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December 2003

The end of the American Empire

A.D. 2050

The pathetic feature of the American empire was that no sooner had its imperialism become explicit than the country itself began to fall into disrepair.

The great imperial opportunity of America, beyond its grasp at the length of a greedy, bony finger, had slipped away.

You could say that it had been squandered by those who had most wanted empire. They had dissipated their opportunity, and wasted it in a moment.

George W. Bush and his people threw away the goodwill that nations of the world had accorded Americans following the destruction of the World Trade Center towers in 2001.

Naturally, empires don't necessarily grow by making friends; but they sure don't prosper by making too many enemies.

The Americans had chachét. Beyond movies and blue jeans, people most everywhere loved American culture even more than most would have liked to admit. America was poised to take over the world, culturally. This would have given it unimaginable power, taken in concert with its great military force and profound material wealth. (Not to mention "ingenuity," the special ability of its people to think anew.)

The empathy available from the moment that the Twin Towers fell was a gift. That moment was priceless — an opportunity* that came from the horror of destruction.

But George W. Bush and his administration pissed it away.


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* One might say that Bush and his people did take advantage of the attacks of 9/11, and fully — just not for the benefit of the country, nor of the empire.

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