by Jacob G. Hornberger
If you want to get a sense of why foreigners hate the U.S. Empire for its arrogance, elitism, and pomposity, just take a look at the following two editorials by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Yes, I know that these two newspapers are not owned and operated by the U.S. government but the mindset expressed by the editorial writers easily mirrors that of Empire officials. The two editorials address China and, specifically, the upcoming trip to Washington, D.C., by China’s president, Hu Jintao.
According to the Times, one of the reasons that Jintao is coming to the United States is to seek respect. The Times says that “what will earn China respect as a major power is if it behaves responsibly.” The thought is also expressed by the Journal: “A China that understands that to be treated as an equal it must behave like one is a country whose progress will not be obstructed.”
This is the idea: The world is ruled and presided over by a grand, glorious, and exceptional Big Kingdom, one that is committed to spreading freedom and democracy around the world, through force of arms if necessary — e.g., coups, assassinations, kidnapping, torture, invasions, embargoes, sanctions, foreign aid, and occupations.
All other kingdoms are small kingdoms that are subordinate to the Big Kingdom. When the kings who rule over the small kingdoms begin rising in prosperity and power, it is incumbent on them to travel to the Big Kingdom seeking respect and requesting permission to continue rising in stature and influence. The respect and permission will be granted only if the small kingdom acknowledges its subservience and obedience to the Big Kingdom.
Needless to say, the Big Kingdom can do no wrong. It’s only the small kingdoms that can do wrong, especially by operating independently of the Big Kingdom. That sort of conduct subjects the small kingdom to harsh treatment. If the small kingdom has a weak military, it will be disciplined with such things as coups, assassinations, sanctions, embargoes, invasions, occupations, kidnapping, and torture. If, on the other hand, the small kingdom has a strong military, the penalty will be the denial of respect to the small kingdom.
The Times says that President Obama needs to raise the issue of human rights with China. No doubt that China’s communist regime is one of the most tyrannical regimes on the planet. But what would the Times say if Jintao were to ask Obama about the kidnapping, torture, indefinite detentions, denial of due process, denial of trial by jury, and denial of speedy trial for prisoners at Gitmo, Bagram, and secret U.S. prisons around the world, including in former Soviet-bloc countries? What if he were to ask Obama about the U.S. military’s treatment of Afghans and Iraqis during the past 10 years of brutal military occupation? What if he were to ask why Obama refuses to extradite convicted CIA felons to Italy, where they have been convicted of kidnaping and conspiracy to torture? What if Jintao were to ask Obama why he refuses to extradite CIA operative Jose Posada Carriles to Venezuela to face charges relating to the terrorist bombing of a Cuban airliner?
I’ll tell you how the Times and Journal would respond. They’d both go ballistic, screaming that no small kingdom within the realm has the right to speak to the Big Kingdom in such a manner. They both would say, “Punish China for such disrespectful and insubordinate conduct. Deny China the respect it seeks.”
According the Times, “Mr. Obama has made clear that he won’t stand by while China tries to bully its neighbors.”
While on the subject of bullying neighbors, did the Times mention the 50-year-old U.S. embargo against Cuba? Well, of course not. You see, that’s not bullying. That’s punishing the people of a small kingdom whose ruler does not show sufficient deference to the Big Kingdom. Thus, when Fidel Castro refused to kneel before the officials of the Big Kingdom and kiss their rings, he was denied respect and his country was placed under a cruel and brutal embargo — unlike, say, communist Vietnam or communist China, which are not suffering embargoes and whose rulers apparently have shown the necessary deference to the Big Kingdom.
Or consider what happened to the small kingdom of Yemen, when it went independent on the eve of the Iraq War by declining to vote to authorize President Bush’s war on the small kingdom of Iraq arising from the insubordinate actions of Saddam Hussein, who previously had been in the good graces of the Big Kingdom. As a result of its insubordination, Yemen lost $70 million in foreign aid from the Big Kingdom. As the U.S. ambassador to Yemen told Yemeni officials at the time, “That will be the most expensive vote you would ever cast.”
Hey, that’s not bullying! That’s simply disciplining small kingdoms who fail to do what they’re told.
The Times also takes China to task for “its recent challenge to American naval supremacy in the western Pacific.” Did you catch that? Not “in the Gulf of Mexico” and not “in waters near the U.S. coastlines.” Since the job of the Big Kingdom is to monitor, supervise, and police the world, all of the small kingdoms are expected to maintain a limited and deferential military buildup in their respective areas. If the subordinate kingdoms begin building up their militaries without permission of the Big Kingdom, that is a sure sign that they are getting uppity, assertive, and aggressive and, therefore, need to be put in their place, perhaps even by denying them respect.
Of course, all this insubordination on the part of China means that that the budget for the Pentagon and the CIA must continue to soar forever. What better excuse for ever-increasing military budgets than insubordination by the small kingdoms within the realm?
No wonder foreigners despise the U.S. Empire. No wonder our American ancestors despised the British Empire and instituted a republic rather than an empire. As people in different parts of the world begin challenging the authoritarian regimes under which they have been born and raised, it’s time for modern-day Americans to begin challenging the paradigm of empire and militarism under we have been born and raised in favor of restoring a limited-government, constitutional republic to our land.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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