by Jacob G. Hornberger
Imperialism sure is complicated
Consider, for example, Libya. Imperialists tell us that the U.S Empire’s military machine hammered Libya with missiles and bombs in order to free the Libyan people from tyranny. The idea was that the Empire was so concerned about the freedom and well-being of the Libyan people that it simply could not stand by and permit them to be oppressed by Libya’s long-time brutal dictator Muammar Gaddafi any longer.
Yet, not too long ago the Empire entered into a torture partnership with Gaddafi, one by which the brutal dictator’s goons tortured people on behalf of the Empire.
How did the Empire select Gaddafi to do this ugly task? We don’t know because the Empire doesn’t disclose those types of things, but we can assume that it was because Gaddafi’s goons were renowned for being good torturers. And where would the torture goons have acquired their skills at torturing people? By torturing the Libyan people! Yes, the very same people that the Empire later became concerned about helping with their bombs and missiles.
Like I say, imperialism sure is complicated.
Consider Vietnam. People there have been suffering under communist dictatorship for decades. Yet, I don’t see the Empire invading and occupying Vietnam in order to free the Vietnamese people from communist tyranny. What gives? Is this an anti-Asian thing? Why are Muslims entitled to be freed from tyranny by U.S. missiles, bombs, invasions, and occupations, but not Asians?
In fact, it seems to me that the Empire is perfectly willing to coexist with communist Vietnam and, well, for that matter, communist China, which the Empire isn’t invading or occupying either. In fact, correct me if I’m wrong but the Empire even permits Americans to trade with both of these communist countries, to travel there, and spend money there.
What’s the story with that? After all, the Empire doesn’t permit Americans to trade with communist Cuba or to travel there or spend money there. If Americans do any of those things, the Empire prosecutes them as criminals and does its best to fine them or send them to jail or both. Why is that? Apparently because communism is bad and dangerous and the Empire doesn’t want Americans to be exposed to it — well, apparently not Vietnam or Chinese communism but certainly Cuban communism.
Hmm. Americans have permission to travel to and trade with communist China and communist Vietnam but are severely punished by the Empire if they do the same with Cuba.
Like I say, complicated!
The situation with communist China is interesting. That’s the regime that helped North Vietnam kill almost 60,000 American troops during the Vietnam War. It’s now the Empire’s premier foreign creditor. That’s right — the Empire owes lots of money to communist China!
How did that happen? When the Empire needed the money to invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, it didn’t want to upset Americans by raising taxes, and so it approached the Chinese communists and asked them to lend the Empire the money, which it did. That’s why the Empire is now playing nice with the Chinese communists. Too bad Cuba’s Fidel Castro didn’t offer to lend the Empire any money. The embargo against Cuba might have been lifted by now.
Meanwhile, the Empire tells us that it’s necessary to continue maintaining an extensive military presence in Asia because of the potential threat that communist China supposedly poses to U.S. “interests.” That’s an odd way of treating one’s creditor, it seems to me. Maybe the Empire is concerned that China might attack the Empire for defaulting on its loan payments, which the Empire now intends to do by paying its creditors with cheapened, debased, Federal Reserve newly printed dollars.
Speaking of embargoes, don’t forget the 11-year embargo against Iraq, which contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. Yes, that’s the same Iraq that the Empire invaded supposedly to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people — well, after those infamous WMDs that the Empire had delivered to Saddam Hussein in the 1980s to help him kill Iranians failed to materialize.
You’ll recall that Iran was a friend of the Empire after the Empire destroyed Iran’s democratic system by ousting Iran’s prime minister from power in 1953 and installing the Shah of Iran as an unelected dictator and then supporting his dictatorship and oppression of the Iranian people for the next 25 years. But today, Iran is no longer a friend of the Empire because the Iranian people ousted the Shah in their revolution against the Shah’s U.S.-supported tyranny in 1979.
Unfortunately, the Empire didn’t bring freedom and democracy to those hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children who were killed by the sanctions because they were dead by the time the Empire invaded Iraq in 2003. And yes, it’s also true that the Empire didn’t bring freedom and democracy to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were killed during the Empire’s invasion and occupation because they’re dead too. The Empire considered those deaths to be an adequate price to pay for bringing regime change to Iraq.
After all, the embargo and the invasion and occupation of Iraq were always for the benefit of the Iraqi people. Oddly, however, to this day the Empire is still going after Americans who brought medicines to the Iraqi people in violation of the 11-year embargo against Iraq. Go figure. Like I say, imperialism is complicated.
Recently, it was reported that Syria has been kidnapping Syrian opponents of the regime residing in Lebanon. The Empire opposes the Syrian dictatorship and wants it ousted. Yet, like with Gaddafi, not so long ago the Empire entered into a torture partnership with Syria’s dictatorship to torture people on its behalf. Oddly, while the Empire considers the Syrian kidnappings to be bad, the Empire itself kidnapped a guy in Italy and took him to Egypt’s brutal dictatorship for torture, pursuant to another torture partnership with a brutal dictatorship, kidnappings that the Empire considered good, despite the fact that an Italian court convicted the Empire kidnappers of felony offenses.
Maybe the Empire ought to offer an online course called Imperialism 101 because the whole thing sure seems complicated to me.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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