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The real imperialists

It is fashionable to accuse the US of being an imperialist nation due to its extensive activities and interests overseas. The US, though, is sadly short of exotic tropical possessions, in contrast to one of its biggest and most self-righteous detractors, France, which is still a true imperialist, presiding over a bona fide colony of brown-skinned natives who have had the temerity to express a desire for independence.

Now, I am not sure exactly what the political arrangements are with respect to Tahiti. It is interesting to see that the French are placing their own self-interest ahead of Tahitian independence.

France is likely to oppose any move towards independence. Thousands of French troops and civil servants are based on Tahiti.

And a sweet posting that must be.

“French Polynesia is part of France’s aspirations to have a presence in every ocean and any loss of territory would have an impact on their status as a power with global reach,” said Mr Maclellan. “The territory also has a huge exclusive economic zone, with rights to fishing and sea bed minerals.”

Classic imperialist/exploitative greed, non?

The Tahitians have been heavily subsidized by France, a way of getting French taxpayer to foot the bill for the aforementioned sweet civil service postings and for whatever sweetheart deals French businesses get for all those fish and minerals. However, in a real shocker “allegations of corruption, poor economic management and a desire for fresh political blood” have led to a political victory for the pro-independence party over the political hacks who stood for continued subjugation to the French imperium. In the punchline, the new leader is aligning himself more closely with the nearby Anglosphere nations.

Will the usual suspects who decry US imperialism at every turn show up to protest the real item when practiced by the French? Will there be international objections to the heavy-handed tactics the French bureaucrats will employ to defend their perquisites? Will one of the last outposts of colonialism disappear? Stay tuned.

58 comments to The real imperialists

  • Sam

    I’ll point out the US does have some colonial possessions, e.g. Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Midway, etc…

  • James

    My understanding is that they are quite happy to have this arrangement. I believe Puerto Rico wants to eventually become a State.

    Wouldn’t it be priceless if, a few years down the line, Tahiti declares independence and the French are forced to send troops over to quell it? Ohh, the irony of it! :)

  • Walter Wallis

    Population of Midway – 392 Gooney Birds, all democrats.

    U.S. Virgins – Bought and paid for. If they want loose, let them loose. Just cut off their paychecks.

    Puerto Rico – Since they don’t want to participate in the defense of the United States, give them exactly 2 choices – Independence or return to Spain. Ditto on paychecks and welfare.

  • Barbara Skolaut

    Will the usual suspects who decry US imperialism at every turn show up to protest the real item when practiced by the French? Will there be international objections to the heavy-handed tactics the French bureaucrats will employ to defend their perquisites? Will one of the last outposts of colonialism disappear?

    No, no, and maybe (but I won’t hold my breath).

    “French Polynesia is part of France’s aspirations to have a presence in every ocean and any loss of territory would have an impact on their status as a power with global reach”

    Hahahahaha! That’s rich! They had to rent ferry boats just to get troops to Bosnia (on the same continent as France) and they want to pretend they’re “power with global reach”? Uh-huh. And I’m the Easter Bunny.

    Sam, Puerto Rico can have independence, or statehood, anytime they want. Every few year they have a vote and the vast majority vote to keep things the way they are. No, they don’t get to vote in U.S. elections, but they’re not taxed by the U.S. either (no taxation without representation). Plus they can come and go just like American citizens.

    Walter Wallace answered about Midway & our Virgin Islands.

    Bzzzzt. Nice try, but no cigar.

  • Already happened. Between 1986 and 1988, a pro-independence movement stirred up trouble in New Caledonia. Prime minister Chirac and his socialist boss Mitterand- no joke – sent in the troops; Marine Infantry, Paratroopers, special ops, the works. In 88, 19 Kanaks holding 27 French officials hostages were killed in a special ops assault on a cave in the island of Ouvea. It was led by the 11th RPC, the then equivalent to the British SAS or the US Army Delta. Reports of summary executions after the intervention was over were never fully investigated.

    This was about 4 years after then socialist Defense Minister Charles Hernu sent in the French Navy SEALs to sink a Greenpeace boat.

    So I guess when France talks about unilateralism and imperialism, we ought to pay attention : it knows what it’s talking about from its extensive experience.

  • Sam

    Barbara, you are attributing beliefs to me that I don’t possess.

    As far as I can tell, any of the possessions that wants to become independent can–for example, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia (both of which came under US control after World War II) became independent in 1994 and 1986 respectively. Nonetheless, the various islands that have come under the control of the US over the years are still remnants of colonialism.

  • Sam

    Hmm… the main US adventure in imperialism was the Spanish-American war, where the US ended up taking Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines, and probably a few more odds and sods. The territories that came under US stewardship at the end of World War II probably shouldn’t be counted as imperialism.

  • YEAH, BUT HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THERE? (Part II)
    AMERICAN IMPERIALISM(Link)
    (August 2, 2003)

    “However ham-fisted the American intervention in Puerto Rico might have been, and despite the best
    educational efforts
    by Sinn Fein, most Puerto Ricans do not seem to feel that Puerto Rico needs to be liberated. The Puerto Ricans voted for Commonwealth status by 80% in 1952, confirming that preference in 1989 with a vote of 48.6% for Commonwealth, 46.3% for Statehood and 4.4% for Independence. In the 1998 plebiscite, given the choice of Commonwealth, Statehood, Independence and a new status intermediate between Commonwealth and Statehood, Statehood garnered 46.5% of the vote, with 50.3% voting “none of the above”, a result of a strategic anti-Statehood coalition that included pro Commonwealth and pro Independence voters. (John D. Ihgram, Michigan State University Law Review, 2001).”

  • Wild Pegasus

    Tahiti is a picnic compared to what the US and UK did to Diego Garcia.

    – Josh

  • DDavila

    Diego Garcia is British

  • Does France have a two-ocean navy like we do? That would at leat offer an excuse for France to have Pacific holdings.

  • 49erDweet

    Regardless of what the British did to Diego Garcia, Sam apparently still thinks the US can never get rid of the stain of – sob – the Spanish-American war.

    That is encouraging, however, because by his reasoning Chirac and France will continue to be dastardly demons for another 100 years – without even trying!

  • Eledolie

    It is fashionable to accuse the US of being an imperialist nation due to its extensive activities and interests overseas. The US, though, is sadly short of exotic tropical possessions, in contrast to one of its biggest and most self-righteous detractors, France, which is still a true imperialist, presiding over a bona fide colony of brown-skinned natives who have had the temerity to express a desire for independence.

    This can be true, depending on your definition of what imperialism covers. Imperialism was originally used to refer particularly to colonialism. From the 20th century, however, it “has been expanded to apply, in general, to any historical instance of the aggrandisement of a greater power at the expense of a lesser power” (See this description.) Nowadays, there are even references to cultural imperialism. Comparing the US and France in terms of worldwide cultural impact (e.g. food culture, films, etc.), the difference is almost incomparable. Relatively fewer people have watched a French film compared to a Hollywood film, for instance.

    The US is not exactly completely innocent though, in terms of political and economic adventures. See this history of US imperialism and CIA’s covert operations in other countries.

    Will the usual suspects who decry US imperialism at every turn show up to protest the real item when practiced by the French?

    Why not (not that I agree with the use of the world “real” here)? All colonialism and imperialism (I refer more to political and economic control) should be condemned all the same.

  • Eledolie

    I have somehow missed this out. We don’t really want to compare this with any country, for instance France, do we?

