Myth #4: The United States Is An Imperial Power

A series of 5-myths via Daniel Flynn’s excellent book — Machiavelli said, “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”

  • Daniel J. Flynn, Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation’s Greatness (Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing, 2002), 132-138.

MYTH #4: THE UNITED STATES IS AN IMPERIAL POWER

ON APRIL 20, 2002, nearly 50,000 people converged on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to protest. The diverse targets of the activists included Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the School of the Americas, the World Bank, and the War on Ter­rorism. The inhabitants of the government buildings sur­rounding the protestors received the blame for many of the international ills that the activists sought to cure.

The protestors’ chants, signs, and rhetoric targeted the United States. Kenneth Stewart, a Vietnam veteran from Maine, bluntly opined, “We are a terrorist nation.” A North Carolina college student remarked, “I think the United States of America is a culturally and emotionally diseased country.” “Who’s the real Axis of Evil?” State University of New York—Brockport student Chris Powers rhetorically asked. “If any country’s really an Axis of Evil, it’s us.”

Their nation, the activists uniformly contended, seeks to conquer the world through empire. Imperialism is the most threatening manifestation of the evil that they see inherent in America. As sign-carrying New Yorker Charles Freed ex­pressed, “The United States, being the one lone superpower, thinks its manifest destiny is to rule the world.”

If the United States is an imperial power, where is our em­pire? What are the names of the colonies we possess? What wars of conquest did we fight to gain this territory?

The British Empire ruled Ireland, India, Arabia, Rhodesia, and numerous other locales. The French Empire cast its domin­ion over Vietnam, Algeria, and Lebanon, among other places. The Roman Empire claimed Britain, Judea, Gaul, Macedonia, and points beyond. The American “empire” rules no one.

American imperialism, the Left maintains, is not necessarily characterized by stealth fighters, M-16s, or navy destroyers. It is more nuanced than that. The corporate logos of Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and The Gap are the images evoked by American empire. These seemingly benign symbols suggest just how threatening American “imperialism” really is to the rest of humanity. Some­thing is obviously amiss when the same word used to describe a McDonald’s opening up in a Third World country is also used to describe the horrors that occurred in the Belgian Congo.

In the lexicon of the Left, the term “empire” possesses an amazing elasticity. “An empire does not only necessarily consist of actual colonial countries that one owns,” Charles Freed in­sisted. “The real empire is owning all these countries in terms of dollars.” Beverley Anderson, who traveled to the Washing­ton rally from California, maintained that America’s foreign policy is “imperialism disguised as human rights, and build­ing economies, and wiping out poverty.” Student Rachel Garskof-Leiberman sees American imperialism as “much more dangerous because if you see someone taking over with a gun . . . and you see traditional imperialism it has negative connota­tions that are obvious. But an economic imperialization is so much worse because you look at Starbucks and Starbucks isn’t threatening. [Third World people] don’t think of imperialism. They think of comfort.”

Where did these activists get their ideas? “No country is exempt from [the brutal force of the U.S. military], no matter how unimportant,” famed Massachusetts Institute of Technol­ogy linguist Noam Chomsky writes in the popular pamphlet What Uncle Sam Really Wants. A possible socialist success story, Chomsky alleges, threatens the economic order and sparks the capitalist states to crush even tiny rebellions against free enter­prise. “If you want a global system that’s subordinated to the needs of U.S. investors, you can’t let little pieces of it wander off.” Howard Zinn labels the recent relationship between U.S. corporations and the Third World “a classical imperial sit­uation, where the places with natural wealth became victims of more powerful nations whose power came from that seized wealth.” Gore Vidal tags his homeland “a seedy imperial state.” The aging literary crank advances the theory that the military retaliation against Afghanistan for the 9-11 attacks had nothing to do with stopping terrorism but was in fact “a great coup on the part of the United States to grab all of the oil and natural gas of central Asia.”

