Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit man, has posted a rant on MSNBC about how a real Empire would not at all behave as America does. Let me say at once that America is not yet an imperial power. But that is where the war in Iraq will leave it, in relation to the Muslim world. And already, it is thinking like one, as his article shows.
His point is that if America wanted to be tough, it’s lopsided military power would allow it. “An Imperial America would probably join with nascent superpower India to divide up and conquer the region. India could have Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran; we?d take Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt.” The assumption that all these countries could be conquered and garrisoned without notable expense or complications like nuclear war is a striking one, as is the assumption that Muslim opinion could simply get stuffed: