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Arrogant World Powers All End the Same Way

By: Large Martini

Date Posted: 2000-09-22

There were two interesting letters recently, one from JR, who wrote the “US Imperialists” letter in the September 14 issue in reply to Lynne Z of Kadena’s “Slanted View of History” letter in the previous issue. JR was outraged that Lynne Z could regard his “beloved country” as a double dealing imperialist power in its takeover of the Philippines. Lynne Z’s view of Armed Forces Network history reports was they were little more than lies, serving propaganda needs first. Who is right in this dispute I could not say, having no expert knowledge on this issue.

Lynne Z’s comment about the Armed Forces Network’s report on the Boxer rebellion in China is correct. The Western powers at the beginning of this century, including the US, coming late to the imperial game, were anything but benign. Their control of trade and Customs regulations in Peking were set up entirely for their own benefit, not the local population. The rebellion to oust the “foreign devils” had an obvious parallel to the birth of the United States and its own anti-colonial struggle. But it seems when countries rise to the status of Great Power, as the US was trying to do 100 years ago, (and has now succeeded beyond its wildest dreams) they start taking on the characteristics they were previously prepared to fight to the death against. By the time the US embarked on its Vietnam misadventure 60 years later, we had all the arrogance of a World Power our Founding Fathers were supposedly diametrically opposed to. Have we learned anything from history? I doubt it. Only one country is today trying to be the world’s policeman, despite no real enthusiasm or understanding of this role among most of our people. Only time will tell whether our “empire” ends any differently than did those of Greece, Rome, the Moors, the Ottoman Turks, the Portuguese, Spanish, Austro-Hungarians, French, Dutch, British and Russians.

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