must be joking, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan to obtain a warm water point, we didn't instigate it.

At least one attack on a U.S. ship occurred in the Gulf of Tonkin by the North Vietnamese. Exaggerated yes? Manufactured? No.
Congratulations for demonstrating that you do not know the actual history of the Cold War. I do love how it seems only America's enemies are motivated by imperialistic designs. Must be some nice world you live in.

No there isn't actually, the inverse is actually true, the U.S. said in no uncertain terms that if Saddam invaded the U.S. would respond and we then gave him ample opportunity to withdraw his forces warning that if he did not it would result in a state of war between us.
Seriously, you need to do some research. The U.S. could not have been any less certain about the terms. We justified Desert Shield on the (false) basis that Iraq was planning to attack Saudi Arabia. The buildup to war in Kuwait saw propaganda, exaggerations, and deliberate fabrications get thrown out to justify invasion. Not to mention things we had previously had no problem with before were suddenly a serious reason to oppose Saddam. The whole thing was phony and the real purpose was no different than the two phony wars of the 1980's in Afghanistan and between Iran and Iraq. It was all about increasing American power, which necessarily includes weakening other powers.

Um the U.S. did everything to get Saddam to withdrawal before we engaged in hostilities. We even set a deadline for him to withdrawal and stated if he did not we would attack, he thought we were bluffing, we were not.
Issuing an ultimatum is not doing everything.

What training?


Only when it looked like Iran might suceed in conquering Iraq.
Wow, you really don't know anything about this stuff do you? How the hell can you take such a strong position when you don't even have such critical knowledge?

Really we had a say in Soviet Union arms distribution? Is there nothing we can't do?
The Soviet Union was far from alone in supplying Iraq with weaponry. The U.S. did provide Iraq weapons through other channels.

U.S. support to Saddam was minimal at best.
We didn't give him much of our weaponry, for good reason, but our support was critical in the war.
 

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I guess technically, yes, it's probably imperialism ... but that doesn't need to be a bad thing.

There is this German political scientist, Herfried Münkler, who wrote a book about empires. In his eyes, imperial order is better than multipolar order, from the view of international relations and the potential for war, because it's more stable. And it's part of imperial logic that the core of imperial power (in this case the USA) is not pillaging the periphery, but it's profitable for the periphery as well, because it enjoys benefits from this order regarding wealth, stability and prosperity.

That doesn't mean, though, that it's feasible to just invade some country and force a democratic system upon its people (which may or may not have the right mental state and experience to make an open system even work). It seems to be a no-brainer that first, a people needs a society and the necessary level of development to maintain a democratic system, before it can finally establish a working free system. Not vice versa, that will likely fail.

We'll see how long democracy will stay in Iraq (assuming the current system there meets the standards of a free, democratic system. I don't enough enough about the details to know that). But we see that's apparently not possible to establish a free democracy in a rural backwards country with 50%+ illiteracy rate and a deeply religious population completely unfamiliar with non-authoritarian systems of organization, like Afghanistan.

And just for the record: Just because supporting democracy abroad my be a good thing in general, that does not mean at all wars to achieve that are always justified. For example, I believe it makes much sense to oppose the invasion on Iraq because of many reasons, even when you are generally supportive of a democratic system in that country.
 

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You really need to get yourself educated on this matter. Most corporations used to only be able to form when they received a charter from the government. Some corporations still need to receive a charter from the government. While a charter is granted to other bodies it is granted to corporations and that includes royal charters. If you're saying the British East India Company was not a corporation then you can just GTFO.
Yes I'm saying that the East Indian Company was nothing like a modern day corporation, it was under charter to legally control territory, which means they were able to police it, make laws, etc.

You should. Tell me, what possible reason did we have for the 1958 Lebanon War?
Is there something wrong with being opposed to pan-Arabism which was founded by national socialists were very similar to the fascists we had just gotten done fighting WW2 with?

Hello? Yugoslavia?
Hello, the U.S. didn't get involved until very late in the game, and what interests did we have in Yugoslavia or have in Yugoslavia?

I think there is a good deal of reason to question the official story, and evidence indicating it was in some manner aided by actors in our government.
No actually there is no legitimate evidence for those assertions.

However, even without 9-11 an excuse would have been found.
Good to see you have a crystal ball.

So were India and Cuba. Are you really telling me you think the non-aligned movement actually represented a neutral third party?
Cuba was clearly aligned with the Soviets, just who was India aligned with?

Of course, the actions to eliminate U.S. corporate monopolies on their country's economy was a factor.
lol no he stole U.S. assets of private U.S. citizens what did you expect us to do?

We supported groups that actively fought Portugal, a supposed ally.
A) How did we support them exactly and B) This proves exactly what in your mind?

We didn't care that he was a dictator.
We were working with Nasser and Egypt long after he received arms from the Eastern bloc. The U.S. government treated any lean towards leftism as a lean towards communism and by that I mean any effort to end corporate imperialism or strengthen worker's rights was seen as a dangerous step towards communism. The establishment in the United States opposed communism long before the Soviet Union came into being and various other movements of a similar nature. One common trait is these were all anti-establishment movements that advocated greater rights for the people. It is quite interesting as one can liken the resistance to such movement with the resistance of the European monarchies to republican revolutionaries.
So we opposed Communism because it advocated human rights? Are you ought of your mind?


