Sharp Blue: So, they have chosen empire


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Last year, in my article “Flamininus at Corinth”, I wrote:

There are, of course, no exact historical analogies. Nevertheless, events and circumstances of the past may be more nearly or less nearly like those of today, and examination of the ancient may shed light on the modern. The foreign policy of Rome during its initial entanglements with Greece provide such a model for the stance of America with respect to the world today. America, like the Rome of the elder Scipios and Flamininus, uses its vast military power decisively and yet with restraint. It is the sole superpower. It acts in its own interests, yet those interests are often also those of morality and freedom. It is a young nation in the west that is deeply involved with the older nations of the east, which are the source of culture and ideas and yet no longer of power. It is seemingly willing to go to war preemptively to protect its interests. It has a genius for organisation and administration. And, in these early years of the New American Century, we see signs and portents that the United States, like the Roman Republic, might trade its freedoms for the world. Unlike Rome, though, the United States of America is a true democracy, with a thriving civil society and a constitution protecting fundamental civil rights. Let us hope that the American electorate chooses carefully, and that if they choose empire they do so not blindly but with a determination to uphold and extend their freedoms, and to carry those freedoms to the whole world. And let us hope that Europe, having twice been given its freedom by an American Flamininus, will continue to work with determination and vision to preserve that freedom. And finally let us all hope that we are wiser than the Romans, whose genius and fortune and power and ambition led to tyranny.

Now, it seems, they have finally chosen empire. Henceforth, let the optimists hope for Britain rather than Rome, the pessimists for Rome rather than Persia.

Interesting article...but.

J: Vacuous comment...but.

Have they really chosen? And is the USA a true democracy? Even with the 2004 election there seem to be some things seriously wrong. I wouldn't bet my head on this, and I am happy to live in Old Europe.

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