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What's It Gonna Be USA?: Empire or Republic

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posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 09:19 AM
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Our founding fathers, namely George Washington, urged us to keep from meddling in the affairs of foreign nations. He felt that doing so would only open us up to weakness and division from external sources. I believe he was dead on the money in his arguments:



A. Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct, and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt but, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it; can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

B. In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility, instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty of nations, has been the victim.

C. So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducements or justifications. It leads also to concessions, to the favorite nation, of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions, by unnecessary parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill will, and a disposition to retaliate in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld; and it gives to ambitious, corrupted or deluded citizens who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

D. As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great and powerful nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

E. Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial, else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike for another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interest.

F. The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith:--Here let us stop.

G. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence, she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collusions of her friendships or enmities.

H. Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient Government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation, when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

I. Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?

J. It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But in my opinion, it is unnecessary, and would be unwise to extend them.

K. Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments, on a respectable defense posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

L. Harmony, and a liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the Government to support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

M. In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations, but if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare by which they have been dictated.

pages.prodigy.net...


For many years now, our government's foreign policy (both Republican and Democrat) has betrayed the warnings of our founding fathers. Because of our covert meddling in the policies of nations like Iran, for example, we have had to endure insane blowback. And we never learn. Now we're actively engaged in playing Pakistan and India off each other - when nuclear exchange between the two countries is more than a possibility.

All of this global intervention and entanglement is bleeding us dry economically and morally. We have moved increasingly toward empire, at the expense of our Republic. Empire and Republican values are not compatible. Are we the people going to wake up and demand that our government abide by its original compact and promise, or will we meekly allow our nation to be driven off the cliff of greed and folly by embracing empire? I for one, have no desire to see the USA as empire. Growing up, I was proud of what I thought our nation was: a Republic. A beacon for humanity and freedom. Today's America, sadly, doesn't resemble the late great country I knew as a child, the country I served. I want that back.




Three Strikes for Empire

by Ivan Eland
Three seemingly unrelated recent events highlight the imperial nature of the Bush administration's foreign policy: U.S. F-16 sales to Pakistan, the creation of an office in the State Department to plan for future U.S military interventions in developing nations and the indefinite detention in Guantanamo prison of a German man held on the basis of secret evidence that even U.S. intelligence disputes.

Ever since his second inaugural address, President Bush and his surrogates have launched a grandiose campaign that claims to “democratize” the world. Of course, one of the glaring exceptions to the administration's rhetoric, demonstrating the cynical opportunism of the whole policy, is the U.S. coddling of the Pakistani dictator General Pervez Musharraf. During a period of increased post-9/11 U.S. support, Musharraf has actually made Pakistan less democratic. When Musharraf assumed the civilian presidency, he promised to abandon the post of chief of the Pakistani armed forces, but has failed to step down. Instead, he has tightened his grip on power in Pakistan, winked at and protected the world's worst nuclear smuggling ring emanating from his country, and conducted a half-hearted effort to round up Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaeda suspects, who are likely on Pakistani soil. The United States has decided to reward such unacceptable behavior with the sale of F-16 fighter jets.

Unfortunately, the end result in Pakistan could resemble that of the Shah's Iran in the late 1970s. Excessive weapons purchases from the United States, buttressing repressive policies by the Shah, caused sluggish economic growth and widespread anti-U.S. sentiment, leading to the overthrow of the Shah by radical Islamic forces. A similar outcome in Pakistan would be even worse, because the radical Islamists would control nuclear weapons.
www.antiwar.com...




posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 01:35 PM
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C'mon! I wanna hear from all you NeoCon defenders. Let's hear your undying support for EMPIRE. Or do you not realize that is precisely what you support? It wouldn't surprise me. So many of today's Republicans don't even understand what the GOP has always stood for. Or what our founding fathers had to say about empire.



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 02:37 PM
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C'mon, haven't you been paying attention to anything here?




posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by centurion1211
C'mon, haven't you been paying attention to anything here?


So, that's it, huh?


Figures.



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 03:22 PM
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The drift toward empire is by no means a "neo-con" phenomenon; although the first fascist/imperialist dictator living in the White House was a Republican -- Abraham Lincoln.

But certainly imperialism was alive and well in the presidency of James K. Polk. Do the phrases "manifest destiny" or "Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo" ring a bell with any of you?

