Against Empire

I was going to sit down and write a rather lengthy piece debunking this whole idea of an imperial American, and now I’ve found that
Steven Den Beste has already done it

The crux of many anti-war arguments made by people like Atrios and Demosthenes is that the US really wants to take over Iraq for its oil and turn it into a US colony. This argument stems from a worldview that says that the United States is acting strictly out a desire to control Iraqi oil and is willing to kill thousands to get it.

It’s a worldview stems from a fundamental belief that the Bush Administration is an evil group of old men who want to rape the nation of Iraq, kill its people, and turn it into a slave state for Big Oil.

It’s a worldview that ignores all the other more logical and simple explanation in favor of some grandiose conspiracy theory. It’s a worldview that is motivated by ignorance, partisan hatred, and bitterness. It’s a worldview that seems to be brought out by the left as a nice straw man to beat senseless again and again while the real issues are ignored by those who want to cast themselves as the noble and principled opposition.

I’m not saying that everyone must be in ideological lockstep with the President or must agree on the necessity of a war in Iraq or they’re anti-American. Dissent is perfectly fine, but it has to be dissent based on the facts, not on some ideological flight of fancy. The argument that America wants to be the next Rome is not only dumb, but it makes those who use it lose their credibility. It’s an argument best reserved for hacks like Ted Rall or Noam Chomsky.

There are issues about this war worth debating, and it would be nice for more people to debate them rather than trying to tilt and partisan windmills.

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