MegadethFan and The_Big_Ragu are two really smart guys who share entirely opposing views on this issue. This thread was designed as means for these two intellectual heavy weights to battle it out, but other outside in puts are ok as well. MegadethFan will be arguing in the affirmative of this issue - the the US is an imperial empire, whilst The Big Ragu will be arguing in the negative; opposed to this idea. The rules are; no ad-hominem arguments, no non-sequiturs and any other logical fallacies that arise during debates. My Contention; Well, first we need to define imperial hegemon; which I think simply means a hegemonic state with tendency to exercise imperial control and action. Hegemon; hegemon - a leading or paramount power Imperial; imperial - 1. Of, relating to, or suggestive of an empire or a sovereign, especially an emperor or empress: imperial rule; the imperial palace. 2. Ruling over extensive territories or over colonies or dependencies: imperial nations. 3.a. Having supreme authority; sovereign. b. Regal; majestic. 4. Outstanding in size or quality. 5. Of or belonging to the British Imperial System of weights and measures. I beleive the United States is a hegemonic superpower that, since its inception, but particularly since WW2 and the initiation of the Cold War, has furthered a continuous foreign policy intended for one purpose - total control and hegemonic domination of enough regions, and countries to establish itself as an unquestionable world power and thus a imperial hegemon. It has done this through regime changes, indirect and direct intervention in state affairs; opposed democracy where required, destroyed economies and entire nations where required and exercised ruthless control over regions vital to its agenda. My Argument; (Taken from Chomsky's debate with Richard Perle, this thoroughly outlines my case. The full unedited text can be read here; http://www.chomsky.info/debates/1988----.htm) The United States emerged from World War II in a position of global power with few, if any historical precedents, and US elites were well aware of the fact. Through the 1940s, they carried out sophisticated geopolitical planning -- which is on record, to fashion a global order that would be responsive to their interests. During the war, top State Department planners, carried out extensive studies with the Council on Foreign Relations to develop the general outlines of global policy, later applied to particular regions. They developed the concept of what they called the "Grand Area". The Grand Area was to be a region that would include at minimum the Far East, the western hemisphere and the former British Empire, including the energy reserves of the Middle East, which the State Department described as "a stupendous source of strategic power," and "one of the greatest material prizes in world history," "the richest economic prize in the world in the field of foreign investment" (referring to Saudi Arabia). At a maximum, the Grand Area should become a world system under US control; subordinated to the needs of the American economy, in a framework of liberal internationalism, in which, it was plausibly assumed, US interests would dominate. Gordon Connell-Smith, in the major study of the Inter-American System published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in the 1970s pointed out the fact; "While paying lip service to the encouragement of representative democracy in Latin America, the United States has a strong interest in just the reverse." The US seeks merely to foster conditions that allow for "private capitalistic enterprise linked to the US". The rest of the "Grand Area" is no different. To finish off, I will quote George Kennan, one of the most prominent post war state planners; "we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population.... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity.... To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives.... We should cease to talk about vague and ... unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better." (Memo PPS23 by George Kennan. Full text can be read here; http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Memo_PPS23_by_George_Kennan) My examples; The US has exercised the militarist capacities of its foreign policy multiple times. Following the demise of the Third Reich, the US assisted its colonial allies in resisting legitimate local forces in Greece (suppressing anti-fascist forces), Italy (supported General Bologlia who was elected by the Fascist Grand Council of Italy as Prime Minister whilst Victor Emmanuel III retained his occupation that he had threw out the war) and France (where Admiral Jean Louis Xavier François Darlan was installed as High Commissioner of France for North and West Africa by Eisenhower - he was once Prime Minister of Vichy France). That is just in Europe of course. Asia in the immediate post war era saw US governmental construction in Japan, South Korea, Philippines etc all according to US power interests (both suppressed democratic movements with the help of government oppression and CIA propaganda subversion of the voting process). The US, after WW2 has instigated regime change directly and indirectly in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1959 to the present), Congo (1960), Brazil (1964), Indonesia (1965), Vietnam (1961-73), Laos (1961-73), Cambodia (1969-73), Greece (1967-73), Chile and Nicaragua (1980s), and Iraq (1960s to present). The CIA has been involved in far more operations in subverting democracy, bringing down regimes and corrupting legitimate domestic institutions. The United States has supported, aided and/or even funded the acts and general security of various regimes exercising brutal domestic control or instigating crimes at different times, some notable example are Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Turkey, Romania, Philippines, South Africa etc. I leave you to pick one particular example for discussion. The US' actions however, have always been motivated by one goal - power and control for US preservation. Whether such goals consequently encourage democratic, liberal or authoritarian and oppressive regimes does not really matter, as long as they keep control of the domestic arena and act in the wishes of the US. United States foreign policy makers are entirely and singularly concerned with US hegemony and nothing else. It exercises complete and dominating control, simply to further its agenda just as an empire, leading as a hegemon both economically and militarily. This of course doesn't mean the US public do not oppose such goals or intents, the problem is most do not know about such initiatives or do not comprehend the nature of the place of the US in world affairs.