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American Inervention - Essay Example

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American Intervention The concept of imperialism is nothing new, since it was a feature of the ancient world when civilisations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and others sought to expand their power and influence through a combination of annexation, colonisation and many kinds of alliance, often involving the paying of tribute in one form or another…
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American Inervention Essay
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American Inervention

Download file to see previous pages... Their motivation was economic, since they sought to acquire low cost basic goods to feed their expanding industrial needs, and indeed also a market for the finished goods which they produced from the raw materials. Throughout the twentieth centuries most of the colonised countries gained their independence from the European nations, making rendering this traditional and overt kind of imperialism a much hated memory of past exploitation. There are some who argue that in the absence of this controlling power of these Western European colonising forces, the United States of America has now stepped in as a new kind of imperial player in world politics. In a recent book which provocatively calls the United States a “Rogue State” a great many incidents are mentioned which show the extent to which American governments have gone to ensure that American interests are actively promoted across the globe. A list of morally and legally dubious strategies is given, including deliberate assassinations of foreign leaders, regime changes, military strikes, and economic measures designed to cripple whole countries and regions which for whatever reason oppose American plans for the world. The author, American journalist and researcher William Blum, cites 40 incidences of assassination, for example, which are recognized as having been carried out by American forces and mentions evidence that convicted murderers were even recruited for this task: “The training of the carefully-selected recruits ranged from dehumanization of the enemy, to acclimating them emotionally through special films showing people being killed and injured in violent ways” (Blum, 2000, p. 40). In its methods, then, it is clear that the United States has had occasion to use at least some of the hated tactics of colonial rule. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq bear some resemblance to imperialist interventions because they involve explicit movement of troops and some administrative personnel to these foreign lands in order to effect political changes. There is no immediate danger of attack from either of these two countries on American soil, though the possibility of single terrorist acts from smaller groups which may well shelter in these countries is always present, as was seen to terrible effect in the 9/11 atrocities. The American motivation for these interventions therefore appears to be a mix of self-interest, in securing a steady supply of oil, and global community interest, seeking to bring stability to a war-torn region and avert the risk of violence escalating between states. Blum has a good point when he lists all the mistakes and atrocities that have been committed by American administrations through the last sixty years or so. One factor which he does not give much attention to, however, is the fact that the United States has been called upon many times by other countries to lend its considerable military and economic force to situations which have reached deadlock, or which threaten the security of allied states. The intervention into the Second World War, for example, came at the request of the Allies. There is no doubt that America’s actions there cost millions of lives, including the devastation of several Japanese cities with nuclear bombs, but at the same time the presence of America on the Allied side shortened the war, and thus saved many more lives that would have been lost if the war had ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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