Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Imperial President

"The president’s parents were supporters, not opponents, of American hegemony," reminds Reason's Thaddeus Russell — Empire of the Son. To those who were paying attention, this is nothing new:
    Many of the candidate’s most loyal supporters were veterans of the movements against U.S. interventions in Southeast Asia and Central America, but Obama himself flatly asserted that the United States “has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known” and therefore “must lead the world, by deed and example.” Before audiences who somehow saw him as a peace candidate, he lauded Franklin Roosevelt for building “the most formidable military the world has ever seen” and promised to continue the tradition. As lifelong peaceniks plastered his face on their cars and homes and made their children march in parades for him, the candidate made it clear, in speeches, articles, and the 2008 Democratic National Platform, that if elected he would seek to enlarge the Army and Marine Corps, increase military spending, and escalate the war in Afghanistan.

    Similarly, 10 months after taking office, Obama used the Nobel Peace Prize to declare war on potentially most of the world. In his October 2009 acceptance speech, the president pledged to go “beyond self-defense”—with armed intervention when necessary—anywhere “the inherent rights and dignity of every individual” are denied. Moreover, he ominously asserted that economic development “rarely takes root without security” and that “military leaders in my own country” believe that “our common security hangs in the balance” so long as climate change is not swiftly and forcefully addressed. Seldom has a political leader delivered such a strident and comprehensive call for American hegemony.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

The bounds of empire know no limits except those imposed by reality. Once one goes down the road of imperial glory, the thing takes on a life of its own, and ensnares the unlikeliest of folks in its net. That Obama is a defender of the empire is not striking -- he is essentially a Wilsonian radical, and it was Wilson who sought to put America on the road both to permanent war and permanent empire.

September 27, 2011 at 10:29 PM  

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