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Archive for June 1st, 2006

A couple of weeks back I suggested, in light of some comments about "Byzanto-fascists" and "Islamo-fascists"–comments that initiated a running joke here that has not yet played itself out–that we refrain from calling anyone anything they would not own up to.
Maclin’s clever response was that this was unfair, as I have described Bush and Co. as imperialists, and surely they would deny this.

I replied that while that may be so, nevertheless "imperialist" is a sober description of their policies, not an all purpose Bad Word like "fascist".

But not so fast.

While it is true that President Bush has gone so far as to actually deny that the United States had "ambitions of Empire"–in his 2004 State of the Union Address–his administration is full of people who have specifically defined their agenda as the establishment of a Pax Americana. This, of course, is an evocation of the Pax Romana, the idea that the overwhelming military might of the Roman Empire was responsible for the two hundred year period of relative stability within that Empire.
The Project for the New American Century’s seminal statement, 2000’s Rebuilding America’s Defenses use the terms Pax Americana and "the American Peace" nineteen times, and similar phrases several times more.

PNAC, of course, was the strategic hothouse which hatched the policies of the Bush Administration, and included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Eliot Cohen, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, William Kristol, and George Weigal among its members.

That those who came to power with George W. Bush, and their friends, the men who steered the course of American foreign policy in the direction mapped ahead of time by PNAC, whose stated goal was American hegemony and interference in the affairs of other sovereign nations–including regime change and preventive war–and who deliberately invoked Imperial Rome in their rhetoric can say with a straight face that they are not–gasp!–imperialists is only the latest evidence of their incredible hubris.

Daniel Nichols

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