  • James Stephenson

    I usually do not listen to people who have links titled, “Proof that the US knew the 9/11 attacks were going to happen”.

    Next thing the web site would probably start up something like Bush stole the election, when according to Election laws in Florida at the time, Gore was trying to steal it.

    Also the little “Alrighty Comrades” is a pretty good clue to where their loyalities lie.

  • What is Manifest Destiny if not imperialism?

    I dunno, imperialism and colonialism is not necessary a bad thing. I know it’s very modern to equate colonialism = The Devil, but I don’t think its so clearcut. Fiji begged Britain to stay, they didn’t want to be decolonised. Sierra Leone begged Britain to stay more recently too, they didnt’ want to be left to their own devices. I don’t think we miss Thuggee cults, either.

    I guess a colonial mentality is like the welfare state writ large though – don’t worry about making the big decisions, the mother country will handle all that. Some of the decolonising was done pretty badly for example, where the country was basically turned over to people who – no fault of their own – didn’t have a clue how to run it. No civil service, no political traditions, etc. No wonder so many dissolved into tribalism and dictatorship.

  • Sheesh, Eledolie. That website is pretty, er, slanted, no?

    Germany – US client state until 1941? Uh…

    “We should keep in mind that the goals of the imperialist in each of these instances are multiple: acquisition of access to local “markets” of all varieties; imposition of neoliberal policy; destruction of any potential alternative to the techno-fascist ruling order; provision of incentive for a sprawling parasitical and parastatal medical-intelligence-military-industrial complex (MIMIC); ”

    The techno-fascist ruling order? Ach! the CIA… in… my… MIND! *puts tinfoil hat on*

    “of states held in the manacles of debt-leverage imperialism”. Wow, loaded language. I like the list of tinpot dictatorships and economic basket cases that follows. Argentina, yeah, their economic meltdown in the 80s is all the US’ fault, I Have Seen The Light.

    And sheesh, the Whiskey Rebellion is an example of opposing a popular resistance group by overt force? Makes it sound like a brutal crushing of impoverish guerilla fighters which is an, ah, “slight” exaggeration.
    Your missing a few, you could squeeze in the Pig War and the Aroostok War as well as examples of US imperialism.

    I could go on and on. Quite a few belly laughs out of this one. Thanks! :)

  • Eledolie

    James Stephenson:

    I usually do not listen to people who have links titled, “Proof that the US knew the 9/11 attacks were going to happen”.

    Why not? Do you prefer to trust your whims, wishes and imagination?

    Next thing the web site would probably start up something like Bush stole the election…

    Mhhh, how do you know that? Are you in the same league as them?

    …when according to Election laws in Florida at the time, Gore was trying to steal it.

    Mhhh. According to “Election laws in Florida at the time”, Gore was trying to steal it, so I have to believe that Gore was really trying to steal it.

    Also the little “Alrighty Comrades” is a pretty good clue to where their loyalities lie.

    “Alrighty Comrades”? I did a word search on the page (I linked to) but didn’t manage to find this phrase, actually.

  • Eledolie

    The Last Toryboy:

    I dunno, imperialism and colonialism is not necessary a bad thing. I know it’s very modern to equate colonialism = The Devil, but I don’t think its so clearcut. Fiji begged Britain to stay, they didn’t want to be decolonised. Sierra Leone begged Britain to stay more recently too, they didnt’ want to be left to their own devices. I don’t think we miss Thuggee cults, either.

    I would prefer to look at concrete evidence than jumping to the conclusion that just because certain countries have knelt down on their knees and begged the Great British Empire to stay, that means imperialism and colonialism are not necessarily bad things. It may due to other reasons, for instance, over-reliance on their colonisers (not that former colonialised countries actually had any choice at all) in political and economic affairs. On one hand, it does show that as a result of colonialism, former colonialised countries, upon the withdrawal of political and economic control of their colonialisers, remain vulnerable without good governance or the expertise or resources to do so after more than 150 years of looting (e.g. in India) and over-reliance on the colonialisers in dictating their political and economic affairs.

  • Eledolie

    James Stephenson:

    I see it (“alrighty comrades”). Apologies for my overlooking that earlier, but I must say, this isn’t really indicative. For me, at the first look, I would have thought that the author was referring to his fellow Americans as “comrades” (together with the omnipotent CIA) in the venture to control and imperialise the world, supporting dictatorships worldwide (like Saddam in the past) and suppressing the world’s break for economic freedom.

  • R C Dean

    I can’t tell if this is supposed to be parody, sarcasm, or a genuine expression of belief:

    I would have thought that the author was referring to his fellow Americans as “comrades” (together with the omnipotent CIA) in the venture to control and imperialise the world, supporting dictatorships worldwide (like Saddam in the past) and suppressing the world’s break for economic freedom.

    Good one, Eledolie.

  • [i]It may due to other reasons, for instance, over-reliance on their colonisers (not that former colonialised countries actually had any choice at all) in political and economic affairs. [/i]

    I think you’ll find that I caveated myself, saying exactly the same thing, right underneath.

    Lovely comments on India. Funny to see some quote of Jawaharlal Nehru as if he is the Promised One, on there about how Britain made India poorer. What about Nehru’s own record with his Stalin inspired 5 year plan? In fact, India was worse off after 20 years of Nehru then it was when it was under the Viceroy, wasn’t it? It’s thanks to him and peopole like him that India is only now economically waking up, so I don’t really pay much heed to his laying blame for impoverishment upon the British, I blame it upon socialism.

    The Mughal Empire, which is what was India’s lot before the British arrived, was an incestuous, bloated, corrupt, incompetent monstrosity of a government which had aggressively (tried to) put the rest of India, and beyond, under it’s bootheel when it had the chance, with some bizarre, to put it lightly, religious practices going on behind the scenes. In fact, they were so corrupt and incompetent even the Afghans managed to loot Delhi in revenge for their own efforts to loot Kabul. Not exactly a lost city of gold, there.

    I’m quite happy to make the case that 150 years of enforced westernisation which, while anathema to the modern mind and doubtless not at all pleasant for the Indians who had to live under the tender mercies of the East India Company, certainly bequeathed India some pluses. You (and I) have no idea what India would be like sans British Raj. Maybe it could be a land of plenty, we don’t know. Maybe some great unknown Indian scholar in this alternative reality would have come up with a form of governance and an economic model even better than the one espoused by the west, and maybe they would be the worlds superpower right now.

    I personally find it far, far more likely that a) there wouldn’t even be an India, it would be a collection of little fiefdoms, and b) said little fiefdoms would have economically speaking have more in common with Cambodia than El Dorado (200 years of Nehru certainly would make that so).

    But you can’t say that India was all goin’ rosy before 1800, because it wasn’t. Neither of us can say for sure whether the place was better or worse off after India had been through the grinder, but my guess, personally, is that they were probably somewhat better off.

    Ultimately, of course, it should be their own choice to flush their country down the toilet, or raise it up as a superpower, as they determine themselves, not have their destiny chosen for them by a foreign power.
    But I think writing off colonialism as Pure Evil Which Had Zero Good to Offer is simplistic.

    After all, the USA is a product of colonialism, and generally speaking is a force for good in the world.

  • As an aside, looking down a bit on that website to China, I know it’s convenient to say the Boxer Rebellion was about the evil opium trade to suit the site owners purposes (because then you can say that the evil US troops were peddling opium!) but, uh, No.