By now, the reader is perhaps familiar with the Left’s re­sponse to military action around the globe. Radicals inevitably hypothesize that the United States is pulling the strings behind the scenes, usually through the Central Intelligence Agency, even in the cases where no evidence links the United States to the conflict. The non-Americans engaged in the actual fight­ing, they suggest, serve as our proxies. Far from casting doubt on their analysis, the absence of proof linking the United States to, say, a coup in the Third World merely confirms the Left’s view of the CIA’s cunning and conspiratorial acumen. Similarly predictable is the Mandan analysis attributing financial motives to all military actions by free-market democracies. The finan­cial motivation usually takes the form of oil, even when the enemy in question—such as the Taliban’s Afghanistan—boasts no great oil reserves. If one gets feelings of déjà vu after speak­ing with leftists about America’s role in global affairs, it is be­cause activists lower on the information food chain devour the party line of Zinn, Chomsky, and others.

A problem for the “American Empire” school of thought is that the masses in developing countries enthusiastically wel­come what the Left describes as imperialism. When a clothing line sets up a factory in Central America, no one forces anyone at gunpoint to work the jobs. In fact, the opposite scenario oc­curs. The people flock to work there. Coca-Cola’s omnipres­ence around the world similarly stems from voluntary choice, not force. For better or worse, Third World people embrace both the production and the consumption components of cor­poratism. How do leftists explain the enthusiasm of the masses for what they describe as imperialism? “The masses,” explained one young man, “are uneducated.”

The Left’s contention that the United States holds a dispro­portionate share of military power certainly is valid. It does not follow, however, that great military power necessarily translates into imperial designs. If the United States sought to impose its will on other nations, it certainly could have a great deal of suc­cess. It chooses, however, not to do so. This is a conspicuous de­viation from the historical pattern. Nations holding power vis-a-vis other nations have traditionally used that power to claim dominion over others. America refrains from this course of action. In fact, the major wars involving the United States since it became the world’s preeminent military power have been fought to prevent empires—Nazi imperialism, Japanese imperialism, Communist imperialism, and Iraq’s attempt at an oil empire. After all these wars, America’s territory remained es­sentially the same.

The rise of American hegemony notably coincided with the decline of colonialism. The American Century witnessed the fall of, among others, the British, French, and Soviet Empires. Normally, the ascendant power fills the vacuum left by the falling powers. We defeated the Soviet Union, but we do not rule over it. We helped liberate Eastern Europe from its Soviet overlords, but, unlike with the Soviets’ rule replacing the van­quished Nazis’ rule, we declined to exert our will in governing the affairs of these nations. America’s example is a historical anomaly.

The fallacy that one nation’s fortune causes another’s mis­fortune inspires much of the hatred of U.S. foreign policy. America’s wealth did not come at the expense of other nations. On the contrary, the economies of other nations benefit from Western wealth. The theory behind the false notion of Ameri­can imperialism posits that U.S. policy aims to transfer the wealth of the rest of the world to the elites of this country. This has not happened. The United States has certainly grown wealthier during the past century. The rest of the world has, too, and at a more dramatic pace. In relative terms, the wealth shift has been away from the West and toward the rest of hu­manity. Samuel Huntington guesses in The Clash of Civilizations that the West’s portion of the economic pie reached a high of around 70% after World War I and will decline to the 30% mark by 2020. More important, this time period witnessed re­markable economic progress for non-Western countries in ab­solute terms as well.

The idea that the United States obtained its wealth by bleeding the rest of humanity dry is a gross inversion of reality for another reason. From the close of World War II until today, the United States has given more than $500 billion in aid to the rest of the world. This figure is roughly $500 billion more than the aid the rest of the world has given the United States. If ad­justed for inflation, the $500 billion figure would be quite larger. A survey by the Congressional Research Service esti­mates that the actual cost to the taxpayer for foreign aid (as a result of interest payments on the borrowing that finances it) stands at over $2 trillion during this period. Again, this massive amount of money is in non-inflation-adjusted dollars. The foreign appropriations budget for fiscal year 2002 lays out more than $15 billion for foreign countries and international pro­grams. The $15 billion, which represents about two-thirds of government spending on foreign governments and interna­tional programs, includes money for more than 130 countries. One might logically argue that the federal government milks its own citizens for the benefit of foreigners. Holding that the fed­eral government milks foreigners for its own citizens’ benefit belies the objective numbers.

