American Imperialism: Military Bases

Perhaps it’s a good thing that people outside of the United States tend no to associate American individuals with American politics.  Despite “homeland” marketing initiatives about how great our nation is, it’s clear that our spending on war and interfering with other nations’ policies is nearly unprecedented.  We spend many billions of dollars on a manufactured war in Iraq every month.  To get the same amount of funding for basic needs such as healthcare or education is almost unheard of.  Yet, Americans seem to be satisfied (or, more accurately, blissfully ignorant) of this.  We engage in “fund-raisers” for aspects of American life that clearly should be the responsibility of government.  The goal: to scrape together a few thousand dollars for causes that actually will help people.  We even have a presidential candidate who feels it’s acceptable to remain in Iraq for another 1,000 years.

AlterNet has provided some details that highlight our ignorance in The US Has 761 Military Bases Across the Planet, and We Simply Never Talk About It.  From the article:

At the height of the Roman Empire, the Romans had an estimated 37 major military bases scattered around their dominions. At the height of the British Empire, the British had 36 of them planetwide. Depending on just who you listen to and how you count, we have hundreds of bases. According to Pentagon records, in fact, there are 761 active military “sites” abroad.

The fact is: We garrison the planet north to south, east to west, and even on the seven seas, thanks to our various fleets and our massive aircraft carriers which, with 5,000-6,000 personnel aboard — that is, the population of an American town — are functionally floating bases.

And here’s the other half of that simple truth: We don’t care to know about it. We, the American people, aided and abetted by our politicians, the Pentagon, and the mainstream media, are knee-deep in base denial.

Now, that’s the gist of it. If, like most Americans, that’s more than you care to know, stop here.

Of course, most Americans seem to have little respect for facts, statistics, and evidence.  It’s much easier to just stand in front of (or behind) an American flag and to get bumper stickers requesting God’s support for our great nation (or at least some extremely conservative part of it).  Just don’t expect to see any mainstream media coverage about these bases.

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