Americans are imperialists

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People that say Americans are imperialists don’t understand us. So here’s a quick explanation. America has the largest court system in the world, with bulging prisons and more lawyers and lawsuits per capita because we will not tolerate injustice. Americans inherited the England's laissez-faire attitude of "live and let live"... and we live that motto - right up to point where we believe we have been wronged, or see others doing wrong. The Europeans have more tolerance of wrongdoing; they turn their heads, or say "that doesn't concern me" or “that’s just the way things are”. They tolerate the intolerable. But we want to leave the world a better place, and not just take profits exploiting the suffering of others; like the Europeans.

Live and let live...

This isn’t new. One of our flags in the America revolution said, "Don't Tread on Me." We were willing to take on the most powerful military in the world, just because they put a nominal tax on our morning brew. We'd be damned if we were going to come to this wilderness, build a new life, and then let them push us around and have them cart away the fruits of our labor. We had strong ties to England, but we were willing to throw away that relationship and go it alone because it was unjust.

That’s what motivates Americans; our pricklish sense of honor and justice.

Look at our past:

  • The Native American Indians continually violated our honor; they attacked without warning, abducted women and children, killed the helpless or wounded and used deception and torture. The Indians had their own highly developed honor system (and from their view, we were the honorees and unjust ones) -- but the point isn't who was right, it was that we perceived them as dishonorable, so we created justice.
  • The Japanese fought dirty in WWII; attacked us without warning and treated our prisoners poorly. We were willing to lose hundreds of thousands of our soldiers invading their homeland, firebombing and nuking their cities, and would burn their country to bare earth if that's what it took to defeat them an create justice.
  • The next most warrior nation in modern times was Germany - look at what happened to them. Hitler thought we were a "Mongrel Nation." He learned the hard way that we are pretty scrappy mutts.
  • The USSR was the next most warrior nation; where are they now?

And so on.

Meddling isn't Imperialism

We understand that there are causes for Arab and European frustration, but the cause never justifies the means and there are lines that you can cross. 40 or 50 years of terror is enough. The terrorists are using exactly the wrong method to solve their problems.

We are one of the countries that in our position of power has shared it better than any other nation in the history of the world. We get that giving up some control and sharing wealth helps all. That's why we do so much of it.

  • We created the League of Nations
  • We create the U.N. to share power that we did not need to share
  • We funded them more than any other nation has.
  • We gave 40% of their budget to them, not counting many forms of assistance.
  • We give more than all of Europe combined, and the Europeans love to criticize us for not doing more, or for occasionally going our own route after exhausting attempts for decades to work with them. I guess it is easier to point fingers than look in the mirror.
  • We did the same with NATO, charities, and so on.
  • Countries that were taken over by us (like Germany and Japan) would not consider themselves territories of the U.S. -- and not because we couldn't have made them such.

We do meddle in foreign countries affairs, as all countries do. We have a lot of force/ power and often bumble around trying to help make the world a better place. But that's something totally different from imperialism. We're far from perfect -- but calling us imperialistic only reflects on the ignorance of the speaker, not our intent or actions. We're always looking for the fastest way to hand control of our "con- quests" back to the people and go home, where we are happiest. Often we stay be- cause they beg us to, and complain when we leave. We want trading partners and al- lies, not puppets and have a far better history than most of those that criticize us the loudest.

Americans don't fight to take other people’s money, land, power, ego -- we have enough of our on that. We also seldom fight over past resentments or grievances; we have short memories and forgive pretty easily. So we aren’t occupiers; we hate hav- ing our troops overseas, and most of our troops just want to come home. Ask France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Panama, Korea, if they feel like they are part of our empire. We were more re-builders than occupiers, happy to leave. So using the term imperi- alism shows complete ignorance of history; their world view is so distorted as to be beneath contempt and unteachable or so biased as to be irrational

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Written: 2005.08.04