The Left’s ideology presumes that the drive for profits from capitalist countries results in attempts at political, economic, and military domination. The facts resist this theory. Preferring ideology to reality, the Left persists in claiming that the dictates of their theories are reality—even when everything around them says otherwise.


Hillary’s Hero Bans the Burka!

Dennis Prager discusses Merkel’s ban of the Burka and the Niqab while relating it to the cultural relativism of the left. Take note the German Chancellor is running for her office soon… “shoring up” votes in other words:

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced she believes the full Islamic face veil or “burqa” has no place in her country and should be banned. Critics have pointed to her announcement, made at the Christian Democratic Party conference, as an attempt to shore up her conservative base after announcing she would seek another term as German leader…. (BREITBART)

David & Goliath in Politics ~ The Bible and the Koch Brothers

I haven’t done a Concepts in a while. I have been busy and honestly the stuff John writes he has mainly written in the past… just rehashed in a different form. But this one caught my eye, as even his analogy to David and Goliath is wrong, so too is his understanding of what undermines a Constitutional Democracy. (As usual, you can enlarge the article by clicking it.)

Firstly, let’s deal with David and Goliath.

GOLIATH

Mr Van Huizum says this:

  • The battle between David and Goliath was an unfair battle because their respective armaments were so one-sided, as were their physical size and strength.

Let us go more in-depth into this story via an interview with Malcolm Gladwell’s about his new book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”

Never Bring a Knife To A Gun-Fight

There are limited historical accounts and archaeological evidence to verify what truly happened in the fight between David and Goliath, but the story as we know it could use a clarification as big as a gargantuan Philistine. Goliath was a heavily armored, slow-moving giant. David, not just a shepherd boy but perhaps also an official shield-bearer to King Saul, chose no armor and was equipped with a sling… with roughly the same power as a handgun, according to Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book. Just as you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, you don’t bring a heavy bronze weapon to a sling fight. On top of all this, Goliath may not have even been that tall and may have been partially blind. Evidence of how this brief fight went down is scarce, but if Gladwell is right, you can imagine David would’ve been able to get an easy shot at the lumbering Goliath’s oversized head. (Text: 7 Biggest Buts)

What is ironic is that the left (Mr. Huizum) would have made it through legislation almost impossible for David to be “carrying.” That being said, it seems that David wasn’t all that defenseless or lucky to begin with, and knew exactly what he was doing and that he had God on his side to boot! So the analogy John tries o fob onto the public breaks down under scrutiny. Not to mention I doubt John believes much of the Bible anyway.

Now, on to the Koch Brothers.

Koch Brothers

(This is from a previous response to Mr. Huizum on the issue… as I said, he merely rehashes the same topics.) Any well thinking person should acknowledge that someone should “fear” government more than business. In fact, I made this point on my FaceBook discussion with a liberal friend:


...the was to show how the Obama admin is stacking the books with GM. You see, when the government chooses winners-and-losers instead of getting contracts with private companies (like Ford, GM, etc.), they are invested to [i.e., forced to] only choose a government run business and stock their fish (so-to-speak) with GM fleets… leaving the non-government company to flounder.

This next audio deals with the differences of the Koch brothers, in comparison to the Left’s version of them, Soros. There are many areas that one can discuss about the two… but let us focus in on the main/foundational difference. One wants a large government that is able to legislate more than just what kind of light-bulbs one can use in the privacy of their own home. Soros wants large government able to control a large portion of the economy (see link to chart below), and he has been very vocal on this goal. The other party always mentioned are the Koch brothers. These rich conservatives want a weak government.

And really, if you think about it, what business can really “harm” you, when people come to my door with pistols on their hip… are they a) more likely to be from GM, or, b) from the IRS?A government that cannot effect our daily lives nearly as much (personal, business, etc) as the Soros enterprise wants.

