Based on 9/11, the United States invades Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 21st century word for this is "war on terrorism." The 19th century word for it was "colonialism."
Teaching history has fallen out of fashion. Boring stuff, right? A bunch of old guys and too many dates to remember, but Americans have a long and not-so-proud history of toppling the governments of smaller nations when corporate interests are concerned.
Recently a conservative pundit -- I am not sure if we are suppose to take her seriously, or if she's just a female version of Andrew Dice Clay -- suggested "what's wrong with stealing oil" and she went on to suggest oil provides jet fuel to bring cocaine to Hollywood moguls. Now there's a stretch if there ever was one!
And speaking of cocaine, the United States toppled the government of the unsavory Manuel Noriega because he was a drug lord. And the Panama Canal? Oh, "we stole it fair and square," for a second time, not less, say Neo-cons/Neo-cols with a grin.
But the comparison with 19th century Europe is not quite apt as there were many nations that vied for an empire -- Britain, France, Germany, and even Russia and Italy. Later Japan. America stepped up its expansionism when it knocked out Spain with the slogan - Remember the Maine! A United States battleship of the day blew up in Cuba. Like the weapons of mass destruction that were never found, it would appear -- like the battleship Iowa that had a turret explosion, supposedly because of a homosexual -- evidence indicates the Spanish did not cause the explosion. It appears the Maine blew up because of a mechanical defect -- like the battleship Iowa whose spare parts were no longer manufactured. We can debate that. But what is clear?
What is clear: if it is Spaniards, Arabs, or homosexuals, or Serbian nationalists (the beginning of World War One) when a nation decides to wage war on another nation (or group), the reasons do not have to pass muster.
But I said the Americans are not like 19th century colonialist. Our pedigree harks back to another, older, Republic -- Rome.
We don't study ancient history and no one learns Latin any more -- a dead language -- but look at how Rome handled their territories. The Homeland was handled by the civil government. There were dictators, called Caesars, who invaded other lands and ruled through military means and puppet governments that answered to Rome. Thus the Roman Empire had two mechanisms for governing -- the domestic machinery at home and the military machinery for lands were the laws of the Republic did not apply.
Roman moved from being a Republic to being an Empire.
Our Republic is close to the slippery slope. Where will we go?