Liberals, hegemony and Subic Bay

The American left likes to throw around the terms "imperialism" and "hegemony" to describe our nation and its policies.  The AT Blog yesterday quoted Kenneth J. Theisen's anti-military OP-ED piece in the March 11 issue of The Berkeley Daily Planet:

"The hundreds of thousands of (American) troops stationed in these countries are not there to preserve or foster freedom and democracy as the Bush regime would like to claim, but to maintain U.S. imperialist domination of the world."

This statement betrays total ignorance of US Policy toward countries that host our military and naval bases by invitation of their respective governments.  For example, here's what happened to Clark Air Force Base and Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines in the early 1990s when that invitation was not renewed, according to Wikipedia:


"Many months before the expiration of the Military Bases Agreement of 1947 on September 16, 1991, intense negotiations between the governments of the United States and the Philippines began. These negotiations resulted in the Treaty of Friendship, Peace and Cooperation between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines. This would have extended the lease of the American bases in the Philippines.

"On September 13, 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the ratification of this treaty, citing a number of reasons for the rejection. This was a devastating blow to the Aquino administration, who were strongly pro-treaty and even called for a referendum by the Filipino people; a move that was declared unconstitutional."

After further fruitless negotiations, the US military totally withdrew, lock, stock and barrel, in 1992, peacefully abandoning two of the US Military's largest overseas bases in a country that was a de-facto colony of the US in the 19th Century after the Spanish-American war. 

"... This (peaceful American) withdrawal marked the first time since the 16th Century that no foreign military forces were present in the Philippines."

As can be seen from the dates, peaceful negotiations began under the G.H.W. Bush administration and were completed under the Clinton administration.  The US Military abided by the vote of the democratically-elected legislature of the Philippines, even though it was contrary to the wishes of the Philippines executive branch!

Another example that the US is not an imperial power is, of course, the fact that we turned over sovereignty of the Panama Canal (and associated canal zone) -- probably the most strategically significant waterway in the world -- to the government of Panama.

"The existence of the Canal Zone, a political exclave of the U.S. that cut Panama geographically in half and had its own courts, police and civil government, was a cause of conflict between the two countries. Demonstrations occurred at the opening of the Bridge of the Americas in 1962 and serious rioting occurred in 1964.[3] This led to the United States easing its controls in the Zone. For example, Panamanian flags were allowed to be flown with American ones. After extensive negotiations the Canal Zone ceased to exist on October 1, 1979 in compliance with provisions of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties."

This respect for wishes of the populations and legislatures of countries hosting overseas military installations by our US Government and our US Military does not characterize the behavior of an imperialist power -- once again proving that ignorance of history is never an impediment to liberals' infatuation with their anti-American dogma. 
The American left likes to throw around the terms "imperialism" and "hegemony" to describe our nation and its policies.  The AT Blog yesterday quoted Kenneth J. Theisen's anti-military OP-ED piece in the March 11 issue of The Berkeley Daily Planet:

"The hundreds of thousands of (American) troops stationed in these countries are not there to preserve or foster freedom and democracy as the Bush regime would like to claim, but to maintain U.S. imperialist domination of the world."

This statement betrays total ignorance of US Policy toward countries that host our military and naval bases by invitation of their respective governments.  For example, here's what happened to Clark Air Force Base and Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines in the early 1990s when that invitation was not renewed, according to Wikipedia:


"Many months before the expiration of the Military Bases Agreement of 1947 on September 16, 1991, intense negotiations between the governments of the United States and the Philippines began. These negotiations resulted in the Treaty of Friendship, Peace and Cooperation between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines. This would have extended the lease of the American bases in the Philippines.

"On September 13, 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the ratification of this treaty, citing a number of reasons for the rejection. This was a devastating blow to the Aquino administration, who were strongly pro-treaty and even called for a referendum by the Filipino people; a move that was declared unconstitutional."

After further fruitless negotiations, the US military totally withdrew, lock, stock and barrel, in 1992, peacefully abandoning two of the US Military's largest overseas bases in a country that was a de-facto colony of the US in the 19th Century after the Spanish-American war. 

"... This (peaceful American) withdrawal marked the first time since the 16th Century that no foreign military forces were present in the Philippines."

As can be seen from the dates, peaceful negotiations began under the G.H.W. Bush administration and were completed under the Clinton administration.  The US Military abided by the vote of the democratically-elected legislature of the Philippines, even though it was contrary to the wishes of the Philippines executive branch!

Another example that the US is not an imperial power is, of course, the fact that we turned over sovereignty of the Panama Canal (and associated canal zone) -- probably the most strategically significant waterway in the world -- to the government of Panama.

"The existence of the Canal Zone, a political exclave of the U.S. that cut Panama geographically in half and had its own courts, police and civil government, was a cause of conflict between the two countries. Demonstrations occurred at the opening of the Bridge of the Americas in 1962 and serious rioting occurred in 1964.[3] This led to the United States easing its controls in the Zone. For example, Panamanian flags were allowed to be flown with American ones. After extensive negotiations the Canal Zone ceased to exist on October 1, 1979 in compliance with provisions of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties."

This respect for wishes of the populations and legislatures of countries hosting overseas military installations by our US Government and our US Military does not characterize the behavior of an imperialist power -- once again proving that ignorance of history is never an impediment to liberals' infatuation with their anti-American dogma.