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TODAY IRAQ, TOMORROW THE WORLD

Laurence M. Vance
Submitted by Charleston Voice
Dec. 5, 2005

"We don’t seek empires. We’re not imperialistic."
~ Donald Rumsfeld (2003)

"If we want Iraq to avoid becoming a Somalia on steroids, we’d better get used to U.S. troops being deployed there for years, possibly decades, to come. If that raises hackles about American imperialism, so be it. We’re going to be called an empire whatever we do. We might as well be a successful empire."
~ Max Boot (2003)

"We’re an empire now."
~ a senior adviser to President Bush (2004)

The number in Germany is 69,395. The number in Japan is 35,307. The number in Korea is 32,744. The number in Italy is 12,258. The number in the United Kingdom is 11,093.

I am not speaking of the number of car accidents last year in Germany, Japan, Korea, Italy, or the United Kingdom. And neither am I speaking of the number of poisonings, suicides, or armed robberies in any of these countries.

No, I am speaking of something far more lethal: the continued presence of U.S. troops.

According to the latest edition of the "Active Duty Military Personnel Strengths by Regional Area and by Country," published by the Defense Department’s Directorate for Information Operations and Reports (DIOR), the U.S. has troops in 142 countries. This is up from the figure of 136 countries that the government was reporting the last time I addressed the subject of the number of countries under the shadow of the U.S. Global Empire. Additions to the list are Armenia, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Iran, Malawi, Moldova, Slovak Republic, and Sudan. Subtractions are Eritrea and North Korea. Only 49 countries to go and the United States will have hegemony over the whole world. But it is worse than it appears. Counting the U.S. troops in territories, the officially reported number of countries or territories that the United States has troops in is now 158. It is not without cause that the twentieth century’s greatest proponent of liberty, and the greatest opponent of the state, Murray Rothbard (1926–1995), said that "empirically, taking the twentieth century as a whole, the single most warlike, most interventionist, most imperialist government has been the United States."


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