One Sick Puppy

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 03 Apr 2003 13:00:00 GMT
I've been working mornings at home the past couple of days and crashing in the afternoons. Today, I'm crashing in the morning and, hopefully, working a little in the afternoon. Cough has dried up a little, so, hopefully, it's on the way out. Groan...

Jonathan Freedland at The Guardian - Emperor George - a hearty "Seig heil!" to the first Amerikan emperor. [smith2004]

The US was, after all, a country founded in a rebellion against imperialism. Born in a war against a hated colonial oppressor, in the form of George III, it still sees itself as the instinctive friend of all who struggle to kick out a foreign occupier - and the last nation on earth to play the role of outside ruler.

Not for it the Greek, Roman or British path. For most of the last century, the US steered well clear of the institutions of formal empire (the Philipines was a lamentable exception). Responsibility was thrust upon it after 1945 in Germany and Japan. But as a matter of deliberate intent, America sought neither viceroys ruling over faraway lands nor a world map coloured with the stars and stripes. Influence, yes; puppets and proxies, yes. But formal imperial rule, never.

Until now. George Bush has cast off the restraint which held back America's 42 previous presidents - including his father. Now he is seeking, as an unashamed objective, to get into the empire business, aiming to rule a post-Saddam Iraq directly through an American governor-general, the retired soldier Jay Garner. As the Guardian reported yesterday, Washington's plan for Baghdad consists of 23 ministries - each one to be headed by an American. This is a form of foreign rule so direct we have not seen its like since the last days of the British empire. It represents a break with everything America has long believed in.

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