Niall Ferguson, Colossus: The Price of America’s Empire (New York: Penguin Press, 2004).

There is something refreshing about British historian Niall Ferguson’s argument “not merely that the United States is an empire, but that it has always been an empire.” For a certain kind of American liberal, the Bush administration’s eager invasion of Iraq has been a bad dream. The ignominious departure of US viceroy L. Paul Bremer from Baghdad on June 28, many assume, marks the beginning of the end of a grim, aberrant interlude in an otherwise innocent and idealistic US foreign policy. In contrast, Ferguson cheerily cites the work of the independent Marxist, Harry Magdoff, and the secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Geir Lundestad, to establish that US armed forces were stationed in 64 countries in 1967 and that those forces conducted 168 different overseas military interventions between 1946 and 1965.

Like the new left historical revisionists exemplified by William Appleman Williams in his classic, Empire as a Way of Life, Ferguson dismisses the hallowed notion of American exceptionalism. But he draws opposite conclusions from those who have used the term “empire” to critique US global power. His principal point is that the United States, like Great Britain before it, should be an empire and that the world badly needs the US to behave like one. The problem is not, as some would have it, that great powers tend to arrogantly overstep their bounds or give rise to countervailing forces, but that today’s sole superpower is a “colossus with an attention-deficit disorder,” unsuited by temperament for the pesky tasks of global domination. Ferguson’s Colossus is an exhortation as well as a lament. If the US does not embrace history’s charge and acknowledge itself as an empire, he fears, the world could suffer “a new Dark Age of waning empires and religious fanaticism…of economic stagnation and a retreat of civilization into a few fortified enclaves.”

Though Ferguson was an ardent advocate of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, he has found himself at semantic odds with the neo-conservative intellectuals who provided the justification for the war. In July 2003, he debated one of these deep thinkers, Robert Kagan, at the American Enterprise Institute on the proposition that the US “is and should be an empire.” Kagan, upholding the usual American anti-imperialist self-image, argued that the US is “a global hegemon.” But like many neo-conservatives outside government, Ferguson opposes Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s strategy of empire on the cheap and argues that the occupation of Iraq has floundered because the US has tried to occupy the country with too few troops, too few air raids upon Falluja and too legalistic and mincing a demeanor. As a historian, Ferguson sees the Iraq war as a real-time test for lessons derived from his study of the past: successful empires cannot be afraid to use the force at their disposal. The credibility of his prescriptions therefore rests, substantially, on the quality of Colossus as history.

Facts in the Appendix

To be fair, Ferguson’s main focus in Colossus is not on the salutary effects of imperial violence. Rather, he argues that the US, like Britain, is and should be a liberal empire:

that is to say, one that not only underwrites free international exchange of commodities, labor and capital but also creates and upholds the conditions without which markets cannot function — peace and order, the rule of law, non-corrupt administration, stable fiscal and monetary policies — as well as provides public goods, such as transport infrastructure, hospitals and schools, which would not otherwise exist.

The political vision underlying this proposal can be determined by the absences in its formulation: no inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; no liberty, equality and fraternity; no right of nations to self-determination in either the Wilsonian or Leninist sense. This is a dream — many would call it an apparition — of markets über alles.

Admirably, Ferguson, in contrast to most academic historians who remain within the boundaries of ever narrowing specializations and write for diminishing audiences, aspires to influence public culture and political discourse. He is unapologetically presentist and believes that historical insight can be applied to the pressing questions of the moment. The obvious peril of such writing is that no one can reasonably be expected to be an expert on all the topics in a book ranging across the last 200 years of Anglo-American history. What can be expected is basic factual accuracy, internally consistent use of the evidence presented, broad consultation of others’ work and due consideration of differing interpretations on matters that are critical to the argument. In these respects, Ferguson disappoints. When addressing the actual histories of Latin America, Vietnam or the Middle East, Ferguson simply ignores unambiguous facts and interpretations that do not confirm his opinions.

For example, he claims that “spasmodic [US] intervention in Central America and the Caribbean” led to undemocratic governments in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Cuba and Nicaragua. Had US forces stayed longer, or annexed the territories outright, as was the case with Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, things “might have been better for all these places.” Such counterfactual arguments are notoriously difficult to prove or disprove. Moreover, Ferguson admits on the next page that as of 1939 the only democracy in the region was Costa Rica, where there had never been a US military intervention, a fact that would seem to contradict his original assertion. The longest US military occupation in the region was in Haiti: from 1915 to 1934, with several subsequent briefer interventions. Does this explain why Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere or why it suffered the viciously despotic regime of the Duvaliers?

Taking the argument to a more distant region, did the relatively lengthy occupation of the Philippines from 1898 to 1946 result in a democratic regime? Does anyone remember Ferdinand Marcos, for whose regime the term “crony capitalism” was first coined, and his wife Imelda of the myriad shoes? Their names do not appear in Colossus. Ferguson is aware of these cases that undermine his argument, but they are relegated without comment to a statistical appendix.

Echo Chamber

Both advocates and opponents of an American empire agree that its center of gravity, if not quite the jewel in the crown, is the Middle East. We might, therefore, expect that Ferguson would take particular care in discussing this region. But just as the neo-conservative war party consulted only those who would say what they wanted to hear, Ferguson is, for the most part, trapped in an imperial echo chamber that muffles the voices of those with a more substantial understanding of the modern Middle East.

Ferguson diverges slightly from a colonial historical perspective and hegemonic political doctrine on two Middle East-related issues: the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and US-Israeli relations. He violates a virtual taboo in American discourse by indecorously observing that, “What the Zionist extremists had once done to drive the British out of Palestine [i.e., terrorism], Palestinian extremists now did to the Israelis.” In contrast to the oft-parroted notion that the United States and Israel have a “special relationship,” Ferguson emphasizes the “friction and ambivalence” in US-Israeli relations. He believes that “the Israelis tenaciously resisted American pressure to negotiate with the Palestinians” in the 1980s.

Three factors may explain these deviations from prevailing orthodoxy. First, Ferguson is a bold, even if not an entirely original, thinker; he appears to enjoy ruffling feathers. Second, like most Europeans, his views on Israel and Palestine are somewhat more rooted in reality than is the case for most Americans. Third, Ferguson doesn’t know the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and US-Israeli relations well.

Ferguson is very likely correct that there will not be a significant diminution of terrorism in the Middle East “so long as Israel seeks a purely military solution to the problem.” Conclusions about the urgency of a negotiated solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict might follow from this observation. But going there would make Ferguson a political pariah in the circles he is closest to and even risk accusations of anti-Semitism from the Zionist ultras. Despite such flashes of realism, Ferguson’s historical understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict is seriously deficient.

The Arab states did not sponsor Palestinian terrorism early on. As Israeli historians Avi Shlaim and Benny Morris have demonstrated based on extensive archival research, Jordan has almost always tried to prevent Palestinian infiltration into Israel. Egypt did so until a massive Israeli raid on the police headquarters of Gaza in February 1955. Many consider this to be the event that initiated the countdown to the 1956 Suez/Sinai war. After that war, Egypt again sought and largely succeeded in preventing Palestinian infiltration into Israel until the 1967 war. Syria began to promote Palestinian attacks on Israel in the mid-1960s in response to Israel’s construction of a National Water Carrier, which diverted waters from the Sea of Galilee without Syria’s agreement. Israel initiated many provocative retaliation raids on Jordan and Egypt, but rarely Syria, even when there was no evidence of their responsibility for acts of terror. Morris suggests that military figures like Moshe Dayan and Ariel Sharon were looking for an opportunity to launch a second war after 1948. [1]

“Friction and Ambivalence”

Ferguson’s argument for “friction and ambivalence” in US-Israeli relations is partly based on President Dwight Eisenhower’s demand that Israel withdraw from the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, which it occupied in the 1956 war. Israel, Britain and France had colluded to attack Egypt to reverse the nationalization of the Suez Canal, an imperial adventure to which Ferguson uncharacteristically objects. However, there was no US-Israeli “special relationship” at this time. From the early 1950s until 1967, France was Israel’s principal ally and the source of its advanced tanks, aircraft and, in part, nuclear expertise. The Eisenhower administration opposed the tripartite aggression against Egypt because it believed that the maintenance of French and British colonial empires was an obstacle to fighting the Cold War in Africa and Asia. It supported Algerian independence for the same reason. Israel’s particular interests had to be subordinated to this primary foreign and military policy objective.

Ferguson claims that Israel failed to warn the US about the 1967 war. This assertion can only be sustained by an obtusely literal reading of the diplomatic record. Several Israeli emissaries visited Washington before the war and warned that Israel might resort to arms. Most scholars and diplomatic observers believe that Israel ultimately received a green, or at least a yellow, light from the Johnson administration to attack. [2]

The US-Israeli “special relationship” emerged after the 1967 war, especially after the promulgation of the Nixon Doctrine in 1969. By then, Israel was the overwhelmingly dominant military power in the Middle East. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sought to integrate it into US policy as a tool to contain and discipline Arab states considered pro-Soviet: Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Libya and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen. Moreover, despite their copious anti-Zionist rhetoric, the Saudis had made it clear that they would not use their oil to punish Washington for this policy.

