American imperialism

This page is for quotes about American Imperialism and notions of an American Empire.

  • Let us look facts straight in the eye. World imperialism headed by its aggressive detachment, U.S. imperialism, is directing the course of its economy towards preparations for war. It is arming itself to the teeth. U.S. imperialism is rearming Bonn's Germany, Japan, and all its allies and satellites with all kinds of weapons. It has set up and perfected aggressive military organizations, it has established and continues to establish military bases all around the socialist camp. It is accumulating stocks of nuclear weapons and refuses to disarm, to stop testing nuclear weapons, and is feverishly engaged in inventing new means of mass extermination. Why is it doing all this? To go to a wedding party? No, to go to war against us, to do away with socialism and communism, to put the peoples under bondage.
  • The United States does not, and indeed no nation-state can today, form the center of an imperialist project. Imperialism is over. No nation will be world leader in the way modern European nations were.
  • The term "imperialism" is no more precise, and its overuse and recent abuse is making it nearly meaningless as an analytical concept...."imperialism" is "more often the name of the emotion that reacts to a series of events than a definition of the events themselves. Where Colonization finds analysts and analogies, imperialism must contend with crusaders for and against.
    • Professor Archibald Paton Thorton author of the book Doctorines of Imperialism as quoted in Benevolent Assimilation The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903, by Stuart Creighton Miller, (Yale University Press, 1982): page 3
  • For decades, the West tolerated large-scale suppression by certain regimes of their own ethnic minorities, such as the measures taken by the government of Saudi Arabia against the Shia population in the eastern provinces and the laws passed by the Turkish government of Saudi Arabia against the Kurds, prohibiting any activates which displayed any aspects of Kurdish national culture and forbidding the use of the Kurdish language in public. On numerous occasions the West looked the other way when large ethnic populations suffered aggression and genocide of the kind perpetuated by the Iraqi regime against the Kurds. During the Gulf War, Iraqi forces used chemical weapons against Kurdish guerillas with the full knowledge of Western diplomats who reported to their foreign ministers.
    In fact, the first proven use by Iraq of chemical weapons was reported as early as 1982, when they were used against Iranian troops on the Majnoon Islands in the southern marshes. But it was not until March 1988 that some politicians in the West decided to condemn the use of such weapons, and even then this was due to a coincidence rather than a planned policy. On 16th March 1988, only hours before Saddam Hussein gave his approval for the use of hydrogen cyanide and mustard gas against its seven thousand inhabitants, the Kurdish mountain village of Halabaja fell into Iranian hands. It was thus subsequently possible for the Iranians to fly Western television camera crews to the village and for the world to see the horrific effects of Iraqi genocide which had resulted in the deaths of over five thousand Kurds, mainly women and children.
    When Western interests were at stake, such behavior was met with only muted condemnation or was simply ignored. Maintenance of the status quo, as long as it was compatible with Western interests, was the main concern. This was the case with Iraq during the Gulf War, Israel in the occupied territories in Palestine and in Lebanon in 1978, 1981 and 1982, and Syria in Lebanon in 1976, 1988 and 1990.--Darwish, Adel and Alexander, Gregory "Unholy Babylon, The Secret History of Saddam's War" (Victor Gollenz Ltd London, 1991): page 74
  • Throughout the world, on any given day, a man, woman or child is likely to be displaced, tortured, killed or "disappeared", at the hands of governments or armed political groups. More often than not, the United States shares the blame.
  • (America) goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benign' sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of envy, and amibition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.
  • I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.
  • To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
  • Is there any man, is there any woman, let me say any child here that does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?
  • War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
    • Smedley Butler, two Congressional Medals of Honor, for capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1914, and for capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti, 1917, Distinguished Service Medal, 1919. Republican primary candidate for Senate, 1932. - I spent 33 years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents. ... I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. in 'Common Sense', Nov., 1935.
  • The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples while blundering accidentally into their oil wells.
  • In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
  • The lack of objectivity, as far as foreign nations are concerned, is notorious. From one day to another, another nation is made out to be utterly depraved and fiendish, while one's own nation stands for everything that is good and noble. Every action of the enemy is judged by one standard - every action of oneself by another. Even good deeds by the enemy are considered a sign of particular devilishness, meant to deceive us and the world, while our bad deeds are necessary and justified by our noble goals which they serve.
  • The amount of poverty and suffering required for the emergence of a Rockefeller, and the amount of depravity that the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude entails, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible to make the people in general see this.
  • It is not our affluence, or our plumbing, or our clogged freeways that grip the imagination of others. Rather, it is the values upon which our system is built. These values imply our adherence not only to liberty and individual freedom, but also to international peace, law and order, and constructive social purpose. When we depart from these values, we do so at our peril.
  • The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy. - Alex Carey, Australian social scientist, 1995

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Last modified on 26 May 2013, at 03:28