    The Boxer Rebellion was about mining rights and land, and the integrity of the Chinese state, not opium. The wars about opium were, funnily enough, called the Opium Wars, and while I’m sure you may dearly wish to tar the US with that particular shameful brush, the US wasn’t there for those.

  • I keep hoping that Puerto Rico will finally vote to become independent. They are a leech on the US, but don’t pay any taxes. The sooner they go the better.

  • I don’t think America is an imperial power but the list of overseas possessions is pretty long:

    American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands of the United States, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Palmyra Atoll and Wake Island

    Not to mention Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    And currently: Iraq.

  • Harry

    I feel that the taxpaying citizens of the US should also get a say in statehood or inpendence for Puerto Rico. Whoever heard of joining a super exclusive club without the ok of exsisting members. I say we cut Puerto Rico loose, and the sooner the better. Besides whether PR is independent or not its proximity to the US will always make it virtually dependent regardless. Yep just like Canada an independent Puerto Rico is and still would be on the American teat bitching and whining about it the whole time. Seesh. As far as Tahiti goes, good for them. Oh and did I mention that Michael Moore is an asshole.

  • Eledolie

    The Last Toryboy:

    Sheesh, Eledolie. That website is pretty, er, slanted, no?

    I don’t know (though sometimes, it depends on how you prefer to see it). Let’s see though.

    Germany – US client state until 1941? Uh…

    See here.

    “We should keep in mind that the goals of the imperialist in each of these instances are multiple: acquisition of access to local “markets” of all varieties; imposition of neoliberal policy; destruction of any potential alternative to the techno-fascist ruling order; provision of incentive for a sprawling parasitical and parastatal medical-intelligence-military-industrial complex (MIMIC); ”

    The techno-fascist ruling order? Ach! the CIA… in… my… MIND! *puts tinfoil hat on*

    Yes, the CIA. Your close mate, I hope not?

    “of states held in the manacles of debt-leverage imperialism”. Wow, loaded language.

    This is the not-so-mild term for “neo-liberal agenda” which some people say, is a form of economic blackmail. One example is the structural adjustment policies enforced by institutions like the IMF and World Bank, which is said to be under strong US influence and control. See here.

    I like the list of tinpot dictatorships and economic basket cases that follows. Argentina, yeah, their economic meltdown in the 80s is all the US’ fault, I Have Seen The Light.

    I am unable to find in the article I linked to that “their economic meltdown in the 80s is all the US’ fault”. Where did you find this assertion? I’m curious.

    But the article listed Argentina as one of the countries which accepted the structural adjustment policies. This is true. See here.

    And sheesh, the Whiskey Rebellion is an example of opposing a popular resistance group by overt force? Makes it sound like a brutal crushing of impoverish guerilla fighters which is an, ah, “slight” exaggeration.

    Mhh. How does the article make it sound like “a brutal crushing of impoverish guerilla fighters”? … Or did you imagine it?

    Your missing a few, you could squeeze in the Pig War and the Aroostok War as well as examples of US imperialism.

    What’s the use of telling me (if you are even serious)? I wasn’t the one who wrote the article.

    I could go on and on. Quite a few belly laughs out of this one. Thanks! :)

    Go on then. But before you do, please do at least try a bit of research. It’s not so difficult, is it? Some people don’t even have the luxury of using the Internet.

  • Eledolie, there’s a difference between cordial relations and Germany being a “client state.” Besides, the website you link says this:

    In January 1933 Adolf Hitler became Germany’s chancellor, and soon thereafter the brief spell of cordiality with the United States ended.

    So, in effect, your link doesn’t support what you’re using it to support.

    That’s not how to get taken seriously. Just FYI.

  • Eledolie

    The Last Toryboy:

    After all, the USA is a product of colonialism, and generally speaking is a force for good in the world.

    Yes, yes, yes. It is our angel, our gift from God, our saviour; that’s why so many people have died because of US imperialism, so many dictators have been propped up and the developing world’s economies in shambles after structural adjustment policies, etc., etc.

    As an aside, looking down a bit on that website to China, I know it’s convenient to say the Boxer Rebellion was about the evil opium trade to suit the site owners purposes (because then you can say that the evil US troops were peddling opium!) but, uh, No.

    I know it’s convenient for you to say that it’s convenient to say the Boxer Rebellion was about the evil opium trade to suit the site owners purposes, but, nobody is going to say (or has said) that the Boxer Rebellion was about the evil opium trade.

    The article says, explicitly, “It was a blatant attempt to carve up China between those imperial-centers-of-capital.” Where is the convenience (“to say the Boxer Rebellion was about the evil opium trade to suit the site owners purposes”) you alleged?

    Because then I “can say that the evil US troops were peddling opium”? I don’t have such an intention. You seem to think that I am purposely picking on the US. You can, of course, think whatever you wish. If the US hadn’t done anything wrong in the past, there would be no support/evidence/justification/argument for anyone to put forward to, and no cause for others to be so anxious about distorting, denying and covering historical facts. I am more interested in looking at reality and history straight in the eye, without having to succumb to vested, patriotic and political interests which cloud people’s thinking.

    The Boxer Rebellion was about mining rights and land, and the integrity of the Chinese state, not opium.

    Huh?? I’m shocked beyond words. But you don’t have to say anything. Read:

    1. this(especially the very first sentence: “The Boxer Rebellion was an uprising against Western commercial and political influence in China during the final years of the 19th century.”). Opium was one of the Western (primarily British) commercial interest.

    2. or this.

    The wars about opium were, funnily enough, called the Opium Wars, and while I’m sure you may dearly wish to tar the US with that particular shameful brush, the US wasn’t there for those.

    Why are so sure about that, may I know? Why is it that everytime, someone brings up an act of US imperialism, the person is condemned, hated, maligned and so on? Are patriotism, pride and face so important?

    What about the countless others who have suffered and lost their lives because of US intervention in other countries? Are we supposed to forget that and pretend that it never happened? Most importantly, are we going to continue with it?

    You may not care, but I do. The world is almost under US control (not outrightly as we see in colonialism of course, but through the CIA, IMF, World Bank, etc.); you may think I’m spouting hocus-pocus (and I’m tired of having to explain but to no avail and anyone can do their own research using the Internet if they are really interested but I suppose nobody would be), but I tremble on this thought.

  • S. Weasel

    I’m tired of having to explain but to no avail and anyone can do their own research using the Internet if they are really interested but I suppose nobody would be

    Yesss. “Research” on the internet clearly demonstrates that aliens are inserting molybdenum probes up my rectum on a nightly basis. The internet is not an authority, it is the stream of consciousness of an entire species.

  • Eledolie

    McGehee:

    I’m actually happy and speechless at the same time. Happy because this will be my last post here and the end of my torture and that you actually bothered to read the link I provided earlier. I thought nobody would, because most would probably have jumped to the conclusion that I am an anti-US, pro-terrorism, pro-Communist, pro-Islamo-fascism freak because I actually dare to speak anything against the US government and foreign policy.

    But speechless because you seem to have stopped reading upon your quoted sentence. Read further, and you will see these:

    “Two Germanys had come into existence, one hostile to the United States, and the other a client state.”

    and

    “As West Germany benefited from American aid and trade, the relationship between Germans and Americans became friendly once again.”

