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When we break rules, we are right, because we are Americans. (Malcolm Fraser- 22nd Prime Minister of Australia)

Here in Australia we joke about being America’s 51st state, but, like Syria, we never will be.

Since the end of the second World War it has been increasingly taboo for a government to overtly invade a country and add it to that government’s official territory, and many international laws were locked into place to reflect that. And yet world power has arguably never been more consolidated than it is right now. The US, the UK, the EU, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Canada, Australia and many other nations tend to march more or less in lockstep with one another on a vast array of subjects ranging from neoliberalism to surveillance to which “regime” is in need of more crushing sanctions on a given day. The alignment isn’t perfect, but it’s too close to perfect to deny.

Which begs the question. As the US today consistently seems to wear the title of The Empire, just who really sits on the throne?

Corporations and banks are not limited by national borders, and neither are the oligarchs who own them. Corruption is now legal in America.

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William_Mary 8 Feb 10

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0

never have been. wake up to the reality that we the people had better enjoy our just desserts

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Yes, the US has, since the end of WW2, has been unable to reconcile two unreconcilable facts about itself: a bastion of freedom and and democracy on the one hand, and managing its global empire on the other. The implication here is that the plutocracy -- essentially a military-industrial-corporate-political complex/ruling class --- which rules the US extends its hegemony through the American Empire. And yes, the economic ideology and military alliances, including intelligence link-ups, form the basis of this power. The problem is, as witnessed by the Trump disaster, the US's internal cohesion, such is it ever was, is unravelling. Where that leads, no one knows.

On Australia, I don't recall Fraser's quote, but I don't think we think we are Amercans, but many of us on the progressive side, resent Australia being in effect America's "bitch" in the Asia-Pacific, more or less on call when needed. When America says "jump" we shout "how high!?" The shame is the all our political parties pander to American approval. Many of us would like to see the US-AUS alliance as one based on mutual respect and shared values, not the kind of disgusting sycophancy that led us to disgraces like Vietnam and Iraq, and even Afganistan, which hasn't been about terrorism since all the terrorists fled the country within weeks of the invasion, and now the evolving surveillance hegemony. I actually think that Americans and Australians as people share many similar qualities, including a resentment of excessive authority and a belief in individualism. That's why, personally I have always enjoyed the company of Americans. But the alliance between our two countries is an alliance between classes and power structures.

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That confirms my fears...it seems overwhelming! But, I will keep doing my part!

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Everything you cited is not new behavior. The US has been conducting itself in such a manner almost from it's inception. Most definitely since the Industrial Age.
The primary difference now, is that with all the current information-sharing technology, people are simply more aware of it.
Nothing is really any different now than it was nearly 150 years ago.
That's the biggest problem we have in this country (IMO), we learn nothing from history, so
we are doomed to keep repeating it.

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