So are you saying the Japanese only know how to kill and rape without us white folk telling them otherwise?
I'm saying left to their own devices the Japanese waged a genocidal war across Asia and the Pacific. What were we supposed to ignore that? Bottom line is we were more magnanimous in Japan after victory than any other country has ever been.

China has committed no genocide and please do no distort Chinese history. Too many people fall for that Cold War propaganda garbage and it still floats around contaminating people's thoughts.
Mao is directly responsible for the largest democide in history. Those figures come from the Chinese themselves.

There is a difference of degrees.
It's not just a difference of degrees. I suggest you look into the Kirkpatrick doctrine which history has proven to be absolutely true.

Am I really going to have to point out the totalitarian regimes we have supported and the ones we still support to this day? I would think you know enough about history.
Yes name a totalitarian rather than an authoritarian regime which we supported.

You keep thinking I'm talking about her, but this was a clear position put forward by the U.S. No serious effort was made to dissuade Saddam from going to war and indeed we were quite soft to him to the point where there was no reason he would think the U.S. had any intention of going to war.
This was not the clear position of the U.S. the clear position of the U.S. is "get out of Kuwait or there will be war."

Congratulations for demonstrating that you do not know the actual history of the Cold War. I do love how it seems only America's enemies are motivated by imperialistic designs. Must be some nice world you live in.
Yes I understand that the U.S. is somehow responsible for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, is there nothing we can't do?

Seriously, you need to do some research. The U.S. could not have been any less certain about the terms. We justified Desert Shield on the (false) basis that Iraq was planning to attack Saudi Arabia. The buildup to war in Kuwait saw propaganda, exaggerations, and deliberate fabrications get thrown out to justify invasion.
Ya Saddam hadn't massed his army on the Saudi border or anything. :roll:

Not to mention things we had previously had no problem with before were suddenly a serious reason to oppose Saddam. The whole thing was phony and the real purpose was no different than the two phony wars of the 1980's in Afghanistan and between Iran and Iraq. It was all about increasing American power, which necessarily includes weakening other powers.
So the U.S. fabricated the unjust and illegal invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union?

Issuing an ultimatum is not doing everything.
lol, what more exactly could we have said to get Saddam to leave? We issued the most serious threat that there is.

Wow, you really don't know anything about this stuff do you? How the hell can you take such a strong position when you don't even have such critical knowledge?
Um, I know exactly what I'm talking about, it was the Soviets and the French who provided Saddam with arms not the U.S.. And the U.S. did not start to aid the war effort until it looked as if the Iranians might actually conquer Iraq.

The Soviet Union was far from alone in supplying Iraq with weaponry. The U.S. did provide Iraq weapons through other channels.
Prove it.

We didn't give him much of our weaponry, for good reason, but our support was critical in the war.
Critical in insuring that Iran didn't conquer Iraq.
 

FluffyNinja

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Here is the first definition one gets for imperialism:



Source: Dictionary.com

By this definition the U.S. has definitely been pursuing an imperialist policy for the past century. What has changed is our manner of extending rule or authority.

What other nations have we been "ruling" or exerting our authority over since 1910? (Other than your questionable example of the Iran-Iraq situation.)

The U.S. method of extending authority is through the use of deceit and manipulation
Could it be possible that these are simply foreign policy tactics to help secure American financial interests, and not underhanded attempts to "rule" or extend "authority over" them as the definition suggests? If anything, especially compared to nations such as Nazi Germany, the USSR, People's Republic of China, Fascist Italy, etc, over the past century, I would have to say America's involvement in foreign policy has been more reactive than proactive. Imperialism, by any definition, assumes a proactive foreign policy. Would you agree?
 

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Could it be possible that these are simply foreign policy tactics to help secure American financial interests, and not underhanded attempts to "rule" or extend "authority over" them as the definition suggests? If anything, especially compared to nations such as Nazi Germany, the USSR, People's Republic of China, Fascist Italy, etc, over the past century, I would have to say America's involvement in foreign policy has been more reactive than proactive. Imperialism, by any definition, assumes a proactive foreign policy. Would you agree?
If I may join this debate ... I am not sure about that. There have been pretty shady actions by the US occasionally, which can better be explained by a tendency to defend material interests rather than defending Western values (although that often was congruent in other cases), think of involvement in Latin America during the Cold War, for example.

But, despite all this, as a member of a periphery state of the American empire, I have to say America is a rather nice hegemon, it brings us many advantages and privileges over here to live within this realm, and usually, America is a sympathetic emperor, rather loved for the benefits of its soft power than feared or hated for the use of its hard power.
 

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Imperialist is a word kind of like "neocon" and "socialist" that people like to throw around as an insult nowadays without actually understanding what it is.
 

FluffyNinja

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If I may join this debate ... I am not sure about that. There have been pretty shady actions by the US occasionally, which can better be explained by a tendency to defend material interests rather than defending Western values (although that often was congruent in other cases), think of involvement in Latin America during the Cold War, for example.

But, despite all this, as a member of a periphery state of the American empire, I have to say America is a rather nice hegemon, it brings us many advantages and privileges over here to live within this realm, and usually, America is a sympathetic emperor, rather loved for the benefits of its soft power than feared or hated for the use of its hard power.
Now THAT was an excellent response! Glad to see our European minions have finally learned to accept their place in the empire.
 
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