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An American Empire? Mississippi Black Codes, Eugene Debs Speech, Woodrow Wilson's Speech To Congress In April, 1917.

990 words - 4 pages

Mississippi Black Codes of November 1865, Eugene Debs' Speech delivered in Canton, Ohio in June of 1918, and his imprisonment afterward, and especially Woodrow Wilson's Speech to Congress in April, 1917 in order to take a nation into war, make me think of an empire in the making, disguised as a democracy. After about two centuries of empire building, United States is rather close to acquiring total hegemony over the entire world, or is it?The American Empire, unimpeded by any imperial rival, tells the rest of the world to go to hell, and now, by the millions, people of the world are itching to return the sentiment.It's amazing when you think about it, but in less than two slim terms, the Bush administration and its neo-conservative bunch, have pushed the nation into a New Era, one which will bedevil the US for generations. By pushing the nation into a bogus war, by essentially taking over a nation based on lies and pretexts, the country will have to wrestle with the nettling problem of Iraq for years to come. It doesn't matter who becomes president in 2008. It doesn't matter which political party controls the Congress. (As if it really matters now!).One writer, Tony Judt, in an article in *The New York Review of Books* (July 14, 2005), quotes a comment he heard from a senior "and rather conservative" Spanish diplomat, saying:"We grew up under Franco with a dream of America. That dream encouraged us to imagine and later to build a different, better Spain. All dreams must fade, but not all dreams must become nightmares. We Spanish know a little about political nightmares. What is happening to America? How do you explain Guantanamo?"In this apparent era of imperial fever, Judt has criticism for historians, the press, and politicians:"Historians and pundits who leap aboard the bandwagon of American Empire have forgotten a little too quickly that for an empire to be born, a republic has first to die. In the longer run no country can expect to behave imperially, brutally, contemptuously, illegally abroad while preserving republican values at home. For it is a mistake to suppose that institutions alone will save a republic from the abuses that make or break republics, it is men. And in the United States today, the men (and women) of the country's political class have failed.Congress appears helpless to impede the concentration of power in the executive branch; indeed, with few exceptions it has contributed actively and even enthusiastically to the process."Like drunken monkeys, Americans have lurched, from hope to hope, from illusion to illusion; to try to reconstruct one of the oldest societies on earth. Every step forward has been a tumble backwards two feet.And the best that the "loyal opposition" can muster is a misdirected call for more troops!The War in Iraq, like all wars, eventually comes home, to wreak its havoc, and render its casualties, among those who blithely and blindly sent such violence forth. It is...

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