“The Romans’ tyranny cannot be escaped by any act of reasonable submission. These brigands of the world have exhausted the land by their rapacity, so they now ransack the sea. When their enemy is rich, they lust after wealth; when their enemy is poor, they lust after power. Neither East nor West has satisfied their hunger. They are unique among humanity insofar as they equally covet the rich and the poor. Robbery, butchery, and rapine they call ’Empire.’ They create a desert and call it ’Peace.’” –Tacitus
“In our post-9/11 world, whatever our rhetoric about democratizing the planet, our ambitions are guided by the seemingly hardheaded goal of making Americans safe from terrorists. A global war on terrorism has, however, proven anything but consistent with expanding liberty at home or abroad. Indeed, the seductive and self-congratulatory narrative of our troops as selfless liberators and the finest freedom fighters around actually helps blind us to our violent methods in far-off lands, even as it distances us from the human costs of our imperial policies.
…At a time of feared national decline, our leaders undoubtedly prescribe military action in part to comfort us (and themselves) and restore our sense of potency and pride. “
Astore, William J. 2011. “Freedom fighters for a fading empire.” Le Monde Diplomatique, January 6.