Against Empire

Against Empire by Michael Parenti is a scathing review of US foreign policy. Over the last year I have become increasingly disillusioned with my birth country. This book only strengthened those feelings. Evidently, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Before you tell me to buy a plane ticket to another country let me enlighten you on some interesting facts outlined in the book.

  • In 1945 corporations paid 50% of the income taxes in America. Today they pay 7%. Take a guess as to who pays the rest (you).
  • The reason Iraq invaded Kuwait originally was because Kuwait was drilling sideways into Iraq’s oil reserves.
  • The US government sent hundreds of millions of dollars to Sadaam Hussein to fight a war with Iran. Along with that money we also sent him the very recipes for the gasses we are now trying to destroy.
  • Conoco leased it’s offices in Madagascar during the Somalia dabacle to the US government to use as its embassy. The funny part is there is strong evidence that the US was there protecting Conoco’s oil rights in Somalia. Essentially, Conoco was paid by the US so the US could protect “out interests” (aka Conoco’s oil rights).

Still not angry? How about these nuggets?

  • The US government sends more in aid to Isreal than all the countries of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • American spends more on its military than the next fifteen countries combined. That’s $230 billion compared to a mere $36 billion for second place.
  • The WTO, empowered by the GATT, is an unelected council that has the right to overrule ANY signing country in regards to teriffs, environmental legislation, business laws, etc. In other words the GATT could find a law putting a limit on Rainforest logging “illegal” because it “unfairly” penalizes ranchers who need the grazing land.

We *need* a big military because of foreign threats right? Do we need almost ten times the protection as the rest of the world? I’m not so sure, considering Mexico and Canada have much more to lose than to gain by invading our country. Next time you complain about a pot hole, or the cost of insurance, or how much college costs these days, think about how much we spend on the military. Think about the last time you seriously felt the US was crumbling around you because of “foreign threats.”

As a result of the current administration’s foreign policy, not to mention the foreign policy for the last 100 years, I’ve been seriously considering moving my sorry ass to another country. Possibly Australia or New Zealand. I’m tired of living with all this hypocritical bullshit.

In conclusion, I’d just like to say that everyone should read this book. It should be taught in every school. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

1 thought on “Against Empire

  1. Joe,

    It is idyllic illusion to think that an absence of imperialism would serve the betterment of mankind in foriegn lands. Without intervention, Iraq would be still a nation suffering tyranny, China would care little for human rights, the Soviet Union would yet be enslaving Eastern Europe. Africa would have no rule of law had it not been for the British Empire.

    The alliance with Iraq in the Iran war was a natural reflection of the policy that ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’. It was this way when France aided the American Revolution. It will always be this way. Nations will always behave in their own immediate best interest. I just read His Excellency, a biography on George Washington and he made that point succinctly. Israel has been a stalwart ally of the U.S. They are imperiled on every border by Arab nations, none of which thinks Israel has the right to exist as a nation. What shoud we do, let them be massacred?

    Corporations pay no taxes. The cost of taxation is in the price of the product or service somewhere. How could it be otherwise?

    I know nothing of this author beyond the biography that emphasizes his speaking and writing history as credentials. There is no rudimentary review of his world view other than criticism of the West.

    This is the type of half truth that serves as curriculum on most American campuses today.


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