The Roman Empire is what our historians use as an example of what the concept of empire is. Our American mythology is such that we eschew the label “Empire“, even as our country has been engaged in the longest war in our history and it seems like it will never end. The War in Afghanistan has lasted 16 years and it is still going strong. Less than a day ago two U.S. soldiers were killed in a Taliban suicide bomb attack. As of October 2016 there were 2,386 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan, “20,049 American service members have also been wounded in action during the war. In addition, there were 1,173 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities”. Currently “the military of the United States is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, with over 300,000 of its active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories“. As a comparison the Roman Empire was known for its’ Pax Romana, a period of enforced peace backed up by Roman Legions stationed in Europe, Africa and Asia.
The two graphical depictions comparing American troop deployments, to those of the Romans’ deployment of their Legions, fail to show the significant differences between those nations military actions. The distinction is that despite what one might accuse the Romans of, they actually maintained Peace in those far-flung regions for more than 200 years, while our American troops have been unable to have accomplished this in the 72 years since World War II, which left us the most powerful nation on the planet. The American pretension has been that our country is the antithesis of an Empire and that all America desires is to spread Democracy and Peace throughout the World.
The truth is to be found in the cautionary words of President Dwight David Eisenhower in his farewell speech at the end of his term where he urged Americans to “beware of the military/industrial complex”.
For those too young to remember his history, Dwight D. Eisenhower, America’s 34th President, was a Five Star General who became an American Hero because he was the victorious Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces that defeated the NAZI Axis. Few Americans could claim to have a greater expertise on the American Military than DDE and at the end of his second term he was warning our country that a coalition of Military Leaders and Defense Contractors had begun to drive American foreign policy towards never-ending conflict for personal gain. This Military Industrial Complex was bolstered by the multitude of powerful Intelligence Agencies that grew as the Cold War with the Soviet Union monopolized American resources towards conflicts around the planet. All through the Cold War Era the coalition of Defense Contractors, Investors in Foreign Countries, Military Leaders and Intelligence Spymasters, dominated America’s Foreign Policy and interfered with American domestic issues. Their myth was the pretense that this “struggle” was in the cause of Freedom rather than profit and Empire.
The demise of the Soviet Union seemed to remove the justification for our Country’s Worldwide military and intelligence interventions and this was noticed with trepidation by those whose power was derived from American Militarism. “
“As the 20th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the world’s pre-eminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does the United States have the vision to build upon the achievements of past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests?“
The Project for a New American Century’s statement of principles was nothing less than a call for our country to become an Empire with world dominance as its’ goal. Chief among the PNAC signatories was Dick Cheney, who a scant two years later became Vice President under the pliable George W. Bush. The 9/11 attack gave Cheney and the other PNAC signers high in that Administration, to flex their Empire seeking muscles by making war upon two oil rich and strategic nations, one of whom had nothing to do with 9/11, Iraq. The truth of the real aims of this PNAC crowd was that 6 years into the War, the U.S. installed Iraqi government was forced into signing a deal with American oil interests, giving them “rights” to the vast Iraqi Oil Fields.
The years passed, American soldiers kept dying and being maimed; billions upon billions of dollars were spent and like in other nations around the world the U.S. maintained a military presence in these two countries, similar to the presence of the Roman Legions 2,000 years ago. Through all those 16 years since 9/11 the U.S. has continued to maintain that all it is seeking is to spread democracy, up until now that is.
In 2016, this country’s racist based Electoral College elected an unqualified, malignant buffoon as President. A part of his campaign statements was that America should have simply taken ALL of Iraq’s oil as recompense for the cost of our attacking and occupying the country. Now while in fact the U.S. had forced the Iraqi’s to sign over their oil, a fact of which Trump appeared unaware. Trump with his in-artful ways had exposed the true intent of American foreign policy, which has had Empire as its’ goal since WWII left us the singularly most powerful nation in the world. Just this week Trump again re-iterated his “Emperor’s view”, when he excoriated his Generals because Trump‘s main Afghanistan objective of having that country sign over its’ rich mineral rights to the U.S., had yet to be achieved.
We have an mentally unstable and unqualified President, who acts like a demented clown. With him in charge and so obviously unable to lead, the nations of the world no longer seem to fear the might of American imperial aims. While the might of the U.S. military might is overwhelmingly superior to all other nations, our Commander In Chief seems little more than a clueless blowhard, incapable of having the attention span to plot world domination. Even with all those troops and all that weaponry, it is hard to fear an “Empire” led by ineptitude. This fool, who gulled enough voters into believing he would “Make America Great Again” may well be responsible for making America irrelevant.