"An empire is an immense egotism," said Ralph Waldo Emerson.
For the past 45 years, the United States, with 570,000 military personnel on 700 bases in 120 countries maintained (s) an empire around the world. America created the Korean, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraq Wars. Deaths mounted into the millions. Human suffering registered off the Richter scale of misery.
All of their deaths and our deaths amounted to nothing with a meaning of nothing. All could have been avoided with more intelligent minds at work for peaceful co-existence on this planet.
Fifteen years ago, Osama bin Laden demanded that America retreat from Muslim lands. We ignored him. The Muslim world did not want us in their lands. Bin Laden didn't want Western culture "polluting" Islamic law and culture. Muslims view America as the "Great Satan" of the Western world. Our women wear what they please. We celebrate in Las Vegas. We encourage women to vote, to speak, seek divorce, to teach, to be independent and run for political office. We accept all races, creeds and colors. We accept homosexuals. We do not allow honor killings, female genital mutilation, promote suicide bombings or arranged marriages.
We failed to leave. Osama bin Laden exacted his revenge. We may have killed him, but we are slowly and effectively killing our civilization. All empires decline from over-extension. Examples: Great Britain, Rome, France, Athens, Germany, Spain and others.
Empires, as Thucydides understood, are diseases. Thucydides said, "The tyranny that the Athenian empire imposed on others, it finally imposed on itself. The disease of empire, according to Thucydides, "Would finally kill Athenian democracy. And the disease of empire, the disease of nationalism " these of course are mirrored in the anarchic violence of these groups, but one that locks us in a kind of frightening death spiral."
As Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges said, "I despair that we as a country, as Nietzsche understood, have become a monster that we are attempting to fight."
Nonetheless, the military industrial complex in America wins out in every battle against those who promote peace. Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard Nixon, George Bush I and George Bush II started wars that did nothing but bring massive deaths and casualties to other human beings and Americans. They accomplished nothing whatsoever for freedom or human life.