Define Pressure

Ferguson greatly exaggerates the direct consequences of the brief and highly permeable Arab oil embargo of October 1973 to March 1974. The oil shortage and price spike of the mid-1970s were not primarily due to a shortage of crude in the market. The embargo never reduced the flow of oil by more than 15 percent; it was loosely enforced; and it lasted only a few months. Much more significant in the long run was the lack of sufficient refining capacity in the United States as a result of inadequate capital investment by American-based corporations. The price spike had more significant effects. But its main victims were Third World countries that do not produce oil. They could generally not compensate for the increased cost of fuel because US and European agricultural price supports kept prices for agricultural goods artificially low. Moreover, the price spike enhanced the profits of the major multinational petroleum companies even more than the revenues of the oil-producing states.

In order to secure Israel’s second pullback in the Sinai Peninsula following the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Kissinger signed a memorandum of agreement on September 1, 1975 that gave Israel veto power over any future US-PLO negotiations. Kissinger would not have needed to do this had he been willing to exert pressure on Israel to withdraw. But because he mistakenly viewed the Arab-Israeli conflict primarily as a regional front in the global Cold War, Kissinger did not believe it was proper for Washington to pressure its regional asset to make concessions to a Soviet ally. Even in Cold War terms, Kissinger misread the situation. Egypt was no longer a Soviet asset. President Anwar al-Sadat had proclaimed his readiness for peace with Israeli in 1971, expelled Soviet military advisers in 1972 and announced the opening of Egypt’s economy to the global market in 1974. He was more than eager to reorient Egypt toward the West.

Although the Palestine National Council recognized Israel and renounced terrorism in November 1988, the US did not immediately begin a diplomatic dialogue with the PLO. Secretary of State George Shultz violated the treaty establishing the UN headquarters in New York by rejecting Yasser Arafat’s request for a visa to communicate the PLO’s decision in an address to the UN General Assembly. Only after Arafat jumped through several additional hoops and a delegation of American Jews visited him in Norway and pronounced him kosher did the US-PLO dialogue begin. It ceased, with no visible accomplishments, in June 1990, after Arafat refused to denounce a military operation against Israel by the Palestine Liberation Front, a minor albeit especially brutal PLO faction with no support among Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The United States acquiesced to Israel’s demand that the PLO be excluded from the 1991 Madrid conference and the subsequent bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Washington.

Consequently, in 1993, when an Israeli government became serious about trying to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, it conducted secret talks in the Norwegian capital of Oslo behind the back of the Clinton administration. The United States played no role in reaching the 1993 Oslo accords other than ratifying them after the fact. This narrative does not indicate significant “American pressure to negotiate with the Palestinians.” Of course, it depends on what the definition of “pressure” is.

“Dysfunction” and Terrorism

Whatever his disagreements with neo-conservatives over the word “empire,” Niall Ferguson is solidly within the neo-conservative consensus on one point: The Middle East — all of it — has “a dysfunctional culture in which rival religions and natural resources supply much of the content of political conflict, but the form is the really distinctive thing. That form is of course terrorism.” This uniquely dangerous nexus between Middle Eastern political culture and terrorism makes the Middle East the most urgent locale for imperial intervention. As Ferguson told the Atlantic Monthly, the ultimate goal of such intervention is to “globalize liberalism” and “make the world suitably Anglicized.” [3]

Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, perhaps the American foreign policy commentator closest to Ferguson’s views, concurs. Writing in the neo-conservative house organ shortly after the September 11 attacks, Boot averred, “Afghanistan and other troubled lands today cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets.” An American empire (albeit one duly covered by UN fig leaves) was necessary, Boot argued, to “not only wipe out the vipers but also destroy their nest and do our best to prevent new nests from being built there again.” [4] Such arguments, usually expressed less stridently, eventually proved crucial to winning initial public support for Bush’s Iraq war.

Again, facts are not allowed to intrude on Ferguson’s discussion of terrorism. Twenty pages after pronouncing on the distinctiveness of the Middle East, Ferguson mentions that there was some terrorism in Europe in the 1970s. Europe does not (cannot) have a dysfunctional culture, so those days are thankfully behind us. The State Department would disagree. It considered the continuing threat of terrorism in Ireland substantial enough that in 2003 it renewed its designation of the Real IRA as a foreign terrorist organization.

The IRA/Real IRA, the ETA Basque separatists, the FARC in Columbia, Sendero Luminoso in Peru and the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka continue to carry out acts of terror. The Tamil Tigers began using suicide bombs in 1987, seven years before the Palestinians. They have killed over 90,000 people since beginning operations in 1983. Algeria excluded, this is on the order of five to ten times more than the total number of victims of terrorism emanating from the Middle East since 1948, including the September 11 attacks.

Contrary to Ferguson’s assertions, neither the Abu Nidal organization nor the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine identified primarily with Islam, and neither of them emerged in the 1980s. The PFLP was established in 1967 as a Marxist-Leninist organization. According to the US Department of State’s Patterns of Global Terrorism, 2003, “The PFLP does not view the Palestinian struggle as a religious one, seeing it instead as a broader revolution against Western imperialism.” Abu Nidal split from Yasser Arafat’s Fatah in 1974; no Islamic motives were involved.

