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The First And Shortest Global Empire in History

At Least We Still Have Our Country.

by James Leroy Wilson
April 24, 2003

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The First And Shortest Global Empire in History_James Leroy Wilson-At Least We Still Have Our Country. I heard on the radio today (Monday, April 21) that America's first Imperial Governor (or whatever the title of the head honcho) of Iraq is arriving today in Baghdad. I forgot his name, and don't particularly care to know it. Also, I saw in the headlines that Syria, after hearing American threats and "concerns," is being more cooperative insofar as not "harboring" fleeing ex-Iraqi government officials.

Isn't it ironic that, compared to most nations, Americans are more likely to fear the United Nations and suspect it of trying to form a world government. What do we have to fear? The United Nations isn't, and can't be, a world government, because the United States government already is the world government.

No nation in history has achieved this degree of hyper-power over the globe. Hitler's ambitions might have extended this far, but I doubt even he believed his beloved Third Reich would be this powerful in his own lifetime. An "official" world empire is generally unncessary. Let other countries pretend to have sovereignty, but we'll keep Latin America from Mexico to Peru destabilized and impoverished as we wage our Drug Wars. We'll put lumber tariffs on our ex-best friend Canada and threaten it with sanctions if they dare contemplate reforming their marijuana laws. And, already stationing troops in 120 of the world's nations, we'll have clout to insist that others not have Weapons of Mass Destruction, while we retain the right to hold the world's largest stockpiles of such ourselves. And we reserve the right to pre-emptive strikes to "potential" future "threats," while denying any other country the legal right to pre-emptively strike another sovereign nation.

Americans think the French are pompous. We should look in the mirror. We reserve the right to do whatever we want as a nation, but use our power to deny other nations the same right.

The costs of our arrogance will soon come due. Several months back, the European Union had said it won't "retaliate" against the Bush administration's steel tariffs because it realized that America was already punishing itself enough more with the tariffs - that the tariffs themselves provided America with no benefit but only loss - and that any retaliatory tariffs by the EU would only hurt the EU further.

And in the longer term, we must consider the army of computer programmers the one billion Indians are producing, let alone the increasingly free-market 1.2 billion Chinese. With a growing but still less than 300 million ourselves, with an increasingly wretched communist-style education system, and an increasingly larger and more intrusive government, the world's largest military budget by far, and the ticking time-bomb of Medicare and Social Security insolvencies, America's attempt at global domination will surely collapse within a generation.

This Empire is is so disease-stricken at birth it will die by the time it's a teenager if not sooner. But must America itself die with it?

I don't think so, but our entire mentality about the government must change. We got to this dangerous point in our history because, well, we wanted to. Notice who gets carved in rock: American Presidents, Confederate generals. But where is the Thomas Edison memorial? Or the ones for Samuel Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, or the Wright Brothers?

We take technology and innovation for granted. And we should be thankful that, for much of our history, we've enjoyed more freedom and less government so that such innovation could go on unabated and unregulated. People from most other countries have enjoyed less freedom and therefore accomplished less. But was this because of the politicians? Is government in America to be given credit and absolute loyalty and obedience simply because, in comparison with other countries, it robbed from, inhibited, and killed its citizens in smaller degrees?

I don't think so. Politicans ought not get credit just because they do the wrong thing less often than other politicians. But in our country, the country of "freedom," we exalt not the blessings of liberty, but the political and military institutions of the Union. Many of our nationalistic celebrations and ceremonies are actually more emotional and "spiritual" than most religious observances in America, all under the rhetoric of freedom. But a free country does not become an empire, let alone the world's first truly global empire.

I'm not lamenting that we've forgotten what we once were, because I'm not at all sentimental about institutions and prejudices of the past. But our government has become more intrusive even as we brag about what a free country we have. We've forgotten that freedom is whatever the government doesn't do, instead believing that freedom exists because of the kindness and generosity of the government. This must change.

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