Jackson Diehl has an interesting op-ed in the WaPo on US "imperialism". He raises an interesting point – the EU and other states that are balking on the war on terrorism don’t see it in the same light as we do. They seem to regard it as an attempt to extend US hegemony into the Middle East and other regions. What they, and many members of the domestic left, fail to realize is that this is a defensive war.
The greatest threat that we face is the union of terrorist groups with states possessing nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. Not even September 11 can match the potential losses in terms of lives and property that an attack with weapons of mass destruction can bring. It is that threat that truly motivates US actions in regards to terrorism, not oil, and not imperialism.