The word “empire” has a distinct place in the American lexicon: readily applicable to other countries but rarely, if ever, to the United States itself.
- Jennifer Szalai
- The New York Times
Even in the spring of 2003, when American forces were occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and government officials were writing torture memos, the defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld seemed almost offended when a reporter asked whether the United States was engaged in anything like “empire-building.”
“We’re not imperialistic,” Rumsfeld insisted.
“We never have been. I can’t imagine why you’d even ask the…