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Part I. Imperial Intentions

LISTEN In the Third millennium after the birth of Christ one nation bestrode the world like a Colossus: The United States of America. Its culture was the world's culture, and its armies garrisoned the Earth. It truly was the time of the Pax Americana. Then one perfect day a small group of shadowy men destroyed the symbol of American economic might and snuffed out 3,000 souls, and the people asked - Why do they hate us? We aren't an occupying empire, are we?

Part II. The American Military and the World

LISTEN When America defeated Japan in World War II, then occupied the country, some Americans who worked there had a real sense of working for an Imperial power. In the ensuing years the presence of American troops has sometimes become a focus of violent anti-American sentiment, particularly in the Middle East. Today the U.S. has 247,000 troops and civilians deployed in 130 countries, from the Balkans to Colombia to the Philippines. For the first time in history American troops are garrisoned in the graveyard of empires: Central Asia: Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan. Analysts argue that America's expansion of empire is far from accidental.

Part III. The Cultural and Commercial Impact of America

LISTEN It is hard to generalize about the benefits of cultural empire. American cultural products from films to fashion are part of everyday life all over the world. Some would argue that it is the more subtle way in which American ideas re-shape people's minds that really demonstrates American power. Whether you think imperial power is good or bad, it is impossible to deny that America holds enormous military and commercial sway in the world today.


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