The Ideology of American Empire

The president of the United States has committed his country to goals that will require world hegemony, not to say supremacy. In numerous speeches and statements since September 2001, President Bush has vowed to wage an exhaustive, final war on terror and to advance the cause of a better world. ‘‘Our responsibility to history is clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.’’1 In the president’s opinion, the United States represents universal principles. He summarizes them in the word ‘‘freedom.’’ As mankind’s beacon of political right, the United States must, he believes, remove obstacles to freedom around the world. Accomplishing this task is associated in the president’s mind with using American military might. Even before 9/11/01, in June 2001, he informed the Congress that the ‘‘Department of Defense has become the most powerful force for freedom the world has ever seen.’’2 Since 9/11, the U.S. government has relentlessly mobilized and deployed that force far and wide, with effects that remain to be seen.

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