  • Sandy P

    –acquisition of access to local “markets” of all varieties; —

    Watching a period series coming out of Britain about 20 years ago, what did I see? Oranges as a Christmas treat/present from the lady of the manor.

    If there weren’t access to local markets, would we have ever seen an orange or a banana? I don’t think we grow bananas locally in the US.

    What about saffron and other spices? Local access is a bad thing for the world? Think of how much fruit you wouldn’t have.

    Umm, just how did 2 Germanys come into existence?

    As to this –that’s why so many people have died because of US imperialism, so many dictators have been propped up and the developing world’s economies in shambles after structural adjustment policies, etc., etc.–

    Socialism kills, free markets feed.

    Some parts of the developing world are under frogistan’s sphere, you know, like Africa???

  • Invisible Empire ‘innit

  • R C Dean

    “Two Germanys had come into existence, one hostile to the United States, and the other a client state.”

    Here I was thinking that the one hostile to the United States was the client state. You might ease up on Comintern Koolaid, Eledolie. They lost, you know.

    For a world almost, but not quite, under US control, vast swaths of it sure seem resistant to doing our bidding.

  • Eledolie proves himself to be one serious adept of zero sum thinking : all success can only come at the expense of someone else. If the US is rich and powerful and getting more so, it can only be at the expense of others. And since there are all those miserable countries around, who else should be blamed but the one at the top ? Power or wealth are, in and of themselves, sufficient proof of guilt. Both together cannot possibly be an accident. If France or Britain could not achieve either without colonialism, then how could it be that one former colony of both could do so without following the same old model ? As on Princess Bride character would say : “Inconceivable !!”.

    All so very predictable, and all so very boring. The one thing I wonder is : who would we blame all the world’s problems if the US were not around ? If they didn’t exist, one would have to invent them. The universal scapegoat for everything from weather patterns to gas prices. Oh wait. I forgot : if the US did not exist, all would be well with the world. (Aside from Hitler and Stalin, but surely, either or both could not possible have been worse than W. now, could they ?).

    Yawn.

    “The world is almost under US control”.
    We can only wish it were so.

  • Antoine Clarke

    Yawn…….

  • Jonathan L

    Anyone who links to a website that claim Greece to be a client state of the USA is one of the best excuses for the war on drugs I can think of. Do you have any idea of how anti-USA the average Greek is?

    Turkey is also apparently in the same boat. Would this be the same Turkey that refused the use of its territory for the invasion of Iraq, or another one in a parallel universe.

    I noticed how the site listed non existent interventions (eg three military coups in Turkey – obviously the Army is incapable of acting on its own accord) whilst the European action in the second world war doesn’t seem to count.

    I especially enjoy the moronic spectical of those convinced that the USA is in control in failed states like Zaire / Congo, which any semi-sentient being would realise are under no-ones control.

  • Jonathan L

    To everyone that claims US Imperialism I have one simple question.

    Was Saddam Hussein an imperialist? You would be suprised at the answers. Logically saying yes, in no way weakens any arguments against American Imperialism, whilst by demonstrating even handedness could dramatically increase credibility. Yet almost without exception they say Kuwait provoked Iraq. Listen to the arguments given by Iraq at the time, its almost a rerun of 1938. Classic imperialism at its worst.

    Thus the anti-imperialist is shown to be nothing of the sort.

  • Jonathan, Iraq is quite secondary. If one is going to talk about imperialism, a first step would be to look at known, recent historical empires, what they did and how they functioned. How foreign lands were invaded, their citizens drafted for the empire’s army, taxes collected, governors appointed, resources exploited and what political and legal rights the local population had.

    At which point it is pretty obvious that the last empire belonged to the Soviet Union. The very strange thing about the U.S. is that for all its might and power, and despite the fact that it has the means to build such an empire, it doesn’t have any and has proven quite reluctant to build one, even when its armies had established a de facto one in Europe in 1945.

    Last but not least, imperial powers, by definition, do not leave when asked. The U.S. have done so on many occasions.

    Accusations of imperialism only demonstrate the ignorance of those who use them. Maybe we should extend Godwin’s law : all intelligent debate has ceased as soon as someone is branded an imperialist.

  • R C Dean

    Sylvain gives a good working definition of imperialism in his last post. The term “cultural imperialism” is a non-sequitur, along the lines of “obesity epidemic.” Both terms debase strong words (“empire” and “epidemic”) for political points.

  • Sandy P

    –Last but not least, imperial powers, by definition, do not leave when asked. The U.S. have done so on many occasions.–

    And sometimes we begin withdrawing on our own: South Korea (now) and Germany (mid-90s).

    There’s no army forcing everyone into jeans, Mickey D’s or drinking cola. Or watching movies. Or travelling to the US.

    Any territory which wishes to leave can VOTE to and do it.

  • Nancy; Florida

    Why is it that every college sophmore who has discovered the teachings of Karl Marx and “Cuba good, America bad” websites always finds his way to this one? There seems to be no logic in it.

  • Nancy

    er, just Nancy, actually. (Although I am in Florida).

  • Nancy, it actually makes perfect sense; see here(Link) and search for Paul Craig Roberts.

    People do seek out contrary opinion, not to test their own, but to beat it up in demonstration of their moral superiority.

    Which, of course, is always asserted as a matter of fact, leading those very same people to demonstrate its conspicuous absence.

  • Eledolie

    Out of disbelief after reading some of the comments here, I have to return to debunk some claims.

    Sandy P:

    As to this –that’s why so many people have died because of US imperialism, so many dictators have been propped up and the developing world’s economies in shambles after structural adjustment policies, etc., etc.–

    Socialism kills, free markets feed.

    I wish it is as simple as that and I wonder if you really think this is the answer to the world’s problems. If “socialism kills”, wouldn’t the Britons be dying now?!

    *shouts in absolute horror* Dear Britons! You’re not being slaughtered, are you?!

    R C Dean:

    For a world almost, but not quite, under US control, vast swaths of it sure seem resistant to doing our bidding.

    Logical fallacy: Because people are resistant to the US’ bidding, that means they are not under US control.

    This is not necessarily indicative. For example, it may very well mean that they are fighting against US control (which would presuppose the existence of US control) which is why they are resistant to the US’ bidding.

    Sylvain Galineau:

    Greetings, old pal! By the way, I’m still waiting for you to confirm my exposure of your false arguments and fraudulent statements and accusations in the other post.

    Eledolie proves himself to be one serious adept of zero sum thinking : all success can only come at the expense of someone else.

    I see you have reverted to your old habit of sniping at people. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though: Don’t do this with everyone out there. Not everyone likes being sniped at or can tolerate your sniping like I did. And for your own information, I’m a she. Nevermind though, I’m already used to your prejudices and absurd conclusions based on little information at hand or your imagination at work.

    “All success can only come at the expense of someone else”? This statement itself is false. People can write a whole 5000-word thesis based on this statement and prove this statement wrong. Your use of the word “all” is, again, categorical. Same old habit there, I see, and thus very easy for me to prove this statement is false, using a very simple example.

    One example would be examinations. In most cases, just because one student achieves an A, this does not mean the next student is deprived of an A. However, if one particular student plots to kill or hurt the other students, thus preventing them from reaching their maximum potential, of course, students can be deprived of an A and it has to become a win-lose situation. No, I’m not referring to any country in particular.

    If the US is rich and powerful and getting more so, it can only be at the expense of others.

