Tuesday, September 12, 2006

On empire

OK, now that I'm back from my day job having duly participated in an aforementioned ritual of national self-pity, allow me to earn back karma points with some recommended reading.

Bill Bonner shares some 9/11 reflections on empire in the Daily Reckoning, winding up to this conclusion:

And so, today, while other publications may carp and complain about the incompetence and stupidity of the president and his neo-con advisors, we do not join in, for we believe that the U.S. Empire needs to be taken down a notch and that our rulers have merely found a novel way to do it, turning a rag-tag bunch of terrorists into a world-beating brand...and the rest of the world into anti-Americans.

I truly aspire to Bonner's Zen-like attitude; no outrage committed by the Empire seems to rattle him. But for those of us who still mourn the passing of the Republic, there's more good reading in a piece by Ira Chernus (with introduction by Tom Engelhardt). Chernus comes to a rather similar conclusion as Bonner, but from a different direction, all the while noting that America's imperial decline was well underway by the time Team Bush arrived on the scene:

Their unilateralism and militarism accelerated to near warp speed the decline of U.S. power and influence around the world. Every military blow or threatened blow only multiplied American enemies; every shock-and-awe action only created more opposition, even from increasingly standoffish allies. In the years to come, for an economically weakened "last superpower," there will be more and more occasions, on more and more fronts, when the U.S. will meet its match and have to back down. None of these will spell doom for us. But in context of the national insecurity state, they're likely to be framed as apocalyptic defeats, harbingers of the end time itself, and, above all, good reason to fight back blindly with all our might.

Seldom is one article posted/linked at Lew Rockwell, Antiwar, and the Future of Freedom Foundation's daily email on the same day. Good stuff.


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