IT'S ALL GREEK TO ME
Anyone who's been reading the newspapers has seen a news article or an op-ed piece where some Ivory Tower blowhard sounds off on the "American hegemon"
, followed very quickyl by the American Empire
. They think this is witty, insightful. Full of historical precedence. Not to mention the fact that it proves that they not only are educated but they also have a colossal nuclear brain.
At least it proves it in their own mind, but they really don't need all that much convincing.
Being an uneducated sod who reads more than is good for me, I thought that I'd explain all the nuances that these guys are trying to evoke when they trot out their favorite snotty phrase. Ready?
They mostly are trying to make an allusion to the Delian League
, which was a collection of Greek city-states that got together to try and attack Ancient Persia
. Seems that Persia had already invaded Greece
and had barely been stopped. The Greeks figured that they'd better take the fight to the Persians before they got their act together and stomped the Greek city-states once and for all.
But things went sour for the Delian League. The city-states were required to provide a certain number of warships and fighting men every year. If they balked at sending their sons off to a war in a foriegn land they could pay a tribute in money instead. Pretty soon most of them were paying the tribute and Athens
had all the military power. If any city wanted out they would be attacked by Athens and forced back into the League.
Eventually they dropped the fiction of it being a mutual self-defense pact and everybody admitted that it was an Empire
The "No War" types think that all this is almost exactly what's happening today. They're seriously deluded.
For one thing, I missed the part about forcing other nations to pay tribute. Looks like the US has even allowed the NATO members to reduce their commitment
over the years (gotta pay for those socialist entitlement programs, dontchya know). The recent debacle at the United Nations
over the war in Iraq has proven that the US won't force anyone to come along if the don't wanna, we just won't let them hold us back if we think lives are at stake. Steven den Beste even makes a pretty good case for the US to reduce our commitment in South Korea
while pressuring others
to shoulder a fair share of the burden. Hardly see any empire forming here. In fact, just the opposite.
But none of these guys ever let the facts stop them before, so I doubt they're about to start now.
Just remember: Hegemon. Empire. Ohh, just scares you down to your pennyloafers, doesn't it?