This great “short” comes via The Lonely Conservative:

The short answer to the question posed above is “Not even close.” It’s not the Koch Brothers or ALEC. Nope. The biggest spender in the dark money game is the Tides Foundation. Oh and by the way, Tides is a big liberal group.

Whenever “ALEC” and “dark money” are mentioned in the media, however, there ought to be a third name given at least equal attention – the Tides Foundation. That’s because Tides, the San Francisco-based funder of virtually every liberal activist group in existence since the mid-1970s, pioneered the concept of providing a cut-out for donors who don’t wish to be associated in public with a particular cause. It is instructive to compare the funding totals for Tides and ALEC.

A search of non-profit grant databases reveals 139 grants worth a total of $5.6 million to ALEC since 1998. By comparison, Tides is the Mega-Goliath of dark money cash flows. Tides received 1,976 grants worth a total of $451 million during the same period, or nearly 100 times as much money as ALEC. But even that’s not the whole story with Tides, which unlike ALEC, has divided and multiplied over the years. Add to the Tides Foundation total the directly linked Tides Center’s 465 grants with a combined worth of $62 million, and the total is well over half a billion dollars. (Read More)

So there.

The next portion is merely a re-posting of a MAJOR maligning of the Koch Brothers that often happens via the LEFT, and exemplifies the bias and hatred that cover-up reality:

The Washington Post just makes stuff up now… from whole-cloth! H/T to IOwntheWorld, via Powerline:

On Thursday, the Washington Post published an article by Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin titled “The biggest lease holder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers.” The article’s first paragraph included this claim:

The biggest lease holder in the northern Alberta oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the privately-owned cornerstone of the fortune of conservative Koch brothers Charles and David.

The theme of the article was that the Keystone Pipeline is all about the Koch brothers; or, at least, that this is a plausible claim. The Post authors relied on a report by a far-left group called International Forum on Globalization that I debunked last October.

So Thursday evening, I wrote about the Post article here. I pointed out that Koch is not, in fact, the largest leaser of tar sands land; that Koch will not be a user of the pipeline if it is built; and that construction of the Keystone Pipeline would actually be harmful to Koch’s economic interests, which is why Koch has never taken a position on the pipeline’s construction. The Keystone Pipeline, in short, has nothing whatsoever to do with the Koch brothers.

Ethics Violations @ WaPo

Juliet

  • Koch is not the largest leaser of tar sands land;
  • Koch will not use the pipeline if it is built;
  • the Keystone Pipeline would harm the Kochs’ interest;
  • and the Koch brothers have not taken a position on the pipeline’s construction for that reason.

(Ethics Alarms)

My post garnered a great deal of attention, and Mufson and Eilperin undertook to respond to it here. It isn’t much of a response: they don’t deny the truth of anything Iwrote, and they don’t try to sustain the proposition that Koch is even in favor of the pipeline, let alone the driving force behind it. They lamely suggest that if Koch leased 2 million acres, rather than 1.1 million as they reported on Thursday, then Koch might be the largest leaseholder. But they make no attempt to respond to the official Province of Alberta maps that I posted, which clearly show that Canadian National Resources, Ltd., for example, leases more acreage than Koch.

The Post’s response attempted to explain “Why we wrote about the Koch Industries [sic] and its leases in Canada’s oil sands.” Good question! What’s the answer?

The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.

So in the Post’s view, it is acceptable to publish articles that are both literally false (Koch is the largest tar sands leaseholder) and massively misleading (the Keystone Pipeline is all about Koch Industries), if by doing so the paper can “stir and inflame public debate in this election year?” I can’t top Jonah Goldberg’s comment on that howler:

By this logic any unfair attack posing as reporting is worthwhile when people try to correct the record. Why not just have at it and accuse the Kochs of killing JFK or hiding the Malaysian airplane? The resulting criticism would once again provide “strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year.”

Read it all!

Threat to Democracy

This is both an update to and combination of another post… see a previous post for an update to this article:

Enjoy.

