Hitchens & NZB on American Empire

Hey, here’s a switch for you: Christopher Hitchens is channeling me, as opposed to the other way around:
Hitchens in Slate, 12/10/02:
A condition of the new imperialism will be the specific promise that while troops will come, they will not stay too long. An associated promise is that the era of the client state is gone and that the aim is to enable local populations to govern themselves. This promise is sincere. A new standard is being proposed, and one to which our rulers can and must be held. In other words, if the United States will dare to declare out loud for empire, it had better be in its capacity as a Thomas Paine arsenal, or at the very least a Jeffersonian one. And we may also need a new word for it.
Several steps ahead of you, Christopher!
N.Z. Bear, 6/24/02:
…it is now in the United States’ direct, selfish interest, to ensure that every single nation on this planet provides a stable, democratic government to its people where freedom is respected, and the rule of law enforced. This used to be the stuff of idealists : now, it is the bread-and-butter of hard-nosed cynics and pragmatists.
But Empire is not really the correct word to use here, although it will be used by those who oppose this effort. The appropriate word is “Confederacy”.
Yes, some interesting resonances with American history there, but nonetheless, the term fits. Dictionary definition (from Encarta ) : “an alliance of people, states, or parties for some common purpose, or the people, states, or parties in an alliance.”

If I may impose upon you, go read the rest of my old piece if you didn’t on its first run; it is one of my better works (a statement which involves no hubris on my part, as I concede readily that everything is relative…)

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