Two bills in the United
States Senate, that would have set some limits
on the American military presence in Iraq, went
down to defeat, this week. By now, it should be
clear that the Democratic Party is little different
from the Republican Party. The only clear line
of demarcation is Democratic spinelessness. But
that doesn't really get to the heart of the matter.
And the heart of the matter is a shared allegiance
Imperialism is a form of privilege.
It says that one nation can dictate to another.
In its more benign representation, imperialism
claims that the one nation has an obligation to
act as a mother or father to other nations. These
other nations are relegated to the status of children.
This is the mentality of imperialism.
The so-called debate in the U.S.
Senate was totally dominated by the imperial mindset.
The liberal side of the aisle was just as imperialist
as the rightwing, Republican side. Both embraced
the idea that the United States has a special
mission in the world. The only thing separating
the two positions was, What to do to fulfill that
mission. It never seemed to occur to the opposing
sides that the mission was, itself, in doubt.
And that is the problem.
How does the United States believe
it has the right to even step foot in Iraq? Iraqis
don't think so. They do not believe themselves
to be children, needing the care of an American
parent. Neither do the people of Afghanistan,
or any other place on the globe where the U.S.
military has placed its boots. If the question
is: Why do they hate us, the answer is: because
you do not treat us as human beings.
are speaking, here, of the imperialist mind, which
is fundamental to American politics and thought.
There is a basic assumption that the U.S . has
special rights, which it reserves to itself, but
considers it the most rank effrontery for any
other nation to act in the same way – that is,
to stand up for their own dignity. When other
nation's leaders question the imperial assumption,
by word or deed, they are deemed insane by American
It is the imperialist mind that
is insane. The debate in the U.S. Senate was consumed
by this particular American insanity. Black Americans
are familiar with the syndrome. We have witnessed
debates between our sworn enemies and our purported
friends – debates that are rooted in a shared
belief in white American privilege. All of the
discourse about the Black condition was about
what white folks could do for us, or against
us. But we were not given the dignity of having
our own minds. This is maddening, and makes people
go to war. And, as long as the imperial mentality
reigns in the U.S., it will provoke people to
make war against it. For Radio BC, I'm Glen Ford.
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