Author and professor Paul Gottfried writing at The American Conservative, amplifies the words of Yoram Hazony, that just because America doesn’t want to annex the territories of foreign nations, doesn’t mean it carries no imperial ambitions. In fact, says Gottfried, uber-neocon War Dog Max Boot has called for “an American empire,” outright. Gottfried writes (abridged):
Recently while reading a book by an Israeli scholar named Yoram Hazony with the provocative title The Virtue of Nationalism, I encountered a distinction drawn by the late Charles Krauthammer between empire building and American global democratic hegemony. Like the editors of the Weekly Standard, for which he periodically wrote, Krauthammer believed it was unfair to describe what he wanted to see done, which was having the U.S. actively spread its own form of government throughout the world, as “imperialism.” After all, Krauthammer said, he and those who think like him “do not hunger for new territory,” which makes it wrong to accuse them of “imperialism.”
Hazony responds with the obvious answer that control can be imposed on the unwilling even if the empire builders are not overtly annexing territory.
Meanwhile, other neoconservatives have given the game away by pushing their imperialist position a bit further than Krauthammer’s. Max Boot, for example, has been quite open in demanding “an American empire” built on ideological and military control even without outright annexation.
The question that occurred to me while reading Krauthammer’s proposal and Hazony’s response (which I suspect would have been more devastating had Hazony not been afraid of losing neoconservative friends and sponsors) is this one: how is this not imperialism?
It might be argued (and has been by neoconservatives many times) that the U.S. is both morally superior and less dangerous than ethnically defined societies because we advocate a “value” or “creed” that’s accessible to the entire human race.
Please tell me this is not what it obviously is: an invitation to war and empire building. The quest for hegemony always looks the same, no matter what moral labels some choose to give it.
Read more here.
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