AMERICA'S BID FOR EMPIRE
Having delegated its legislative and war making powers to the wide discretion of federal judges and the president, Congress has kept Americans uninformed about the objectives and hard choices necessary for meeting the terrorist threat. The president's decision to invade Iraq, unsupported by evidence of a mortal threat and without a substantive debate in Congress, offers no tangible payoffs of peace, economic development, and the defeat of terrorism.
In the mid 20th century, WWII was a defining war in the history of mankind. The combined forces of capitalism and communism united to defeat Japan and the Axis powers only to find themselves becoming opponents after that war ended. But, by the end of the 20th century, capitalism had prevailed over communism and the globalization of capitalism began in earnest. During this period, a number of small wars were fought with opponents supplying the funds and arms to their proxy allies who did the actual fighting. It was only in Korea and Vietnam where American troops fought in wars, as they did later against new opponents in Afghanistan and twice in Iraq. With the defeat of communism, the global environment became more conducive to capitalist commerce and exploitation of the world's resources. Huge capitalist corporations scoured the world for cheap labor, materials and resources and, in a worldwide division of labor, production tasks were parsed from developed to developing countries. The United States stood alone among its competitors, namely, the European Union (EU), Japan and the Southwest Asian countries. It was inevitable, therefore, that America's worldwide economic interests be accompanied by its military might.
America's penetration of the world's markets enabled its citizens to become the world's mass consumers and tourists. The world's resources were channeled to America and, at home and abroad, Americans were rich and free to enjoy their unprecedented material cornucopia and comforts. They flocked abroad bringing their culture, trade and technology, and their dollars bought materials, products and services, and they established industries and incomes for their worldwide trade partners. However, a new reality has developed between America's expanding commercial empire and the peaceful desires of Americans to enjoy their new wealth. Americans now find that empire has both internal and external consequences.
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