The Sun Never Sets On The American Empire

Since 1945, more than a third of the membership of the United Nations – 69 countries – have suffered some or all of the following at the hands of America’s modern fascism. They have been invaded, their governments overthrown, their popular movements suppressed, their elections subverted, their people bombed and their economies stripped of all protection, their societies subjected to a crippling siege known as “sanctions”. The British historian Mark Curtis estimates the death toll in the millions. In every case, a big lie was deployed. (John Pilger)

It used to be said that the sun never sets on the British Empire. That is no longer true. But this has been true of the American Empire for quite a while now.

The US presently has over 900 military bases in 130 countries in every region of every continent, not to mention probably naval ships patrolling every ocean and sea. We shouldn’t forget the numerous satellites overhead and the largest missile arsenal aimed in every direction. Plus, there are covert agents in governments all over the world, along with bribed and blackmailed politicians and along with allied governments and puppet dictators. There are probably even US operatives in every major foreign organization and media outlet.

The US is the largest and most powerful empire to ever have existed. And it is maintained with violent force, both as threat and actual implementation. Every time the US starts yet another war of aggression, think of the judgment given by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg:

War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

Let that sink in. This brutal military imperialism is the most important issue we face.

This one issue relates to all of our major problems: failing democracy and concentrated power, corruption and cronyism, plutocracy and corporatism, legalized bribery and big money lobbyists, biased corporate media and neoliberal globalization, growing inequality and entrenched poverty, Social Darwinism and systemic racism, police militarization and mass incarceration, CIA covert operations and wars of aggression, climate change and externalized costs, refugees and terrorism, etc.

Call it what you will, imperialism is the linchpin issue.

Now consider this. Some of the candidates that have been running for the presidency support American imperialism and some don’t. Ask yourself the following: Do you support American imperialism or not? Would you rather the sun to go on shining on the American empire or are you ready for it to set? Then vote accordingly.

It’s that simple.

It is strange the disconnect that exists in the minds of so many.

In my lifetime, the US government has killed millions of innocent people worldwide through implementing or being involved in heartless sanctions, wars of aggression, proxy wars, CIA covert operations, overthrowing governments, assassinating leaders, training and funding militaries and paramalitaries, generally destabilizing regions for power and profit, etc.

If this was earlier last century and I was describing Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, Nazi Germany, or Fascist Italy, few Americans would pause for a second to call such a government an evil empire or at least an authoritarian regime. But why is it so hard for Americans to look objectively at their own government and see it for what it is? And why are so many willing to support politicians who have political records of promoting war hawk policies and military imperialism?

Are Americans afraid to face such a harsh truth? I’m sure the citizens of those other ruthless governments were also afraid. That is no excuse. Future generations won’t look back upon our moral cowardice with kindness and forgiveness.

I find myself often ending with thoughts about what future generations will think of us. The legacy we are leaving will likely be horrific, from a massive permanent debt to the endless costs of maintaining an empire, from growing global violence to climate change. I’d like to be able to envision a positive future, but it’s getting harder as time goes on.

13 thoughts on “The Sun Never Sets On The American Empire

  1. I think that it is a matter of willful ignorance. Most Americans are afraid of the truth and would prefer the comfortable lie, no matter how much contradictions there were. It has only been recently when things have reached the breaking point are some people (especially the young) waking up.

    • There is the comfortable lie. That is because the truth is uncomfortable to an extreme degree. The truth is also potentially dangerous to one’s health. Many of the willfully ignorant probably on some level understand how dangerous is that truth. I’m willing to bet they sense the threats that exist for those who fall out of line. I’m sure they understand full well the ruthless society they live in and they’d rather not think about the consequences of falling out of their safe privileged position in the social order.

      • Do you think it’s just as simple as people like to think the best about themselves? Not just the US. Most Germans thought highly of themselves under Hitler. Many Russians thought the best of themselves under Stalin. Obviously those that try to expose the truth are suppressed. That’s nothing new under these type of regimes.

        • Yeah. That is part of it. People don’t want to dwell on negative things, in particular things that put themselves in a bad light. It’s natural for people to identify with and defend their country.

  2. Didn’t most of these fascist countries populations refuse to know the truth? And if some spoke out, werent they pretty much dealt with (as is the cast with all fascist empires?) Just something I noticed about all these totalitarian regimes. The differences with the Nazi’s is they went overboard in their quest to rule the world. The US is very careful to choose allies correctly and destroy those countries that are weak (meaning they can’t really win against the US or threaten US empire). The Nazi’s self destructed when they decided to wage war on so many big powers such as USSR, China and US. The US has been more smart in it’s approach which is why it lasted longer. The US couldn’t win a war against Russia or China. As you stated earlier, it would be the equivalent of how the German Nazi’s ended after ww2 if the US elites went that path. A war with Iraq, Libya or Iran wouldn’t threaten the US empire. A war with China, Russia could.

    • Here is a thought I was having.

      Before WWII and even well into the war, most Germans were living good lives. They had experienced defeat in WWI and then struggled economically. The Nazis turned the economy around and many benefited and were living comfortable lives.

      As long as one didn’t question the powers that be, one was safe within the social order and all was well. It was only a small minority of the population that ended up in concentration camps and most Germans probably didn’t know where these people went, just that they went away and maybe simply left the country.

      Under such circumstances, willful ignorance is the easiest default position. The average German never had to see firsthand how the authoritarian regime operated. In daily life, everything appeared more or less normal, besides the few malcontents complaining.

      If not for WWII, the Nazi regime likely could have continued for generations and many German citizens would still be as content as so many US citizens are today.

  3. In a couple of decades, the idea of the sun not ever setting on America or an American century will seem ridiculous.

    • The American Empire could last for a while longer. But if it does, it will be forced to change to a great degree. Geopolitical dynamics are shifting. The US has depended on the same basic set of strategies for far too long. What has made terrorists so successful is that they’ve figured out the limits of these strategies. Will new strategies be developed to maintain the American Empire? I don’t know.

  4. Although admittedly it remains a neoconservative fantasy.

    Ironically the actions of the conservative movement will hasten any decline in the relevance of American superpower claims.

    • I’ve always thought that. It relates to the resistance to allow reform increasingly pushes society ever closer to social instability and potentially revolution or something similar: civil war, mass protests, etc. The best the ruling elite can hope for is a world war to unite the citizenry and distract them for a while. But there is always a danger in a world war that the ruling elite will lose power and even lose their wealth.

  5. A French Revolution type revolt is always a danger for the rich, even if they don’t realize it.

    Some are narcissistic people who simply do not care about the consequences. They just want to be on top. They are willing to drag down society rather than lose their coveted spot on top. Others may be psychopaths. Still others (and this is likely the largest group) inherited their money.

    Regardless, they are a threat to the rest of society due to their runaway greed.

  6. If your interested in democracy and ending the American empire, then I would like to recommend Thomas Naylor’s articles:

    He convinced me that the only way to form true democracy and end the American empire is through peaceful secession. I’m convinced now more than ever, especially after this fraudulent election and the demonization of Bernie Sanders and his supporters, that this may very well be the only way.

    He actually founded the Vermont secession movement to secede peacefully from the US. he wrote a manifesto here:
    His small nation manifesto:
    and here is there mission statement:

    • I think I came across him before. It sounds familiar. I’ve been in favor of secession for a while now. It was my study of the Articles of Confederation that helped me understand the problem with the pseudo-federalism of the Constitution that makes expansionist imperialism almost inevitable. The Anti-Federalists (AKA True Federalists) have turned out to be correct about so many of their criticisms and predictions.

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