The 20th century's first two (failed) imperialists were one each Republican (T. Roosevelt) and Democrat (Wilson); while the two successful imperialists (F. Roosevelt and L. Johnson) were both Democrats.

But the point is that we are moving toward empire; this is a pattern that has obtained since people started killing each other and recording the details.

As I have said on this forum ad nauseam, we (the United States) are Nova Roma, like it or not. We have our Greeks -- the Old Ones who gave us their glory and their philosophy; our spiritual parents, although they are now our clients and 10 Downing Street is an extension of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

We defeated the last of the Etruscans in 1945; and, under Scipio Reaganus, won the battle of Zama with the pulling down of the Berlin Wall.

Carthago delenda est; although we have not burned Moscow to the ground, it is no longer a threat.

And like Rome in 100 BC, we are still res publica, although increasingly venal. Pan et circenses has ruled since the days of Lyndon Johnson, and the entire concept of paterfamilias and virtuus is going, going, gone.

We are the rulers of the world now, and, I believe still have enough might to win our next major land war, probably against the PRC in fifteen years or so. But it will be a pyrrhic victory indeed, and the barbarians, already rumbling in the Teutoburgwald, will be at our gates before my son is an old man.



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 03:24 PM
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I just read my post above and realize that 90 percent of you won't have a clue as to what I am saying, and the majority of the ones who do won't care one way or another.

Sometimes I wonder why I even post here.



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 03:28 PM
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It is no longer possible to maintain an isolationist country due to current technology. Today, if we were to ignore world affairs, it would be extremely dangerous. Imagine if we ignored and stayed out of World War 2. We take out Japan when they attacked us, but left Germany alone. After Hitler took over Europe Africa and Asia, do you think he'd stop?

American culture cannot be contained, either. We started the web, we started a huge motion picture industry, and we are concerned as a people for the welfare of others (we disagree as to how to help them, but generally every American cares about those we as individuals perceive as less fortunate than we are).

It's too late to pull out. Our culture is everywhere, and that's one of the middle east's major contentions with us. Our culture is so powerful and so contagious because we are a melting pot. Everyone who comes here from another country used to contribute to the culture. As a result, people the world over have aspects of America they can relate to.

To put it into a micro-example. You're walking down a street in Chicago around 2 AM. Not the best street, not the worst, let's say your headed south on Michigan Ave around the 1300 or 1400 block south. You're minding your own business, but see some older teens hanging out just inside an alley you're going to walk past, and you hear a lot of repetition of the word "#", but again, you're minding your own business and not paying attention to what they're saying. Now, do you walk past this group apprehensive of them, paying attention to what they're doing, or do you completely ignore them, pretend like they're not there, and just assume they'll respect your personal rights? What if they start coming towards you, walking right behind you, swearing at you and telling you to stop and give them your money. Do you still ignore them, or do you do something?

If we take on an isolationist mentality, then we can have no allies, either. Right now, if we're allies with Japan and South Korea, we have to deal with North Korea. If we dump them and tell them they're on their own, we can stop caring about North Korea...Until they get intercontinental ballistic missiles. By that time. as well, it's too late. You have to deal with a nuclear threat. If we had gotten involved before they became a true threat, it may not have been an issue.

I will say, I didn't read the quotes since I am at work and am rather busy. This response took over a half hour to write because I kept switching back to it. I'll read through your extensive quotes either later tonight or sometime next week (if I remember) and address those as I see fit given the opportunity. In the mean time, I'll go back to doing my neo-con thing of thinking of ways to humiliate Michael Moore



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 03:41 PM
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just read my post above and realize that 90 percent of you won't have a clue as to what I am saying, and the majority of the ones who do won't care one way or another.


Nah...

Just would have been easier to say the US is the new Rome. And one only has to look at how Rome began as a democracy but quickly shifted to an Empire, as it's power and influence grew...and it's simply a repeat of the cycle.

At least that's the easy way to say it...


[edit on 29-3-2005 by Gazrok]



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 03:44 PM
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Wait, and what about all the other political parties?

The GOP is not the party that is doing this.

Our liberal biased media would have you believe that the Dem's are the anti-GOP. In reality, they are too weakening this nation - by accepting all that arrive here, they weaken our tight-knit structure.

