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“The correlation between military spending and Olympic glory also makes sense, in that it suggests success for a country with certain imperial ambition — militarily, culturally, and through a desire to demonstrate physical prowess on sport’s largest stage. One can only imagine that editorial writers in New Delhi are already sharpening their pens to argue that India will never be taken seriously as a global power until its medal count goes up. And with defense hawks increasingly desperate to avoid the impact of sequestration, it probably won’t be long before they argue that America’s proud Olympic heroes need a huge military budget to stay at the top of their game.” – John Norris

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  1. I suppose one could argue that Americans displayed ‘imperial ambitions’ in the colonization of North America, but he would have to conveniently forget that America did not exist at that time.

    There is no American imperialism today. Our military is maintained and deployed in defense of freedom. Too many Americans have died defending the freedom of others for such a charge to stand. It is a despicable thing to say; a shameless smear of the courage and sacrifice of those who volunteer to give life and limb so others can enjoy freedom.

    • There is no American imperialism today. Our military is maintained and deployed in defense of freedom.

      Haha, holy shit, that’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a LONG time. All we’ve done for the last century is go around trying to force our will on others and forcing the peasants of the US who actually pay taxes to fund the imperialist dreams of people like you who think that you know better and you have the right to kill anyone who disagrees with you. It’s the American imperialism that you support that created all of the terrorists that we’re fighting today.

      • We are not Imperialist in the classic way of invading/conquering countries for land and resources, but the US government certainly maintains a domineering foreign relations policy. I fully support our troops and appreciate their sacrifices, but I have little respect for those who abuse our Armed Forces to police the world. In my opinion, the US should turtle up, mostly isolate itself, and maintain as minimal presence as necessary until we can resolve more domestic issues. What’s the point of helping crippled countries only to cripple our own?

      • The only thing worse then the niavity of the original post is the utter opposite side niavity of it’s reply.

        Terrorism is nothing more then a poor nations Special Forces, either as direct Govt service or through proxy organizations for plausible deniability. To claim that the US CREATED all the terrorism is shear nonsense. But to claim that we only “fight for freedom” with nothing but altruistic motivations is nonsense as well. From the stand point of the individual soldier, it may be true but each of us has our own reasons for joining. From a national standpoint………BS Flag is thrown. Military force and it’s use is a much more complex issue then can be summed up with a simple talking point bullet comment.

        As to the original thread, utter garbage. That is nothing more then a Leftist talking point trying to link the US to 1930’s Germany. Almost reaks of leftover Stalinist rhetoric. Of course, that never stopped the Soviets, or their modern day equivilent the PRC, from going for a medal count for national prestige. The Soviets even stooped to using proven Spec Ops troops as athletes (or the other way around). Funny how International Communism always finger points at the Free nations for behavior they themselves so vigorously commit…..and their “useful idiots” will always parrot their innocence and the condemnation of their opponents.

        • I’ll have to disagree. Almost all of the “Terrorism” tergeting western nations are a direct result of said nations getting involved in things that are only of monetary/resource/political interests.

          Iraq: Oil, and cleaning up a dictator the US put in place to combat Iran indirectly.

          Afghanistan: The Taliban is what resulted in the US backing out of another cold war proxy conflict with the former USSR. The US stopped fueling the conflict, the Afghans got a bloody nose, and felt betrayed.

          Vietnam: Another Cold War proxy conflict.

          Bosnia and Somalia: Faux humanitarian conflicts.

          Every armed push by the US is a grab for resources by corporate interests, political “my d!ck is bigger than yours” shows, or wannabe humanitarian efforts caused by public manipulation.

          The last time the US ever fought for the cause of freedom is in WWII. Every conflict since has been complete and utter BS. If our soldiers understood their oath to support and defend The Constitution, they would refuse en masse to fight these battles that serve nothing under which this nation was founded.

          I do agree that the US needs to “Turtle Up” and let the world sort itself out while we work on our own issues. Had Ron Paul not been ostricised by his party and the media (for the most part), I believe that we would have had a chance of getting it right.

        • He said we “created all of the terrorists THAT WE’RE FIGHTING today”… not ALL terrorists.

          It’s common knowledge that the CIA organized, armed, trained, and equipped Al Qaeda forces to resist the Russian occupation of Afghanistan in the 80’s. We also supported them as resistance forces in Libya and now Syria.

          Secretary of State even admits it:

    • Oh, get the hell out of here. Not only does America have an empire, we are the ONLY nation allowed to build one. What other nations have the military presence around the world that we do? None. Imagine the outrage if China put military bases in Africa—-but we’re doing it.

      Where our military goes, our corporations follow. So yes, we do have an empire. It’s a military and corporate one.

      • China IS building bases, economic AND military, in Africa…….and Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and along the countries on India’s northern border, South and Central America, etc…….

        One cannot forget that the PRC’s army has an economic wing that has HUGE overseas investments. Most of those Chinese “economic aid” missions are from the Chinese military. Stop niavely thinking of them in Western military terms………….and economic terms.

        • +1 exactly, there is a reason that china got more medals of all kinds than Russia, because the have state run recruitment for youngsters with athletic potential from a VERY early age. I recall seeing some 14-15yr old Chinese divers and gymnasts on tv in London. “for a country with certain imperial ambition — militarily, culturally, and through a desire to demonstrate physical prowess on sport’s largest stage.” this definitely applies to them as well.

  2. I agree that our defense budget is overlarge, yet, tragically, we don’t appear to spend enough to take care of the troops with concussive brain injuries and other mental issues. That said, it seems that our medal advantage has more to do with our winning women and that seems to have more to do with Title IX’s effect on women’s college athletics.

  3. The ranking must be an insult to some people in France which is the 5th top military spender yet was listed 8th in medals. To add salt to the French wound, Germany took 5th place in medals while being the 9th top military spender. The South Koreans placed well in medals without being a top ten military spender. It’s long past time that the South Koreans reimbursed and paid for the costly presence of the US military in South Korea.

  4. Who thinks that what is shown in that picture has any relation to building an empire? The guy is in a duelist stance about to fall over backward with something that looks more like a can of air for dusting a keyboard than a gun. Let’s see some real pistol competitions in the Olympics and then this might have a point.

  5. Well, my comment has nothing to do with military-industrial empires despite my long and loud views on the topic. The post just remined me of reading in the 1980s that the USMC was contemplating a winter-warfare unit based in Alaska and was looking for expert marksmen who were avid cross-country skiers. The DOD was saying with a completely straight face that this was NOT a Winter Olympics biathalon training facility, back when that sport was pretty well dominated by the USSR.

  6. there’s always flag or dick waving between nations. and there’s always a super power center stage. rome,greece, the british. it’s just our turn. all this agonising about imperialism and military industrial complex is just pissing into the wind. ymmv.

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