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posted on 10 July 2019

Democratic Imperialism (Version 2)

Written by Frank Li

In a previous post (Democratic Socialism (Version II)), I updated Democratic Socialism. This post is an update for its companion article Democratic Imperialism.


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1. Imperialism: what is it?

Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Imperialism:

Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending a nation's rule over foreign nations, often by military force or by gaining political and economic control of other areas.[2] Imperialism was both normal and common worldwide throughout recorded history, the earliest examples dating from the mid-third millennium BC, diminishing only in the late 20th century. In recent times, it has been considered morally reprehensible and prohibited by international law. Therefore, the term is used in international propaganda to denounce an opponent's foreign policy.[3]

2. Democracy: what is it?

Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Democracy:

Democracy (Greek: ί dēmokratia, literally "rule by people") is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue. In a representative democracy the citizens elect representatives from among themselves. These representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature. In a constitutional democracy the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority, usually through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association.[1][2]

Here is my simple definition of a minimalist democracy: one person, one vote. With that, America became a [minimalist] democracy in 1965 (Voting Rights Act of 1965).

3. Democratic imperialism: what is it?

Since there is still no definition in Wikipedia yet, here is mine:

Democratic imperialism is imperialism practiced by a democracy explicitly for the purpose of spreading democracy, often with the implicit purpose of some perceived gain at home, such as boosting popularity for an election. While spreading democracy has been practiced by the U.S. for many years, it obviously and officially became imperialistic on March 20, 2003, when the U.S. launched the Iraq War. It has continued since then, with America's military intervention in Libya and Syria being two recent examples.

In short, democratic imperialism is [almost] uniquely American, and it started in 2003.

4. America's democratic imperialism

There have been three American Presidents since 2003:

  1. George W. Bush.
  2. Barack Obama.
  3. Donald Trump.

All of them are democratic imperialists, with some hawkish folks around them, most notably Senators John McCain and Lindsey Grahams, who had/have yet to find a war they disliked/dislike throughout their political careers. The Trump administration is labelled "JV team", because it's not yet at the varsity level, like the two previous administrations.

Let me further elaborate on each ...

4.1 Democratic imperialism under President George W. Bush

George W. Bush's Presidency was almost entirely shaped by an external event: the 9/11 attacks on America.

In response to the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush, on September 20, 2001, declared "War on Terror" (On This Day: President Bush Declares "War-on-Terror"), which I believe was a total mistake, because it initiated a perpetual, but unwinnable, war for America! On October 7, 2001, America invaded Afghanistan (War in Afghanistan) to go after Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, which I believe was absolutely correct!

Unfortunately, by the summer of 2002, it became obvious that the War in Afghanistan was not easily winnable, which could therefore have put President Bush's 2004 re-election in jeopardy. Something bigger had to be done to turn the public's attention away from Afghanistan - Iraq was chosen! That, to me (in a Sherlock Holmes style), was the real reason behind the Iraq War, timely launched on March 20, 2003!

In other words, Iraq was merely a casualty of American politics at the time, but it was billed by the Bush administration as an extension of the response to the 9/11 attacks - totally illogical and wrong! It was like attacking Canada as a response to the Pearl Harbor attack by Japan in 1941 (9/11 Attack vs. Pearl Harbor Attack)! Two facts:

  1. Iraq was not part of the 9/11 attacks on America.
  2. Saddam Hussein, the dictator in Iraq at the time, was not friendly with Osama bin Laden, and there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq before the Iraq War.

The Iraq War was a huge disaster for America (as well as for the world), as highlighted by the image below.

Three informative readings:

  1. Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War.
  2. Thomas Young, Dying Iraq War veteran, Pens 'Last Letter" to Bush, Cheney On War's 10th Anniversary.
  3. What's the Real Cost of the Iraq War? Below is an excerpt:

The U.S. is deeply in trouble. The rise of China as a competitor is inevitable, but the Iraq war has helped China catch up faster, both economically and politically. Unless the U.S. changes quickly, I believe March 20, 2003 will eventually be marked as the beginning of the end of democracy as we know it. That is the real cost of the Iraq war.