    Naturally, I disagree with your first statement of a win-lose situation. Many rich (and small with relatively little natural resources compared to the US) countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg, Singapore, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Ireland have achieved great economic success without suppressing the world’s break for economic freedom, propping up and/or supporting dictators like Saddam, Ferdinand Marcos, Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Suharto, Sani Abach and many others (see this), dictating economic policies of the poor, developing countries through the IMF and World Bank, covert operations through the CIA, spreading propaganda and so on.

    And since there are all those miserable countries around, who else should be blamed but the one at the top ?

    Ask yourself how they became “miserable”, before you spread the lie about people blaming “the one at the top” just because there are “miserable countries” around (of which you probably can’t prove, as usual).

    Power or wealth are, in and of themselves, sufficient proof of guilt.

    I’m thoroughly amazed. Who/What gave you the idea that people use “power” or “wealth” as “sufficient proof of guilt”?

    Many countries like Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and Singapore have a higher GNP per capita than the US and they don’t have the largest rich-poor inequality gap of the industrialised world as the US does. Have you ever wondered why people don’t accuse these countries like Switzerland and Singapore of propping up dictators all over the world, or suppressing the world’s break for economic freedom, etc? In case you don’t know, the obvious answer that any 3-year-old can come up with is, “They simply don’t commit all those vicious, wicked atrocities like the US!”! Really, there are honest people who exist in this world, unlike you.

    Both together cannot possibly be an accident. If France or Britain could not achieve either without colonialism, then how could it be that one former colony of both could do so without following the same old model ? As on Princess Bride character would say : “Inconceivable !!”.

    One point which someone gave earlier to support the assertion that colonialism is not necessarily bad, is that US is a former colony and look how successful it is! And therefore (!), colonialism is good (sometimes)! Unfortunately, the US did not become what it is today due to British colonialism and it is not unknown that the Americans fought against the British to get rid of colonialism. In fact, it is precisely because the Americans got rid of British colonialism that they are able to gain their economic freedom and prosper. Had the Americans remained under British colonialism, it is very likely they would suffer the same fate as the rest of the former colonies: their wealth siphoned to Britain. And unfortunately, almost all other British colonies did not achieve their economic freedom like the US until less than 40 years ago, except for Australia and Canada I think.

    True: France achieved economic success. Britain achieved economic success. Unfortunately, they are not only countries which have achieved economic success, Sylvain, as much as you may like to conceal it. The fact that countries like Ireland, Finland, Switzerland and Singapore are able to achieve economic success without colonialism or imperialism bears testimony that it is not necessarily for a country to prosper by invading and controlling other countries. So, stop portraying the image that what the US did was inevitable, excusable or justifiable (like “so did the French and the British under colonialism”! – By this line of argument, so just because a murderer kills his/her victims for wealth, this means you have to follow them, is it?! Don’t tell me you actually support this.). Compared to tiny countries like Singapore which even have to buy the very water they drink from another country, the US has far more natural resources to develop and achieve economic success without resorting to shameful, shady dealings.

    All so very predictable, and all so very boring. The one thing I wonder is : who would we blame all the world’s problems if the US were not around ? If they didn’t exist, one would have to invent them. The universal scapegoat for everything from weather patterns to gas prices. Oh wait. I forgot : if the US did not exist, all would be well with the world. (Aside from Hitler and Stalin, but surely, either or both could not possible have been worse than W. now, could they ?).

    Since you claim to find it “all so very predictable” and “all so very boring” (Why did you even reply – more than once even! – then? All-so-very strange, isn’t it?), why not admit your all-so-very lovely exhibition of all-so-very gross bias and all-so-very wanton disregard for supporting your all-so-very false statements and arguments (not that they can all-so-very be supported) here?
    One thing I wonder all-so-very irresistibly as well: When will you stop accusing people of blaming “all the world’s problems” on the US? From your past record of sniping at me and making all-so-very false statements and accusations (like “by definition”, moderates do not demonstrate on the streets(!) – I’m still wondering which English dictionary you found that. Or do you create your own?), I suppose, never.
    1. “If they didn’t exist, one would have to invent them.” – Remember. You said that. I didn’t.
    2. “The universal scapegoat for everything from weather patterns to gas prices.” – Remember. You said that. I didn’t.
    3. “If the US did not exist, all would be well with the world.” – Remember. You said that. I didn’t.
    4. “Aside from Hitler and Stalin, but surely, either or both could not possible have been worse than W. now.” – Remember. You said that. I didn’t.
    Now, justify them.
    Oh no. But you can’t, because I never said that. I’m all-so-very, terribly sorry to tell you that, Sylvain. Your imagination has gone far too wild this time. Time for your medicine, dearie.

    Yawn.

    You’re yawning… must be due to the medicine.
    Yawn…
    (Hey, I can yawn too!! Sorry, just to show that anybody with fingers can type “yawn”, too. None too formidable a task to show off about.)

    “The world is almost under US control”.
    We can only wish it were so.

    You can only wish it were so?
    Now! You’ve finally revealed your true colours! Everyone, witness this!
    Er, is that all you can muster? Wishing, imagining, accusing, wondering and building castles in the air. Am I talking to an all-so-very rational person here? Where’s your evidence/support/justification? Nowhere in sight, as usual.

    Jonathan L:

    Anyone who links to a website that claim Greece to be a client state of the USA is one of the best excuses for the war on drugs I can think of. Do you have any idea of how anti-USA the average Greek is?

    Actually, no, I don’t. How? However, I do have some idea that if a person claims that the average Greek is anti-US, this does not mean I have to believe him, unless he offers evidence. Unfortunately, he doesn’t.
    In addition, just because the average Greek might be anti-US, this does not mean Greece is/was not a client state of the US.
    Just because a student despises his/her teacher does not mean the student is not under the teacher’s commands (e.g. to do homework).

    Turkey is also apparently in the same boat. Would this be the same Turkey that refused the use of its territory for the invasion of Iraq, or another one in a parallel universe.

    Again, just because Turkey refused the use of its territory to invade Iraq, this does not mean Turkey is/was not a client state of the US. It’s not very difficult to understand why though, if you bother to learn about other people’s culture. In Islamic culture, there is a very strong sense of brotherhood for all Muslims, even though they may come from another country.
    However, Turkey, for not yielding to the US’ demands, may otherwise be punished for their disobedience. I would not be surprised if this occurs. When the French and Germans refused to join the US-led war, some Americans turned to schooldays-like bullying and taunting, for instance, renaming French fries to “freedom fries” and other insulting names. Supporting the war is linked to being patriotic, which is very dangerous. On the other hand, in the UK for instance, you don’t see people thinking that to oppose the war or to support the war is to be patriotic. When you blur the line between patriotism and politics, this becomes necessarily blind. You are not allowed to think for yourself what is right or wrong, but you rely on an elusive thing like patriotism. When this happens, people are prone to saying things like, “To support the war is to be a patriot. If you don’t support the war, you are unpatriotic.” Mark Fiore hits the nail on its head. (Is it any wonder this post itself demolishing the French comes from the US?)
    Some Americans who have opposed the war are not even spared. They are called a “deuchbag”, “traitor”, “commie”, and “stupid”, etc. (See this.) I am tired of reading all this childish behaviour. I still have a shred of hope that this isn’t what the average American does, but this hope is diminishing each day the more I read.

    I noticed how the site listed non existent interventions (eg three military coups in Turkey – obviously the Army is incapable of acting on its own accord) whilst the European action in the second world war doesn’t seem to count.

