Some folks will never learn to leave more than well enough alone. Specifically, those nationalists in
Both regions now enjoy the best of both worlds: the security of belonging to a larger country and unhampered access to the market it provides. But there's no reasoning with nationalism once it gets carried away -- even if independence would invite ruinous results.
Imperialism has become a dirty word in our politically correct lexicon, yet throughout history it has offered minorities like the Scots and Catalans a degree of protection, and the world a degree of stability, no other system could. That's been true at least since the Romans ruled the known world, and then were followed by a succession of other great empires.
The Ottomans once held sway from
The Austro-Hungarian Empire in the heart of
Yes, there are empires and there are empires. No one would confuse the Mongols with humanitarians, and the Russian empire has long been a prison-house of peoples. But those are scarcely the only models for imperialism, which can benefit both rulers and the ruled.
However unwillingly, this country, too, has amassed an empire, beginning with the Spanish-American War and its conquests. And when this country withdraws from the world, it leaves a vacuum that is soon filled by terrorists claiming to be a government. See the
It's time -- past time -- that we stopped being paralyzed by a word -- imperialism -- and recognized not just the uses of imperialism but that, in these chaotic times, it can be a moral imperative.