Roger Whittaker

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Sunday 2nd May 2004

There's an argument which I've heard a number of times recently which goes something like this:

"Empires are an inevitable fact of life: there is always a nation or nations which dominates large parts of the world; this makes for stability and peace. And anyway, we should be glad that it's the Americans who rule the world rather than someone else."

People who argue like this will tend to defend the occupation of the Iraq and American domination of the Middle East on the grounds that it is benign and in the interests of the inhabitants.

Such people should look at the photographs which have been published of both American and British soldiers abusing and degrading Iraqi civilians. That's what Empire is about - one group of people humiliating and dehumanising another, while helping themselves to their property.