    How do you know they are non-existent? And er, – this one about European action is… quite obvious isn’t it? – the article is about US intervention, not European action. It says so clearly on the top of the page. Erm, even if you’re biased, you don’t have to show it so obviously, right?

    I especially enjoy the moronic spectical of those convinced that the USA is in control in failed states like Zaire / Congo, which any semi-sentient being would realise are under no-ones control.

    Really? Will any “semi-sentient being” realise that? (Sentient: able to see or feel things through the senses. By the way, I hope you’re not into feeling your thoughts or imagination, like Sylvain, rather than thinking rationally.) So, if a state is “failed” (whatever this means and if they really are), this means they are not a client state? How’s that so?

    Sylvain:

    Jonathan, Iraq is quite secondary. If one is going to talk about imperialism, a first step would be to look at known, recent historical empires, what they did and how they functioned. How foreign lands were invaded, their citizens drafted for the empire’s army, taxes collected, governors appointed, resources exploited and what political and legal rights the local population had.

    Hello again Sylvain, my old pal. I disagree with you. The person who wrote this article did not even define what he/she meant by “imperialism”. If he/she doesn’t, imperialism does not refer only to colonialism like the British Empire. What you are referring to (“How foreign lands were invaded, their citizens drafted for the empire’s army, taxes collected, governors appointed, resources exploited and what political and legal rights the local population had.”) is, unfortunately, colonialism.
    All-so-very unfortunately as well, in this modern 21st century that we are living in today, imperialism does not equal colonialism, unless you are still living in the 19th century (which if you think you still are – I must say, your imagination really knows no bounds and is even more severe than I previously thought). In the 21st century, as I’ve mentioned earlier (but sometimes, you have to repeat when you’re speaking to a person all-so-very hopelessly drowned in his own imagination), imperialism now means (according to dictionary.com) “the policy of extending a nation’s authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations” (or the system, policies, or practices or such a government) and has been expanded to include “any historical instance of the aggrandisement of a greater power at the expense of a lesser power”.
    Some recommended links to explore:
    This and this.
    You must probably be disappointed upon reading this, for there are people who are well aware of US imperialism. Even if you choose to change the meaning of “imperialism”, it will not wipe out their knowledge and memories of acts of the US. The US may control much of the world, but our minds are still, ours. Don’t even think of stealing, even that.

    At which point it is pretty obvious that the last empire belonged to the Soviet Union. The very strange thing about the U.S. is that for all its might and power, and despite the fact that it has the means to build such an empire, it doesn’t have any and has proven quite reluctant to build one, even when its armies had established a de facto one in Europe in 1945.

    All-so-very amusing, Sylvain. Why-oh-why would the US need to build such an empire (especially when the image of colonialism was generally negative already then and it would risk facing strong negative criticism and hatred) when it has even more powerful institution like the CIA to engage in covert operations in other countries? Why would the US be so stupid as to openly build an empire when colonialism is strongly condemned throughout the world?

    Last but not least, imperial powers, by definition, do not leave when asked. The U.S. have done so on many occasions.

    “By definition”? Oh dear, not from Sylvain’s self-created dictionary again! I’m already having nightmares after reading your previous statement that, “by definition” (yes, Sylvain’s all-so-very Great definition, which unfortunately, cannot be found in any authorised English dictionary in the whole wide world) that moderates do not demonstrate on the streets! This itself, is a Nobel-Prize-Award-level of intellectual revelation! Moderates, “by definition”, do not demonstrate on the streets! Goodness, I’m all-so-very excited at the far-reaching impact on the world this revelation would bring! Moderates, “by definition”, do not demonstrate on the streets!
    Now, Sylvain, let’s be calm and listen to your bible-speak about “imperial powers”. You say, “imperial powers, by definition, do not leave when asked”.
    Arghhh!
    By the way, the British colonials did leave when the Indians (led by Gandhi) asked them to. “Asked” would be a mild word, of course. It was more like, forced. But don’t expect me to conform to a definition you created yourself, Sylvain, especially when it appears to come out from your twisted imagination and random diktat.
    Now, you say, “The U.S. have done so on many occasions.” Ahh, I see. Which?
    Note that whether the US has done so, or not, does not mean the US is not an imperial power, unless there is such a definition as “Imperial power: a power that does not leave when asked” (My goodness, I can’t help but laugh at such blatant absurdity sometimes. Even if you want to demonstrate to the world your ability of creating imaginative definitions to fool the world, you don’t have to show it so blatantly, right?)!

    Accusations of imperialism only demonstrate the ignorance of those who use them.

    Hah! “Accusations”? Excuse moi, there is a difference between an accusation and a fact.
    “Ignorance”? Sylvain thinks those people are ignorant. Because Sylvain thinks those people are ignorant and because Sylvain creates his own definitions and also a ‘bible’ of knowledge (or dare I say, because Sylvain is really God!), those people are really ignorant! Believe it or not! If you don’t, you die! Condemned to hell!

    Maybe we should extend Godwin’s law : all intelligent debate has ceased as soon as someone is branded an imperialist.

    Why should we?

    R C Dean:

    Sylvain gives a good working definition of imperialism in his last post.

    Another God-speak! And I thought there is only one God?

    Seriously, why is it a “good working definition” (Imperial power: a power that does not leave when asked – the only definition Sylvain gave, the others were descriptions)? Because this would prevent the US from being labelled an imperialist, right? (Have I voiced your true, underlying, ugly intention?)

    The term “cultural imperialism” is a non-sequitur, along the lines of “obesity epidemic.” Both terms debase strong words (“empire” and “epidemic”) for political points.

    Imperialism is one thing. Cultural imperialism is another. (Thus, this does not mean the definition Sylvain – which, seriously, is utter nonsense – is workable.)

    “Non-sequitur”? Er, do you even know the meaning of this word you’re using? Non-sequitur, according to my Oxford dictionary, means a statement that does not seem to follow what has just been said in any natural or logical way. How can a term like “cultural imperialism”, be a “non-sequitur” when it is not a statement? Amusing…

    “Debase strong words”? I can’t, for my life, be persuaded based on your claim. How, really?

    (By the way, in case you don’t know your meanings well, debase means to make something less valuable or respected.)

    “Political points”? Er, excuse moi, what sort of supposed political points and why would I want to score those political points? If you tell me the benefits, I might consider (just joking, of course).

    Sandy P:

    There’s no army forcing everyone into jeans, Mickey D’s or drinking cola. Or watching movies. Or travelling to the US.

    Exactly. That’s why cultural imperialism is a ‘soft’ imperialism.

  • Does anyone actually reading Eledolie’s endless idiotarian brain farts ? Just curious. (Granted I fell for it for a couple of days…I actually thought I was dealing with a sensible, reasonable person…my bad; it’s summertime in NH and the waterfront pubs are open…)

    I don’t know what’s more pathetic. The exponential volume of the posts, their rambling lack of any logical relevant substance….or the fact that their author probably has the right to vote. Democracy can be frightening, sometimes.

  • ric locke

    Eldolie, we love you and wish you well, and one of the good things that we wish for you is that you would find a way to break out of the 18th century as presented, with serial numbers filed off, a new coat of paint, and All! New! Logos! by Karl Marx.

