JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE AMERICAN EMPIRE – COMPARISONS TO ROME – AND REMARKS ON AN INTERVIEW WITH HISTORIAN PAUL KENNEDY – MILITARY DANGERS TO A FREE SOCIETY   Leave a comment


 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO AN INTERVIEW WITH HISTORIAN PAUL KENNEDY IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“I think that the U.S. is the only imperial power in history to deny that it has an empire!”

Mike Sumners,

Actually Rome long maintained the fantasy of a republic (S.P.Q.R.) after it had become an empire with an emperor.

There are many parallels with the US.

I believe, contrary to Kennedy, that the immensely powerful US military may well assume effective control there. Indeed, it already has to some degree.

The last election did nothing to change American policies. Obama is pretty much a creature today of the Pentagon, intelligence agencies, and establishment interests.

His early stand on Israel-Palestine has disappeared. He has increased the war in Afghanistan. He keeps 50,000 troops plus airfields and a huge intelligence complex in Iraq. And he is killing hundreds of civilians in Pakistan with his drone-killers.

This is precisely the threat of gorilla-sized military to a free society anywhere at anytime: they not only get mired in costly foreign wars, they wear down the freedoms and values of the society that nurtures them.

Please note that today in America, not only does the FBI look into what people read, but every phone call and e-mail is recorded to be scanned by supercomputers. And the Pentagon desires to be able to switch off the Internet.
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Kennedy’s recommendations for America, so far as they go, are spot on: balance budgets, curtail the trade deficit, and cut back on an overextended military. You might just sum it up as America’s giving up the insane idea that it can do everything at once.

It is most interesting, considering that he is essentially a supporter of American empire.

How interesting, too, that the term empire slips into his references, and those of so many others now: once that would have been taken with bad grace by many Americans.

I did find his book rather dull years ago, greatly padded with a not huge message.

Maybe he is a better talker than writer.

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