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Empire or Humanity?

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Wildo7, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    http://alternet.org/audits/81005/

    Empire or Humanity?

    What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me About the American Empire
    By Howard Zinn

    With an occupying army waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with military bases and corporate bullying in every part of the world, there is hardly a question any more of the existence of an American Empire. Indeed, the once fervent denials have turned into a boastful, unashamed embrace of the idea.

    However the very idea that the United States was an empire did not occur to me until after I finished my work as a bombardier with the Eighth Air Force in the Second World War, and came home. Even as I began to have second thoughts about the purity of the "Good War," even after being horrified by Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even after rethinking my own bombing of towns in Europe, I still did not put all that together in the context of an American "Empire."

    I was conscious, like everyone, of the British Empire and the other imperial powers of Europe, but the United States was not seen in the same way. When, after the war, I went to college under the G.I. Bill of Rights and took courses in U.S. history, I usually found a chapter in the history texts called "The Age of Imperialism." It invariably referred to the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the conquest of the Philippines that followed. It seemed that American imperialism lasted only a relatively few years. There was no overarching view of U.S. expansion that might lead to the idea of a more far-ranging empire -- or period -- of "imperialism."

    I recall the classroom map (labeled "Western Expansion") which presented the march across the continent as a natural, almost biological phenomenon. That huge acquisition of land called "The Louisiana Purchase" hinted at nothing but vacant land acquired. There was no sense that this territory had been occupied by hundreds of Indian tribes which would have to be annihilated or forced from their homes -- what we now call "ethnic cleansing" -- so that whites could settle the land, and later railroads could crisscross it, presaging "civilization" and its brutal discontents.
     
  2. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pretty lame, by Mr Zinn, but he does do a good job expressing his loathing of America. The title of his book couldn't be more pretentous.
     
  3. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    glad to see your total misunderstanding of the article.
     
  4. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    F-ck the rest of the world, come home, no more money for them, no more help for them, no more food for them, no more protection for them, LET THEM STARVE TO DEATH, LET THEM DRAG THEIR WOMEN AROUND LIKE TRAINED MONKEYS AND LET THEM ALL SLAUGHTER EACH OTHER LIKE THE ANIMALS THEY ARE.

    All you slobbering liberals remember this guy ZINN when you prepare to send young Americans to die in the Cesspool called Dafur.

    :bricks:
     
  5. Stokes

    Stokes In the Starting Line-Up

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    Completely disagree with his conclusion here. He ignores the fact that unlike other empires throughout history, our military is stationed in these other countries because it is the will of the governments of those countries. If Germany said tomorrow "pack your sh!t and get out" we would. If you told the Persians or the Romans to do so, they'd "replace" you. We also do not force our rule on other countries as would be the case if we truly were an empire. Our allies are free to govern as they wish. So are our enemies, to the extent that their choice does not present a risk to our own national security (the reason why the Taliban had to go, for example). As for "corporate bullying" we operate under negotiated trade agreements with other countries, and unlike many of them (I'm looking at you, China), we honor those agreements. US businesses are in it to make money, but so is everyone else.
     
  6. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    How do you see with these on?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
  7. Stokes

    Stokes In the Starting Line-Up

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    my pair are not broken.

    Seriously though, do you think the United States qualifies as an empire? I see it as a superpower, and I think "superpower" and "empire" are 2 distinct things. At any rate the conclusions drawn in that article I think are unjustified. I pointed out how the claims summarized in the first paragraph are inaccurate.
     
  8. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    I'm sure yours work just fine...in fact, I'd bet the house on it.:D

    I think "empire" and "world power" are distinctions without a difference when you look at the whole of history.
     
  9. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I'm not sure I agree. If the US was an Empire, we'd have a lot more oil and there'd be a lot fewer terrorists (as any good Empire, we'd identify what we needed and take those areas that had it, yes)?

    :D
     
  10. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    what a joke that statement is. I suppose the Soviet empire didn't have Chechen rebels, and the British empire didn't have the IRA. Way to go slick, you're on fire today....
     
  11. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    What part of a :D in a post do you not seem to comprehend?


    You really need to calm down a touch.

    Although I'm kind of fascinated that you didn't mention the British Empire having the American colonies.
     
  12. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    Ok so you had no point. got it.
     
  13. Stokes

    Stokes In the Starting Line-Up

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    I consider the 2 different on the grounds that an empire leaves no choice to the people it conquers. Once you've been defeated militarily by an empire you fall under their rule. The US will conquer lands to serve its own interests, but will return rule of those lands to the people once their goals have been achieved. That's the big difference to me. The idea that I really had a problem with is that because we have military bases over the world we are an empire.
     
  14. Stokes

    Stokes In the Starting Line-Up

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    a. paul may have been joking with that one, but the point I think makes some sense. If the US was truly an empire we would have taken Iraq, installed a puppet government instead of allowing elections, set up an oil pipeline to US tankers in the Gulf waiting to bring it back to the US of A on the cheap, and had the Iraqis paying taxes to us. Right now we're working to help the government the Iraqis themselves elected succeed, and reaping no benefit from Iraqi oil (as we're reminded of the high price of oil on a daily basis).
     
  15. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I don't believe I'd put it as "you had no point."

    I had a point. Apparently subtle isn't something you needed to be a senate page though.
     
  16. Wildo7

    Wildo7 Totally Full of It

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    Who brought the funny guy?
     
  17. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    And, were we an "Empire", we'd own Saudi Arabia and Hugo Chavez wouldn't have been allowed to make his cute little "whiff of sulfer" speech at the UN.

    The other part is that you can hardly justify using today's sensibilities to criticize people who lived 100-200 years ago.
     
  18. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Not only funny, but damn cute as well. And don't you forget it.

    ;)
     
  19. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    Oh BRUTHAH!:rolleyes:
     

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