    The United States was briefly an Imperial power. We aren’t now, because we are money-grubbing capitalists, and since the Industrial Revolution it has become impossible to make money via imperialism. Old Nick said “gold will not always get you good soldiers, but good soldiers can always get you gold.” Unfortunately that statement has been obsolete since 1865. Imperialism doesn’t pay; it costs — and Americans do almost nothing that doesn’t turn a profit somehow (thought the profit may not be in cash.)

    The comment about “debasement” means, very simply, that as you expand and expand and extend and extend the definition of “imperialism” the word, like others co-opted by the Left, simply ceases to mean anything. You have now come perilously close to achieving that.

    Despite Tom Clancy and the Tinfoil Hat Brigade — do you have yours on, BTW? There are Echelon satellites up there — the CIA is an absolutely typical bloated Government bureaucracy, as capable of maintaining iron control on the world as the Inns of Court were. Unlike most Americans, I’ll apologize for the IMF: most of its fuckups are the product of our having “promoted” Robert MacNamara to it after he managed to screw up our military near-terminally (the term is “percussive sublimation.”)

    Imperialism, if it is to have any meaning at all beyond a lefty catchall synonymous with “bad,” requires a degree of planning and control by a Government that simply does not exist in the United States. We offer our stuff to the world, including Hollywood and McDonalds. If the world buys it, we are, according to you, imperialist. It’s a wonder that we haven’t adopted the label the way computer people took “geek” for their own. Perhaps we should. It might be fun. Certainly the likes of Malcolm Forbes had and have fun with “capitalist” when there hasn’t been a capitalist (in the Marxist sense) active in the U.S. for coming up on three-quarters of a century.

    “Hegemony” I’ll buy, given the expanded definition of “wanting things to run more or less the way we do it.” Since that includes rule of law, free trade as an ideal sometimes not achieved, freedom of speech, and what Heinlein referred to as “looseness in the corners,” I don’t apologize for it, either. We have observed that those things lead to prosperity and power. It worked for us, and we’re better off, not worse, if others adopt them and compete with us.

    But you might better look to France for some of your accusations. It was they, not the U.S., that sent their Navy for “maneuvers” off Taiwan with the Chinese, as payback for the Taiwanese having outed an Airbus salesman for bribery and offering kickbacks. We’ve had our fling with imperialism, a century ago, and discovered there ain’t no money in it.

    Regards,
    Ric Locke

  • Rick, I hope you have a large screen and plenty of memory. This will probably get you a steaming 40-page turd. I guess it’s a kind of brute-force online debate deterrence…Overwhelm the space with an amount of random verbiage that could only be produced by five or six individuals. As nutty as it may sound, I think we have found a new Kodiak.

  • Ric Locke

    No, I suspect Eldolie has gone back to her normal haunts. Actually she’s a great deal more civil than most such folk, which gives the illusion that it’s possible to have a discussion with her.

    Alas. The fact is, the United States as a socioeconomic entity is remarkably successful; the reasons for that success are known fairly thoroughly; and anybody could adopt the practices and policies we used to get rich without diminishing our wealth in any way, so we tend to proselytize. Those practices and policies are not always pretty, but that isn’t the problem.

    The problem is that everything we do confounds the Marxists. The United States is an experiment in social science whose success proves for all time that Socialist theories are simply, flatly, and irredeemably wrong and don’t work, and Marx, as the fundamental theorist of the creed, was wrongheadedly obtuse even in the few cases where he made correct observations. One example: Marx declares that the workers should own the means of production, and predicts bloodletting to make that come true. Capitalists made the same observation (for quite different reasons) some half a century before the Manifesto, and invented a means to allow an orderly transfer; the first law enabling that procedure was enacted in the United States seven years before Marx was born.

    This is why the Left is so enamored of the Islamists. Socialist theory is a failure; the underlying theories and beliefs of Islam are simply wrong, and the societies built on them are failures. Nothing confirms the cynical dismissal of Marxism as a Christian heresy quite so thoroughly as the shrill commonality of Islamist and Socialist alike as they try to twist facts and history to allow both the success of the U.S. (which is observable fact) and the Revealed TRVTH of the Prophets Karl and Mohammad.

    Most of the time it’s just moonbattery, but once in a while one discovers a civil Socialist or Islamist, and then it’s fun to play with their minds. One gets the impression that a few of them can be weaned from their obsessions. Successes are few and far between, but it’s worth doing when the effort isn’t such as to interfere with more important pursuits.

    Regards,
    Ric Locke

  • Eledolie

    Sylvain: Thanks for your kind comments. I shall repeat the two statements I have made earlier:

    Where’s your evidence/support/justification? Nowhere in sight, as usual.

  • Eledolie

    Ric Locke:

    Erm. I am very puzzled why you have suddenly switched the topic of imperialism to “Marxists”, “the Left”, “Islamists”, “Prophets Karl and Mohammad” and “capitalists”. Although this has nothing to do with our discussion of imperialism here, do you happen to be writing from a Rightist perspective? I’m actually rather unfamiliar with the disputes and conflicts between the Left and Right in the US (I’m not even a US citizen), but I have noticed that the Rightists seem fond of accusing the Leftists of being sympathetic to Islamic extremism just because they don’t support President Bush’s policies.

    Most of the time it’s just moonbattery, but once in a while one discovers a civil Socialist or Islamist, and then it’s fun to play with their minds. One gets the impression that a few of them can be weaned from their obsessions. Successes are few and far between, but it’s worth doing when the effort isn’t such as to interfere with more important pursuits.

    You seem to think that I am a “civil Socialist” or “Islamist”. This is actually extremely amusing to me. Do you know that I come from a country that is even more capitalistic than the US and that I think she is one of the best places in the world to live in? Probably not, from your accusation.

    Sigh. When will these people stop hurling their accusations and insults around? You certainly don’t give me a good impression as an ambassador of your own country.

  • My dear Eledolie, since you have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you don’t even know what evidence is or means, and cannot tell the most basic facts apart from politically correct horseshit, why would I bother ? And since you seem quite happy burying yourself ten pages of rambling elucubrations at a time, what is there left for me to do, except let you confuse and contradict yourself further in this fine public space, and use my time to enjoy the real world you obviously have a rather faint and disturbed acquaintance with ? And no wonder, given the bewildering amount time you seem to enjoy spending elaborating these tangled webs of adolescent babble.

    So while you give birth to your next stillborn rhetorical mammoth, you’ll excuse me if I answer the call of the sunny, fabulous countryside of the imperial province of New Hampshire.

    Best,
    S.

  • Eledolie

    Sylvain:

    Your responses are good signs. When people are unable to support their statements and claims, they usually have to resort to personal attacks on others, not unlike those of bullies. Thanks for indicating that I have thoroughly demolished your false arguments and claims to the extent that you have to resort to personal attacks.

    I shall repeat the two statements I have made earlier:

    Where’s your evidence/support/justification? Nowhere in sight, as usual.

  • Eledolie

    Ric Locke:

    I acknowledge that there is a sort of tendency to jump to conclusions about a person’s political perspective simply because he/she supports or believes this or that. However, when things get too far and people start accusing me of being a “civil Socialist” or “Islamist”, it amounts to slander. But of course, I might not be petty enough to resort to legal action, but I hope you realise that although this is a only Internet weblog commentary, this does not mean you can spread lies or fabricate false and malicioius statements about me.

