(65) SE10: Imperialism, Independence, and Iran

Since today is Independence Day in the United States, I thought it would be a good time to look at how we have gained and maintained our independence. We take a look at some very hard truths about the United States, and the human condition expressed in it, as it is in all empires throughout history.

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George Cannon, predecessor of the Truman Doctrine, in a memo (1948): https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Memo_PPS23_by_George_Kennan
"Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction."

From Cornel West: 
"The ugly events of 9/11 should have been an opportunity for national
self-scrutiny. In the wake of the shock and horror of those attacks, many
asked the question, why do they hate us? But the country failed to engage
in a serious, sustained, deeply probing examination of the possible
answers to that question. Instead, the leaders of the Bush administration
encouraged us to adopt the simplistic and aggressive “with us or against
us” stance and we ran roughshod over our allies, turning a deaf ear to any
criticisms of the course of action the Bush leadership had determined to
take. We have been unwilling—both at this critical juncture and
throughout our history—to turn a sufficiently critical eye on our own
behavior in the world. We have often behaved in an overbearing, imperial,
hypocritical manner as we have attained more and more power as a
hegemon.

Our hypocritical, bullying behavior in regard to so many of the regions
of the world is surely not the only reason for the 9/11 attacks—and it
certainly doesn’t justify those horribly callous, violent terrorist acts—but
we have failed to even consider deeply as a culture the role our imperialist
behavior has played in the contempt we have inspired in so much of the
world."

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