Most Americans have been so busy pouting about Iraq, the audacity of those little towel head sonsabitches to have run out of oil after a hundred years, you know, OUR oil, and had to go running towards Fracking Oil as a weak and puny substitute but better than nothing I suppose, that they didn’t really give a whole lot of attention to the whole geopolitical fuss of admitting to empire, as subdued and pathetic as the discussion was ( and, far later than polite, as a few pointy head professors lift up a flabby check and quietly let a brain fart escape, a silent and sad admission long after the fact ). All of our so-called learned and admired historians and other authors for mass consumption were still busy through the more dramatic episodes of the Sandbox Part Deu denying imperial overreach, STILL giving the memory of Wilson and FDR a rim job, that it became quite embarrassing. Only after the war was effectively sputtering out as we sent out less troops to underline our losing the war in all but a few Green Zones were a few opposition voices allowed to get any traction in the media circus overrun by Kardashian wardrobe malfunctions and zombie sports players cheering themselves on by giving their all of 300%, and very reluctantly it was conceded that maybe, perhaps, we slightly started to emulate an empire for a few unfortunate Lost In The Wilderness years.
And our Empire was never an Empire like the British Empire, who rudely allowed millions of Irish to die of famine for profits, or little brown people overseas to be in the trenches, or whatever, but an Accidental Empire that was never intentional, oh heavens to Betsy, NO!, there were merely a few unfortunate accidents we didn’t and couldn’t possibly mean that only INCIDENTALLY made it look like we were an empire. You know, like that whole occupation of the Philippines with a counter-insurgency war of brutality against civilians. We are a democracy, just ask the reporters jailed by Lincoln about free speech, or how about the WWI veterans we set on fire when they peaceably assembled for redress of war bonus compensation during a Great Depression caused by our central bank. They’ll tell ya’s, they will. We don’t DO empire cause we’re ’Muricans! We love all those Darkies who were not legally allowed to reside in the North before the Civil War, and our favorites are all those natives we killed off by eliminating their buffalo food supply. It is NEVER all about the Benjamin’s here in the Best Country On Earth ( yep, I’m free to publish these words of criticism, but only until they are widely read and disseminated, after which I’d get real friendly with the IRS or I’d be pulled over during a routine traffic stop and suddenly a kilo of grass would magically appear in my trunk ).
I’m sorry, do we not have the same edition of Webster’s dictionary? I thought “empire” had the same meaning for everybody. If we invaded South Africa for its gold ( I know, not much is left after way over a hundred years of mining, but don’t tell that to the Dittoheads who think the more “free market” we have means the less the laws of entropy apply-I use here merely for illustrative purposes ), killed off the local population or put the few survivors in concentration camps, then took all the ore before we left the remaining population to starve in their desert, would that not be construed as the actions of an empire? Isn’t that what happened in the Dakota’s? We needed a Pacific port to expand into Asia so we dethroned the Hawaiian queen and took over, and that’s not the actions of a faraway country exploiting another nation for resources, which sort of is the meaning of imperial? We invaded Central American countries when the land growing bananas was being threatened to be given to the peasants, and that was, what? Merely a wargame exercise for the US Marines? Come on people! I didn’t say it was wrong to enjoy the fruits of imperialism, which we all do, I’m just saying you should own up to poor behavior. If you fart in the elevator, excuse yourself, but smile instead of hiding your face. It is the least you can do, instead of blaming it on Ethyl the 64 year old secretary.
We have been a continental empire since before our country was officially no longer a colony and continue to be a global one today. Only the soon to collapse PetroDollar standard will force us to abandon our overseas possessions ( unlike the supposed Any Friggin Day Now I Swear Pinkie Promise demise of the European Union, or the Imminent Since 2007 Commercial Real Estate Crash, the PetroDollar demise isn’t just a scare mongering issue that the legions of doomer advertising sites unfurl in the vane hopes that none of the readers notice contains far less factual information or analysis than a condensed Reader’s Digest article, but an ongoing problem that has demonstrated real focal points. You only have X number of countries participating in making the US dollar a global currency and when you keep losing more and more that really does mean the end is getting closer ). Which brings us a bit closer to the main point we are going to cover, and that is that empires usually do not end as quietly as we have been led to believe.
Even forgetting that all empires leave behind quite the mess of warfare and collapse of order ( the ongoing India-Pakistan tensions, almost all of Africa even today ), those are just the fuzzy foreigner natives so we can easily dismiss their travails, they also usually take down a lot of their civilians upon disintegrating ( how can you already forget the drastic Russian depopulation due to severe life expectancy cut backs as an imperial medical industry disappeared? Depopulation has always been hinted as merely a consequence of losing colonies, so we can sooth our souls as we turned the cheap Russian oil decade into an SUV bumper car frenzy. I’m sure that you don’t care, and that is the defacto imperial citizen default mode which is fine. But you might wish to look at it as less of a cheap petrol period and more as a mirror to your future. Continued tomorrow.
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there