What America really needs to do is go back to the way it was, back in the day. Too bad we can't do that, because we have already been infiltrated by far too many outsiders. The day is approaching when the U.S. will fall.

-wD



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 03:48 PM
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i dont think our nation is neither an empire or repbublic but rather, as its always been, a democracy. But that is not to say that it couldnt be a republic and an empire or a democracy and an empire. An empire and a republic are not in the same category, so its like saying, "whats it gonna be son, do you wanna walk to school, or take your lunch?"



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
The drift toward empire is by no means a "neo-con" phenomenon;

-snip-

and the barbarians, already rumbling in the Teutoburgwald, will be at our gates before my son is an old man.


BINGO!


Very well said.

No need to dumb it down, better to educate and force some to actually look something up.

So is Bush Caligula or Nero?

.



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok


just read my post above and realize that 90 percent of you won't have a clue as to what I am saying, and the majority of the ones who do won't care one way or another.


Nah...

Just would have been easier to say the US is the new Rome. And one only has to look at how Rome began as a democracy but quickly shifted to an Empire, as it's power and influence grew...and it's simply a repeat of the cycle.

At least that's the easy way to say it...


[edit on 29-3-2005 by Gazrok]


If you don't learn your history you are doomed to repeat it.

and thats what we are doing, wishing our founding fathers were still alive today... they would do something about it.



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 08:13 PM
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"So is Bush Caligula or Nero? "

I would say Lucius Cornelius Sulla; but then, I didn't vote for him.



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok Rome began as a democracy but quickly shifted to an Empire


it was a monarchy then a republic then an empire...



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 09:55 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
I just read my post above and realize that 90 percent of you won't have a clue as to what I am saying, and the majority of the ones who do won't care one way or another.

Sometimes I wonder why I even post here.


No, no, no that was brilliant, OtS!
Just brilliant assessment of Roma America.


Great post!



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
"So is Bush Caligula or Nero? "

I would say Lucius Cornelius Sulla; but then, I didn't vote for him.


Actually, I would compare Bush, somewhat, to Titus Flavius Domitianus, historically known as the Roman Imperator, Domitian.



posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 10:09 PM
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Originally posted by EastCoastKid
C'mon! I wanna hear from all you NeoCon defenders. Let's hear your undying support for EMPIRE. Or do you not realize that is precisely what you support? It wouldn't surprise me. So many of today's Republicans don't even understand what the GOP has always stood for. Or what our founding fathers had to say about empire.


You don't really know what the GOP is all about. Supposedly if the Democrats have the controls of the White House, the Congress and almost the Supreme Court, I can guarantee the wealthy and the powerful will have the Democrats in their pockets, implement favorable laws and keep the Republican minority to distract the public with rhetoric talks and partisan infotainment.

This is not just the neo-cons doing the dirty deeds, it's the NWO Elite controlling and pulling the strings on everyone.



posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 10:14 AM
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namehere...I was generalizing, yes Rome went through many stages, but I was mostly commenting on the parallel of it with the US, and thus meant the start of it as a Republic...




dont think our nation is neither an empire or repbublic but rather, as its always been, a democracy. But that is not to say that it couldnt be a republic and an empire or a democracy and an empire. An empire and a republic are not in the same category, so its like saying, "whats it gonna be son, do you wanna walk to school, or take your lunch?"


By our own declarations, we're a Republic...

"And to the Republic, for which it stands...One nation..." etc. etc.



posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 11:10 AM
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If the US wanted an empire it would already have it. Any country that has been defended or conquered by American forces would become American provinces and then eventually states. This has not happened. Any country if it had the ability would reach out across the world to defend its interests, as the US does. US territorial expansionism died a long time ago, and it was extremely modest in any case.



posted on Mar, 30 2005 @ 04:26 PM
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Alphahumana says:

"If the US wanted an empire it would already have it. Any country that has been defended or conquered by American forces would become American provinces and then eventually states. This has not happened. Any country if it had the ability would reach out across the world to defend its interests, as the US does. US territorial expansionism died a long time ago, and it was extremely modest in any case."

Not necessarily. There is economic and cultural imperialism. If America invades and/or destabilizes other countries with the goal of making their government more amenable to our interests, that, in my book, is imperalism as much as the more overt kind which ended in 1898 at the end of the Spanish-American War.



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