U.S. Empire Means We Are Ruled by Foreigners

White House spokesman tells reporters we will be ruled by foreigners when it comes to our troop commitments to Afghanistan.

CNS News posted two stories about Afghanistan yesterday, both well worth reading: “Gen. Campbell: Afghans Are Fleeing Their Country, But They Want U.S. Military to Stay,” and “WH: On Afghanistan, Obama Will ‘Take Input’ From Diplomats, NATO Allies, Not Just Military Commander Who’s There.”

The first headline is pretty self-explanatory. While the “top U.S. commander in Afghanistan” lobbied for a continuation of our troops in a country where they are often killed by the people they are training, he also admitted the country is suffering “brain drain” as people flee the region. So our military presence is “overwhelmingly” “welcomed” by the dwindling number of Afghanis?

Nothing is said about all the boy rape the troops are required to not only overlook but empower.

It was the second headline that really grabbed my attention. You will notice, of course, that nothing whatsoever is said about Congress or about how the populace feels about continuing the war in Afghanistan.

President Obama will consider the “input” of General John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, as Obama is presented with options for revising his 2016 troop withdrawal plan.

“But it’s not the only input the president will receive as he makes this decision,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Tuesday.

“We’ll also take into account the views and preferences of our NATO allies who have also played an important role in carrying out the missions,” Earnest said.

When people hear the word “empire” they think of a unitary and autonomous source of power that imposes its will on all other nations. Empires actually want people to think that way because, if people believe it, it becomes a little bit closer to the truth.

But the fact is that the bigger the empire the more it is dependent on loyal helpers. This is unavoidable. A large empire has borders far away and requires local help. It can’t simply manage it all from a distance. Likewise, we have needed “allies” and partners from the beginning. When we make decisions that require these relationships we are, inevitably, giving our President obligations that he has to deal with that will sometimes take priority over the voters or the branches of power enumerated in the Constitution.

That is one reason that people who value the Constitutional republic that we were given by the Philadelphia convention sometimes oppose the conversion of our independent country into an international empire.

In my opinion, it is a really good reason.

P.S. Just to be clear, I do think it is possible to argue a case for staying in Afghanistan. That argument is that we must own our mess. The problem with this case, in my mind, is that it means we are obligated to stay there forever. Whoever thought we could set up a stable government in Afghanistan was insane. We should have simply focused on reprisals for 9-11 and then ended the war.