Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 1, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

IMPERIAL AMERICA?....Pat Buchanan says:

Though Iraq does not threaten us, has not attacked us, cannot defeat us, and does not want war with us, the United States is about to invade and occupy that country. If we do, it will be the first purely imperial war in our history, a war launched to reshape the domestic politics and foreign policy of another nation to conform to our own.

What is he talking about? Vietnam did not attack us. Chile did not attack us. Grenada did not attack us. And neither did Nicaragua, Panama, or Kosovo.

Japan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the past century to have attacked us on our soil. The rest of them either attacked people we were friendly with or simply had the wrong ideology for our taste.

The United States has a long history of fighting people who pose only a distant threat or who simply annoy us. On the other hand, we also have a long history of sticking around for a few years and then pulling out, hardly the mark of an empire builder.

So, first imperial war? Hardly. It's neither the first nor, probably, imperial. On the other hand, it is inarguably a war. I guess one out of three isn't bad if you're Pat Buchanan....

Kevin Drum 5:21 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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