Unexceptional: America's Empire in the Persian Gulf, by Marc J. O'Reilly

By Marc J. O'Reilly

Unexceptional examines U.S. coverage vis-^-vis the Persian Gulf because the moment global struggle. It asserts that the yank adventure during this strategic but unstable quarter recognized for its abundant oil and fuel may be top understood as an unexceptional imperial recreation related in sort to that of the British and Ottoman empires of earlier eras.

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Extra info for Unexceptional: America's Empire in the Persian Gulf, 1941-2007

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Foreign policy can be subjected to rigorous analysis. S. empire in the Persian Gulf can be compared, for example, to the seventh century Islamic empire in the same region that also ruled informally. Each empire relied on amirs (Gulf monarchs in the twentieth century, provincial governors in the seventh), eschewed imposing its own culture, and stationed its soldiers apart from local populations. Such an historical comparison may be imperfect, but it serves an instrumental purpose: it explains behaviors in specific contexts and highlights similarities as well as differences.

S. 46 While Ferguson underlines psychological and economic dimensions of the American empire, Amy Kaplan examines lexical and other cultural manifestations of this creation. S. imperialism: the "coming-out narrative" espoused by the socalled neo-conservatives, several of whom have advised President Bush, and the "reluctant imperialist" narrative preferred by so-called liberal interventionists such as Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Harvard professor Michael Ignatieff. , rogue countries and individuals alike) and envision a perpetual empire, they fear and thus desperately seek to prevent imperial decline, the destiny of all previous empires.

The competition between America and the Soviet Union resembled that between the Romans and Carthaginians. 31 Today, with the Cold War "won" (or at least settled in their favor), Americans emulate the ancient Romans as they overshadow everyone else with their military supremacy. As Gregg Easterbrook notes, the country possesses the "sole military whose primary mission is not defense. S. military is an expeditionary force, designed not to guard borders . . " In 2004, Washington possessed "full-scale bases" in approximately 40 countries and military installations in some 130.

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