“As militarism, the arrogance of power, and the euphemisms required to justifyimperialism inevitably conflict with America’s democratic structure of governmentand distort its culture and basic values, I fear that we will lose our country… Thedanger I foresee is that the United States is embarked on a path not unlike that of the former Soviet Union during the 1980s. The USSR collapsed for three basicreasons – internal economic contradictions driven by ideological rigidity, imperialoverstretch, and an inability to reform…. The similarities are obvious and it isnowhere written that the United States, in its guise as an empire dominating theworld, must go on forever.” Roman democracy was also replaced by a dictatorship. The Romans eventually wereoverwhelmed by the number of enemies they had created. Until the end, theycontinued to claim that they represent the people of Rome. Yet then, as now,empires do not give up their empires voluntarily. The US government justifies itsEmpire in many ways: by claiming to spread American ‘market democracy’ viaglobalization; by open warfare against Latin American drug cartels and indigenouspolitical reform movements; by isolation of ‘rogue states;’ and most of all today byan endless ‘war on terrorism’ which gives it the ‘freedom’ to do anything, including ‘preventive intervention’ against anyone.Hitherto there had always been some constitutional restraints on the US armedforces. However, by 2002 these restraints vanished. The US no longer had a foreignpolicy; it had a military empire. This empire comprises the vast number of permanent naval bases, military airfields, army garrisons, espionage listening posts,and strategic enclaves on every continent of the earth. (3) So America has, not anempire of colonies (as in the British Empire) but an empire of military bases closelyinterwoven with and supervised by the US military-industrial complex. The bases arenot there to fight wars. They are there as ‘pure manifestations of militarism andimperialism.” (4)The US military enters countries on the pretext of liberating Afghan women fromIslamic fundamentalists, or a natural disaster in the Philippines, or more recentlyAceh, Indonesia, or claiming to protect Bosnians, Kosavars or Iraqi Kurds fromcampaigns of “ethnic cleansing.” But invariably what happens is that after the crisis isover, the Americans do not leave. They remain in their new bases to strut around inarrogance in their newly acquired territory. It is a short mental hop from imperialismto racism as a way of life. As David Abernathy writes, people who have superiorpower will quickly decide that their superiority extends also to intellect, morality andcivilization.From war come armies. From armies come debts and taxes. Armies, debts and taxesare the instruments for keeping many under the domination of a few. It wasWoodrow Wilson who developed the rhetoric of ‘exporting democracy’ to the rest of the world, which is now used by today’s imperialists to justify their colonialist,capitalist invasions.There is no longer any accountability of the Defense Department budgets. As Insightmagazine reported, in May 2001 the deputy inspector general at the Pentagonadmitted that $1.1 trillion was “simply gone and no one can be sure of when, whereor to whom the money went.” (5) The amount is larger than the annual amount of $855 billion that Americans pay in income taxes. Yet, nobody minds or protestsregarding this missing money.