Kimberley Strassel wrote an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal about the imperial predilections of Obama’s “reign.” (Posted by Religio-Political Talk)

…Put another way: Mr. Obama proposes, Congress refuses, he does it anyway.

For example, Congress refused to pass Mr. Obama’s Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for some not here legally. So Mr. Obama passed it himself with an executive order that directs officers to no longer deport certain illegal immigrants. This may be good or humane policy, yet there is no reading of “prosecutorial discretion” that allows for blanket immunity for entire classes of offenders.

Mr. Obama disagrees with federal law, which criminalizes the use of medical marijuana. Congress has not repealed the law. No matter. The president instructs his Justice Department not to prosecute transgressors. He disapproves of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, yet rather than get Congress to repeal it, he stops defending it in court. He dislikes provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, so he asked Congress for fixes. That effort failed, so now his Education Department issues waivers that are patently inconsistent with the statute.

Similarly, when Mr. Obama wants a new program and Congress won’t give it to him, he creates it regardless. Congress, including Democrats, wouldn’t pass his cap-and-trade legislation. His Environmental Protection Agency is now instituting it via a broad reading of the Clean Air Act. Congress, again including members of his own party, wouldn’t pass his “card-check” legislation eliminating secret ballots in union elections. So he stacked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with appointees who pushed through a “quickie” election law to accomplish much the same. Congress wouldn’t pass “net neutrality” Internet regulations, so Mr. Obama’s Federal Communications Commission did it unilaterally.

In January, when the Senate refused to confirm Mr. Obama’s new picks for the NLRB, he proclaimed the Senate to be in “recess” and appointed the members anyway, making a mockery of that chamber’s advice-and-consent role. In June, he expanded the definition of “executive privilege” to deny House Republicans documents for their probe into the botched Fast and Furious drug-war operation, making a mockery of Congress’s oversight responsibilities.

This president’s imperial pretensions extend into the brute force the executive branch has exercised over the private sector. The auto bailouts turned contract law on its head, as the White House subordinated bondholders’ rights to those of its union allies. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Justice Department leaked that it had opened a criminal probe at exactly the time the Obama White House was demanding BP suspend its dividend and cough up billions for an extralegal claims fund. BP paid. Who wouldn’t?

And it has been much the same in his dealings with the states. Don’t like Arizona’s plans to check immigration status? Sue. Don’t like state efforts to clean up their voter rolls? Invoke the Voting Rights Act. Don’t like state authority over fracking? Elbow in with new and imagined federal authority, via federal water or land laws.

In so many situations, Mr. Obama’s stated rationale for action has been the same: We tried working with Congress but it didn’t pan out—so we did what we had to do. This is not only admission that the president has subverted the legislative branch, but a revealing insight into Mr. Obama’s view of his own importance and authority….

…read it all…

This first video is another wonderful Trey Gowdy anthem. Click his name in the “TAGS” to see other “music to your ears” speeches:

Video description: Rep. Gowdy’s floor speech in favor of H.R. 4138 the ENFORCE the Law Act.

And this is a recent Jonathan Turley statement before Congress (do the same, check out Turley in the “TAGS”):

Video description:

Via The Blaze ~ I did turn the volume up from the original file… so prep your volume control.

A constitutional law expert warned Congress during a hearing Wednesday that America has reached a “constitutional tipping point” under the watch of President Barack Obama.

Jonathan Turley, professor of public interest law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said the legislative branch of the U.S. government is in danger of becoming irrelevant in the face of continued executive overreach.

“My view [is] that the president, has in fact, exceeded his authority in a way that is creating a destabilizing influence in a three branch system,” Turley said. “I want to emphasize, of course, this problem didn’t begin with President Obama, I was critical of his predecessor President Bush as well, but the rate at which executive power has been concentrated in our system is accelerating. And frankly, I am very alarmed by the implications of that aggregation of power.”

“What also alarms me, however, is that the two other branches appear not just simply passive, but inert in the face of this concentration of authority,” he added….

“Obama’s Imperial Presidency,” Strassel’s 2012 WSJ Article

This is both an update to and combination of another post… see a previous post for an update to this article:

Enjoy.

