By David Holloway
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Extra resources for 9 11 and the War on Terror (Representing American Events) (2008)
If the American empire fell, afﬁrmative empire revisionism often implied, it would be the fault of the people, and of misguided politicians who pandered to the least deserving elements among them. In Harvey’s The New Imperialism too instability and the potential for imperial decline were inseparable from domestic weakness, though Harvey’s Marxism identiﬁed the problem in the logics of capitalist economies, rather than in the egalitarian claims of groups that were HISTORY 29 exploited or marginalised by these systems.
3 Condoleezza Rice testifies before the 9/11 Commission on Capitol Hill, 8 April 2004. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images. scandals at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib (Hersh 2004). Empirebuilding at the Pentagon also created tension with the State Department. The ‘disciples of neo-Reaganism’ ensconced in the Pentagon believed that the State Department was not equipped to do the dirty work of a war on terror (Gurtov 2006: 37); while over at State, in a barbed comment that was also aimed at the White House, Colin Powell’s chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, alleged that coercive interrogation and torture of military intelligence detainees laid the US open to war crimes charges (Borger 2005).
Without a fundamental reordering of American class relations – including a wholesale redistribution of wealth – sustaining domestic growth and prosperity for the Americans who enjoyed it would require a world open to US economic penetration. Imperial foreign policy, for Beard and Williams, was thus both the product of class inequalities in American capitalism and the means by which those ﬂaws could be addressed, without the need for an egalitarian restructuring of society at home. Updating this thesis, Bacevich argued that the war on terror showed just how successfully the broad imperial strategy of US foreign policy had survived what were commonly assumed to be dramatic moments of historical rupture, in 9/11 and the end of the Cold War.
9 11 and the War on Terror (Representing American Events) (2008) by David Holloway