4.2 Democratic imperialism under President Obama

Unlike his predecessor George W. Bush, President Obama is not a war-monger. As a matter of fact, he ran for the President on an anti-war platform. Because of that, the world placed high hopes on him. For example, shortly after becoming the President, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2009 "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" (The Noble Peace Prize 2009).

Like his predecessor, President Obama fell into the trap of our failing political system: getting re-elected ad nauseam! As a result, he turned out to be just yet another democratic imperialist. Three examples:

  1. He withdrew all American troops from Iraq by December 2011, but re-launched the war in September 2014, after successfully winning the re-election in 2012.
  2. He escalated the war in Afghanistan in 2011, at least partially, for the sake of his re-election in 2012. For more, read: For Obama the Road to Reelection Runs through Kabul.
  3. His 2009 speech in Cairo (President Obama Speech to Muslim World in Cairo) has turned out to be a root cause behind the Arab Spring, resulting in huge chaos and misery in the Mideast, including America's involvement in two "new" wars in Libya and Syria.

For more, read: President Obama and War.

4.3 Democratic imperialism under President Trump

Like his predecessor Barack Obama, President Trump is not a war-monger.

Unlike his predecessor, President Trump chose to be surrendered by some of the worst war-mongers in America, most notably John R. Bolton, a notorious war-monger dating back to the Bush II era, and Mike Pompeo, whose passion for war should have immediately disqualified him to be the top diplomat of the nation!

Additionally, throughout the Trump Presidency so far, no U.S. Senator has seen his or her stock rising more than Lindsey Graham.

As a result, it's increasingly more likely that President Trump will become yet another huge democratic imperialist, just like his predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama, thanks to our failing political system: getting re-elected ad nauseam!

Three informative readings:

  1. North Korea Crisis: Real or Manufactured? This North Korea thing has wholly become a reality TV show (Trump Meets Kim At DMZ), with the U.S. being left with no place to go, other than retreating (In New Talks, U.S. May Settle for a Nuclear Freeze by North Korea)!
  2. What Is Really Going on in Venezuela? The U.S. has simply failed in its attempt of regime change! For more, read: 'Frustrated' Trump Sours On Venezuela Regime Change After Bolton 'Got Played'.
  3. The U.S. vs. Iran: War or No War? Below is an excerpt:

Everything possible must be done to prevent President Trump from launching a war against Iran (especially if his poll numbers go down)!

5. Discussion

Democracy is bad!

Imperialism is worse!

Democratic imperialism is the worst in today's world!

Now, why is the U.S. so [democratic] imperialistic today?

Two main reasons:

  1. Thanks to The Evil Military-Industrial Complex.
  2. The U.S. is the most warlike nation in the history of the world, as highlighted by the image below.

Is there something fundamentally wrong with America?

Yes!

Three informative readings:

  1. America: A Great Country Without A Working Government?
  2. America: An Empire Without an Emperor?
  3. Correctly Assessing Thomas Jefferson.

Bottom line: Throughout human history over the past 5,000 years, with rare exceptions (e.g. World War II), war has been used as a tool for ruling at home, with the poor fighting it for the rich - America has proven to be not exceptional, at all!

For more, read: The U.S. vs. China: A Great Experiment vs. A Great Civilization!

America, reform our failing political system, as I have suggested (American Democracy - Why is it failing & how to fix it?), or become a fiddle, second to China!

6. Closing

Today, America's democratic imperialism is the worst enemy for the world, as well as for America at home, because it's likely to be the cause of World War III, which will certainly destroy us all as a species! For more, read: Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The most imminent challenge for the world is to prevent the U.S. from launching a war against Iran!

Now, please sit tight and watch the video below.

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