Internet hoaxes aside, there have been several comparisons in recent months between Julius Caesar and President Bush. The comparisons especially hit home when our beloved president used the pre-game of the baseball playoffs on Oct. 7, our version of the Roman coliseums, to announce and garner public support for his plans to attack Iraq. “And this is why our Republic is in danger, why we must expand our military to provide a defendable Empire. Now go back to your peanuts and your lions and leave international policy to me,” are not words President Bush said, but he might as well have.
See, here’s the thing: though we’ve been told in abundance how and “why” we are to invade Iraq, we have never been told anything about our exit strategy from Iraq. We are to topple the sovereign leader of a country (99.96 percent of “invited” Iraqi voters in 1995 decided to let Hussein remain in power) and replace him with what? We have no convenient Northern Alliance this time (who, as of yet, have done Jack Squat in Afghanistan) to take over the government, and we obviously have no respect for the current Iraqi “republic.” While we’ve been told in abundance how our military must expand (in numbers, in technology, and, most importantly, in dollars), we have been told nothing about an equivalent to a Marshall Plan. The only logical conclusion we can make at this point is that, should Iraq be invaded, Americans will have a presence there for a long, long time. A military presence.
We already have a grand tradition of such things. Even in the days of the Marshall plan, where we used economics to transform our enemies into our friends, we left remnants of our military might behind, most notably Okinawa, Japan and Rammstein, Germany. Now these bases protect our allies, or rather, our interests, abroad.
Since Sept. 11, we have been whipped into a fervor arguing that we must patrol the world to protect ourselves. Since then, America has, through various acts including but not limited to the illegal interrogation of “POWs” from Afghanistan and our current situation with Iraq, declared the resolutions of the United Nations are not good enough for us. We are additionally stating that, as the sole surviving superpower of the Cold War, in order to safeguard ourselves, to do the U.N.’s job, we must have a global American presence. This means the establishment of abundant American bases worldwide in every region of the globe. An Empire.
Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper recently wrote a column stating his belief that everything we’ve done internationally since Sept. 11 has been a move towards solidifying a global military and economic American presence. Though many of his writings seem paranoid, they also make a fair amount of sense. In order for the U.S. to be able to “watchdog” the world, we need a fortified presence in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Europe. We are well on our way to being able to set up a base in Afghanistan to “safeguard the peace” of the transition government we put into power. The fact such a base is within striking range of potentially irresponsible, nuclear nations like India and Pakistan is pure coincidence, I’m sure. After taking out Iraq, we will inevitably need to remain behind to mop up and be sure a ruler of our own choosing (much like King Herod in Roman times) leads the nation. We will also need to remain in Iraq to be sure Iran, another “Axis of Evil” nation, does not take advantage of the situation and invade their old enemy. Add into the mix the fact we hurriedly sent advisors to Columbia to “help” with their civil war and built up American presences in Georgia and the Philippines, and we all the sudden have the prelude to global American domination.
Is what America is planning to do, particularly in Iraq, a bad thing? It depends greatly on your point of view, I suppose. Luckily, one thing Americans are good at is thinking only about themselves.