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Appearances – I explain American warmaking to Romanians

I did another interview with the Romanian news site HotNews.ro. Here’s the article in Romanian. For those of you who for some strange reason aren’t fully fluent in Romanian, here’s my English original, which they translated, in printable PDF format:  Freedberg for Romanian news on US wars – 2011-04-27.

Some highlights:

Americans aren’t particularly peace-loving, actually. But we’re not wild-eyed warmongers in cowboy hats, either. We are culturally prone to be quicker on the trigger than Europeans, but also we have logical reasons to make war as often as we do – and self-interest matters more than humanitarianism….

Today, the civil war in Libya threatens regional stability around the Mediterranean, not just in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia but also in Italy, where refugees have already begun arriving. So the U.S., France, and Britain are using force against those instigating the worst violence, namely the Qaddafi regime – albeit as little as they think they can get away with…

….when the U.S. does not see a threat, direct or indirect, to its national interests, we generally do not use force. The genocide in Rwanda was not only a horrific crime but also the cause of spreading instability that ultimately plunged all of Central Africa into war, a war that still burns in much of the Congo. But the U.S. simply does not have interests in Central Africa worth fighting for.

Moral outrage or humanitarian compassion alone will not move the United States to act when we do not see our national self-interest at stake. But because we are the world’s single largest economy, and what’s more an economy founded on free trade, we have more interests at stake in more places than any other country, which gives us more reasons to fight…..The United States is not an empire, but its interests and influence are imperial in scope. Rome and Great Britain before us were almost constantly at war. So, unfortunately, are we.

Comments are, as always, welcome below.

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