The message that our military has exported for the last half century --- America as a super-nation, as the exception to all rules --- has made its way around the world and has returned home. Too bad so few of us have read Chalmers Johnson.
The United States has spent well over $3 trillion on its Iraq War, while suffering and inflicting much mayhem. Yet it is the studiously neutral government of China that has most clearly benefited from George W. Bush's folly.
I am increasingly dismayed to discover that most of the people I consider my friends willingly accept the killing and destruction of others if it is done by the person they perceive to be on the side they have chosen. They want to win.
Everyone knows we live in a brave new world of globalization. And like a lot of things that everyone knows, it isn't so. Not only was the globalization of the late 19th century, just as profound as today, it generated a similar class of professional sophists to justify it all.
It's tragically hard to win hearts and minds overseas when we don't even recognize what's in our own hearts and minds. We think we're pure of heart, but "civilizing" missions based on military occupation inevitably contain a heart of darkness.
Africa needs China's help to develop but I am still a strong believer in Africans doing it themselves. We are a continent of grand bargains. As nations that are about 50 years old, we are still too young to figure it out. In time, we will.
Strange that when I do media interviews now, only two years later, nobody even thinks to ask "Did we succeed in Iraq?" or "Will reconstruction pay off?" The question du jour has finally shifted to: "Why did we fail?"
The new empire still plays by the games of the old empires: of divisiveness, of scarcity, of might and fear, even while we have never had such abundance and innovation. It is this paradox that our documentary Empires sets out to unravel.
When I listened earlier this week to Obama's speech on the Libyan intervention, my thoughts kept drifting to Joseph Conrad's unforgettable description of a late-nineteenth century colonialist warship shelling the African coastline.
The problem with a moral argument for intervention in Libya is not only that the country we go to war for doesn't get it, or that the world at large doesn't get it, but also that a majority of Americans don't get it.
Glen Ford worked as a Network Broadcast Journalist in Washington DC and created in 1977 along with Peter Gamble, America's Black Forum which was the first nationally syndicated black news interview program on commercial television.
Glen Ford worked as a network broadcast journalist in Washington, D.C., and created in 1977, along with Peter Gamble, America's Black Forum, which was the first nationally-syndicated black news interview program on commercial television.
President Obama was in the Far East not long ago, which reminded me of my decades there and how much things have changed in what we used to call the Third World and developing countries. And yet, change is the rule.