Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The article below articulates, not without a certain penash, the rise of American imperialism -- both under Clinton through the auspices of international coalitions and organizations, and under Bush through sheer might and force of will. What strikes me about american imperialism are nuances like theworldvotes.org. Citizens of other nations seem to be asserting pretty clearly that our government, our politics matter deeply to them. That realization is, for many I expect, deeply frustrating since they have no input whatsoever. As I understand it, the philosophical dispute underlying the American Revolution was Parliament's authority to dictate law to all of the British Empire, while only drawing its members from the English districts. Until 9-11 transformed American foreign policy, we were using the local federal governments to channel US will to those nations' policies (or so I interpret the article below). Our pre-emptive actions in Iraq shook that balance. Obviously, the old approach of using the local government as a more direct means of representation and participation for the local residents could never work with a dictatorship, but in the process we disengaged from the UN and our coalition building and have threatened the stability of international relations. The New Yorker: The Critics: A Critic At Large

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