Kimberley Strassel wrote an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal about the imperial predilections of Obama’s “reign.” (Posted by Religio-Political Talk)

…Put another way: Mr. Obama proposes, Congress refuses, he does it anyway.

For example, Congress refused to pass Mr. Obama’s Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for some not here legally. So Mr. Obama passed it himself with an executive order that directs officers to no longer deport certain illegal immigrants. This may be good or humane policy, yet there is no reading of “prosecutorial discretion” that allows for blanket immunity for entire classes of offenders.

Mr. Obama disagrees with federal law, which criminalizes the use of medical marijuana. Congress has not repealed the law. No matter. The president instructs his Justice Department not to prosecute transgressors. He disapproves of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, yet rather than get Congress to repeal it, he stops defending it in court. He dislikes provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, so he asked Congress for fixes. That effort failed, so now his Education Department issues waivers that are patently inconsistent with the statute.

Similarly, when Mr. Obama wants a new program and Congress won’t give it to him, he creates it regardless. Congress, including Democrats, wouldn’t pass his cap-and-trade legislation. His Environmental Protection Agency is now instituting it via a broad reading of the Clean Air Act. Congress, again including members of his own party, wouldn’t pass his “card-check” legislation eliminating secret ballots in union elections. So he stacked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with appointees who pushed through a “quickie” election law to accomplish much the same. Congress wouldn’t pass “net neutrality” Internet regulations, so Mr. Obama’s Federal Communications Commission did it unilaterally.

In January, when the Senate refused to confirm Mr. Obama’s new picks for the NLRB, he proclaimed the Senate to be in “recess” and appointed the members anyway, making a mockery of that chamber’s advice-and-consent role. In June, he expanded the definition of “executive privilege” to deny House Republicans documents for their probe into the botched Fast and Furious drug-war operation, making a mockery of Congress’s oversight responsibilities.

This president’s imperial pretensions extend into the brute force the executive branch has exercised over the private sector. The auto bailouts turned contract law on its head, as the White House subordinated bondholders’ rights to those of its union allies. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Justice Department leaked that it had opened a criminal probe at exactly the time the Obama White House was demanding BP suspend its dividend and cough up billions for an extralegal claims fund. BP paid. Who wouldn’t?

And it has been much the same in his dealings with the states. Don’t like Arizona’s plans to check immigration status? Sue. Don’t like state efforts to clean up their voter rolls? Invoke the Voting Rights Act. Don’t like state authority over fracking? Elbow in with new and imagined federal authority, via federal water or land laws.

In so many situations, Mr. Obama’s stated rationale for action has been the same: We tried working with Congress but it didn’t pan out—so we did what we had to do. This is not only admission that the president has subverted the legislative branch, but a revealing insight into Mr. Obama’s view of his own importance and authority….

…read it all…

This first video is another wonderful Trey Gowdy anthem. Click his name in the “TAGS” to see other “music to your ears” speeches:

Video description: Rep. Gowdy’s floor speech in favor of H.R. 4138 the ENFORCE the Law Act.

And this is a recent Jonathan Turley statement before Congress (do the same, check out Turley in the “TAGS”):

Video description:

Via The Blaze ~ I did turn the volume up from the original file… so prep your volume control.

A constitutional law expert warned Congress during a hearing Wednesday that America has reached a “constitutional tipping point” under the watch of President Barack Obama.

Jonathan Turley, professor of public interest law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said the legislative branch of the U.S. government is in danger of becoming irrelevant in the face of continued executive overreach.

“My view [is] that the president, has in fact, exceeded his authority in a way that is creating a destabilizing influence in a three branch system,” Turley said. “I want to emphasize, of course, this problem didn’t begin with President Obama, I was critical of his predecessor President Bush as well, but the rate at which executive power has been concentrated in our system is accelerating. And frankly, I am very alarmed by the implications of that aggregation of power.”

“What also alarms me, however, is that the two other branches appear not just simply passive, but inert in the face of this concentration of authority,” he added….