    To return to the subject of US imperialism, I have to first state clearly that I am not referring to imperialism as in that of colonialism only. Instead, I want to rely on dictionaries which would define the meaning(s) of this word for you. I always refer to dictionaries for definitions, instead of making one up like what Sylvain did previously. I don’t see why I should be accused of being a Leftist (or worse, an “Islamist”) simply because I am using it as it is originally defined in the dictionaries. If you wish to have a Right vs Left argument, then don’t count me in, I am not interested.

    Besides, the US does not represent the world, Ric Locke. You will find that all over the world, people, regardless of their political inclinations, use the word “imperialism” as it is originally defined in the dictionaries.

    You can search all the dictionaries and they will probably tell you the same thing: imperialism does not equal colonialism.

    Cambridge: 1 a system in which a country rules other countries, sometimes having used force to obtain power over them; 2 when one country has a lot of power or influence over others, especially in political and economic matters.

    dictionary.com: 1. The policy of extending a nation’s authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations. 2. The system, policies, or practices of such a government.

    As such, the US, according to such definitions, demonstrates imperialism today.

    I am not concerned whether so-and-so definition is Leftish or Rightist or Middle-ish or whatever, nor do I think it is important especially if we want to keep this discussion from escalating into a Right vs Left forum which I am sure we would not want it to, especially when these are only exclusively US-specific issues.

    These are the definitions as defined authoritatively and I will use them as such.

  • (Apologies to our hosts. The following will definitevely conclude my part in this troll-tossing extravaganza).

    Eledolie, poor little maggot, the only thing you have been “demolishing” around here is your own keyboard, but it’s cute to see you beg for some imaginary victory like a little child (“Mommy !! He doesn’t want to play anymore !! If that’s the way it is, I say I won !!”).

    When people explain themselves at length on several occasions, and to absolutely no avail because you are not only unable but unwilling to listen, when you explicitly indicate the only possible interpretation of anything is your own, regardless of its weakness or lack of any substance or relevance, do not expect nor demand from others that they grant you a respectful ear.

    And kindly spare me the pompous accusations of “personal” attacks, given your previous comments in this and other threads.

    Just so you know – not that you care – the way something has been practiced throughout centuries of history takes precedence over vague dictionary definitions for most of us, historians included. Of course, there will always be some who are happy to use whatever word is available to prop up their uninformed prejudice.

    Others, in a vain exercise of self-aggrandizement, will claim to know what the “rest of the world” thinks, as if a certain number of believers could make anything either true, or truer. And when it turns out they have nothing else to stand on, they will cherry-pick among the several definitions offered by a web site the one that supports their bias.

    One can only wonder why, if it’s imperialism, it had to be qualified of “soft” not even two days ago. Flip, flop, flap.

    You may now proceed to write a twenty-page tirade that will never be read…’Cause I have to go make a living exploiting our far-flung colonies so I can pay my tribute to the Emperor.

    I must, however, admit I am eternally grateful to know that a few enlightened people have the comfort to spend half their w-e arguing the conceptual evil of American imperialism according to various dictionary definitions while others in the real world are getting beheaded for being “infidels”. It’s always gratifying to know some of us keep our priorities straight.

  • Bellégo

    There is such a thing as cultural imperialism even if you think it is only a benine form of imperialism. By the way, imperialism sometimes has its good sides. Some people (not me!) think that the Roman Empire brought a superior civilization to the rest of Europe. The French empire in Africa and Indochina has improved the health and education in those places. Some people argue than Afghan women used to have a better life under the Russian imposed regime.
    I hope Tahiti gets its independance and keeps good relations with France. Paris certainly won’t send its troops to quell the independence movement as it might have done fifty years ago.
    Until then, Tahiti is certainly a victim of French cultural imperialism. But it is not only Tahiti. The main victims of French cultural imperialism are in metropolitan “France” : Brittany, Corsica, the Basque Country, etc… The government in Paris is trying to destroy their languages. If you are interested, you can read a sum-up of the situation here.

    At the same time, on the international scene, Chirac claims to be defending cultural and linguistic diversity. For example, he is working with the Unesco for an international convention that will prevent “cultural products” from being submitted to the rules of the WTO. He wants to be able to continue subsidizing the show-business in Paris. He wants to thwart Hollywood imperialism ! President Chirac is a great supporter of the languages spoken by the Eskimos and American Indians. Yesterday, he invited a group of Blackfoots, Mic Macs, Hopis, Iroquois, and Nez percés in his Élysée palace. Here is what he told them (my own translation) : “No one can remain insensible to the silent tragedy which is still taking place, under our eyes, on all continents: the slow disappearance of many minority cultures and languages, crushed by the dominant languages”. But at the same time, Chirac is enforcing the traditional French policy of crushing the Breton language !

    Chiraq = the King of duplicity !

  • Eledolie

    Absolutely amusing and long post, Sylvain! I had a great laugh. Thanks for it.

    But,

    I shall repeat the two statements I have made earlier:

    Where’s your evidence/support/justification? Nowhere in sight, as usual.

  • Julio

    Wow. I just stumbled upon this blog. I have mixed emotions with some of the answers I’ve read about this subject since I am directly affected by it given I am from the US colony of Puerto Rico (currently serving in the USAF stationed overseas).

    True that PR has chosen ‘Commonwealth’ as its status over the years, but if any of you would live here, you would soon find out the reason why. The colonial system is so corrupt and overcontrolling, it has politicized and set-up every single governmental/public agencies and some private ones to its favor – including the major news media entity of the island. It is horrendous.

    But, if you look at any chart that depicts all status referendums since 1967, there is a trend that will make anti-statehood people here cringe. ‘Commonwealth’ is losing support while Statehood is gaining unprecedented support, and independence has remained below 5-6% of voter support.

    Wake up nation. We will soon be knocking on Congress’ doors. I’ve read some here consider us foreigners yet we have been American citizens since 1917. I wonder if the reason they wrongfully consider us foreigners have racial undertones. If that is true, then I just feel so sorry for them.

    Our plight for euqality under the Constitution as American citizens living in tyrranny ought to be a national one. The question of what is an American resonates in our status question as well.

    My answer? An American is the person who believes in American ideasl, goals and interests (while broad concepts, I mean things like rights, freedoms, responsibilties, democracy, etc.). Who share common history, culture(s), and language(s), (in our case, we have been part of the US since 1898 and officially Americans since 1917, and a self governing organized territory since 1952. We have also helped defend our countries interests by participating in every war since WWI). I serve in our countries milirtary as a territorial citizen – treated or regarded as a foreigner by some here? But I bet that when I’m in he front lines, I’m just as American as a WASP from Mass or Nebraska.

    Puerto Ricans are Americans. We ought to be treated and regarded as such. No more and no less – equally. And if we really loved our country and upheld its principles, we should start fighting for euqality for all our citizens here at home first before we set out to make wars in the name of giving real foreigners those rights.

    I, and countless other Puerto Ricans are sent to war but are the only Americans who cannot vote for the person that sends them to fight.

    As far as the reference of ‘leech’ goes – The US doesn’t give anything for free, so don’t even think for a minute that this system is a free-ride for us here. The Federal gov. grants PR an annual budget of about $22 Billion. However, our buying power is about $65 billion, which we use to buy goods imported primarily from the States using US ships for which we are taxed 6.6% on all items. This means that we are one of the top 10 economic partners with the same country that conquered and assimilated us – the metropolis is also gaining from having us as a colony. So please, lets not kid ourselves here.

    Cheers!