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21 November 2004

An Interesting read...

The Empire Has No Clothes: US Foreign Policy Exposed by Ivan Eland

Now that George W. Bush has been re-elected president of the United States, neo-conservatives and war hawks, both pundits and policymakers, will likely feel vindicated and even emboldened to continue on their course of enlarging the American empire, all under the rubric of fighting the global "war on terror." As one of the new political slogans puts it, "four more years, four more wars." But, as it turns out, wanting a US empire and benefiting from one are markedly different things. This is something not well appreciated in many of the recent books analyzing the American empire. Most of them assume, regardless of the overall morality of the undertaking, that the US has only to snap its militarized fingers and the deed is done, rather like the slogan "resistance is futile" of the Borg in the Star Trek television series, leaving the rest for historians to debate. Of course, in reality that never happens. All empires, from the Roman to the British, come to an end sooner or later. But the costs are considerable, both to the lands and people absorbed, as well as economically, socially and politically to the imperial country itself. But in a sound-bite age, few people have the time or inclination to ponder the sweep of history. What is needed then is a primer on the subject, a sort of "Empire for Dummies," laying out in detail the follies of America's current course of action, which is taking it steadily further away from its historical roots as a republic.

Fortunately, we have just such a work in The Empire Has No Clothes. It is a worthy tome written by Ivan Eland, who is senior fellow and director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California.


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