June 30, 2004 | Unknown

On Empire – something to read and ponder over

Graham and I are having something of a dispute over the word Empire. I have pointed out that I am not alone in using the term to describe current American policy. Scholars of all political hues have employed the expression. Among the most distinguished is Rashid Khalidi who is Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies and director of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. His latest book is, Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East (Beacon Press, April 2004). His talk, which everyone should read is available at http://www.international.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=12443. It was designed primarily to promote his book but it does contain a good critique of the stupidity and ignorance of current American policy from what I would term a liberal perspective.
Among the pearls in his piece are the following
“The Bush administration has marched into Iraq proclaiming the best of intentions but the appearance is different. Napoleon on invading Egypt proclaimed, “I have come to restore you your rights.” General Maude, commander of the British forces in Baghdad in 1918, declared, “Our armies do not come into your cities as conquerors but as liberators.” We should remember that the anti-British rising began in Falluja. Rumsfeld said much the same [as these predecessors] in 2003.”
‘The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap that it will be difficult to escape from with dignity and honor.” That was a comment by T. E. Lawrence in August 1920 on the previous effort to carry out regime change in Iraq. It could just as well be said today.’

Posted by Unknown at 8:46 pm | Comments (1) |

1 Comment

  1. Others have used the term Empire to describe US policies. Try reading “Sorrows of Empire” by Chalmers Johnson, an ex-CIA man who was involved with US CIA machinations behind the scenes and later called for the abolition of the CIA. H also wrote a book called “Blowback”, which documents the way CIA dirty tricks in one place can generate a backlash appearing in another place or another time.

    Comment by Geoff Muirden — July 5, 2004 @ 6:20 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.