Like those who saw no difference between al-Qaeda and Iraq, Ferguson seems to consider all terrorists to be the same and dismisses all of their grievances equally. The factual record and its complexities are subordinated to his demonization of Middle Eastern culture. For Ferguson and other neo-conservative Middle East “experts,” that demonization — reminiscent of the attitudes of British colonial functionaries — functioned as the self-evident justification for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

All in the Accounting

The British occupations of Egypt in 1882 and Sudan in 1898 are Ferguson’s models for what the US ought to do in Iraq: act unilaterally and announce that troops will soon be evacuated, but keep them there indefinitely. However, Ferguson’s version of Egyptian and Sudanese history is about as reliable as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s account of Iraq’s stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction delivered to the UN Security Council in February 2003.

Col. Ahmad ‘Urabi did not simply overthrow the Egyptian ruler, Khedive Tawfiq, in 1882, as Ferguson begins the story. Tawfiq had been installed in 1879 by the European powers in order to ensure the payment of Egypt’s foreign debt. He refused to allow the newly established cabinet or the reconstituted Advisory Council of Representatives to exercise any restraint over his powers, especially in financial matters, and he rejected the principle of accountability of cabinet ministers to the Council.

By 1881, dissatisfaction with the khedive’s deference to European bondholders’ interests led to the formation of a National Party, which combined elements from the army, members of the Advisory Council of Representatives, which Tawfiq had dissolved, and Muslim, Christian and Jewish intellectuals. ‘Urabi was the leader of a group of Arabic-speaking Egyptian officers who objected to the reservation of the highest ranks for Turkish speakers and opposed Tawfiq’s cuts in the military budget to raise funds to pay European creditors. ‘Urabi and his allies raised the slogan: “Egypt for the Egyptians.” Khedive Tawfiq was forced to appear to acquiesce by appointing ‘Urabi minister of war.

Behind the back of his government, Tawfiq called in the British and French, who sailed their fleets past Alexandria in June 1882. In response, the people of the city rioted, killing about 50 foreigners. Knowing that Tawfiq was collaborating with the British, ‘Urabi declared him a traitor and took control of the government. The British fleet bombarded Alexandria in July, after ‘Urabi refused to remove the cannons in its harbor. In August, a British army invaded Egypt, where its successors remained until 1956.

Ferguson’s story of the British occupation of Sudan is even more fantastic. Britain did not intervene “to overthrow bad government.” It occupied Sudan to preserve its hold on the upper Nile Valley, which is vital to Egypt’s economic security. Cecil Rhodes had long agitated for such a move so that the entire “Cape to Cairo” route could be painted British red lest its continuity be disrupted by a swath of French blue. The Sudanese Mahdi, who began a revolt against Turco-Egyptian rule in 1881, was not a “Wahhabist zealot.” He was a leader of the Sammaniya Sufi order, to which many of his followers adhered. Sufism (Islamic mysticism) is fiercely denounced in Wahhabi doctrine. Then again, if all Middle Eastern Muslims have a dysfunctional culture, it couldn’t matter too much precisely what they believe.

Not Accidental Imperialism

Just as he dismisses American exceptionalism, Ferguson disregards the British historiographical tradition that downplays economic considerations in the decision of an avowedly anti-imperialist British government to invade Egypt: “What the oil in Iraq is today, so the Suez Canal was then.” He commends the injunction of Britain’s first proconsul in Egypt, Evelyn Baring, later Lord Cromer (of the Barings Bank family, whose economic position in Egypt was comparable to that of Halliburton in contemporary Iraq), that the British ought not to “enquire too closely what these people…themselves think is in their own interests.” Rather, Cromer thought, Egyptian policy issues should be decided “by the light of Western knowledge and experience.” Using such Western knowledge, the proconsul reorganized Egypt’s finances “much like a modern structural adjustment program. The results were a fiscal triumph.”

There was only one small problem. Egypt’s per capita gross domestic product stagnated from 1913 to 1950: “Though Egypt got richer as a country, the average Egyptian did not.” Nonetheless, according to Ferguson, “Cromer and his successors got both the policies and the institutions right.” The “average Egyptian” might beg to differ, just as many “beneficiaries” of structural adjustment programs today see things differently than the International Monetary Fund.

The most substantial problem in Ferguson’s account of Britain’s rule in Egypt is the paucity of references to Egyptian nationalism and factual errors when he does discuss it. His hero, Lord Cromer, was ousted as His Majesty’s Agent and Consul General in Egypt in 1907 after British officers mistakenly shot dead the wife of a village imam while they were on a hunting trip. The ensuing upsurge of nationalist sentiment prompted Cromer’s departure. The British did not elect to proclaim Egypt independent in 1922; they were compelled to do so because of the 1919 nationalist uprising. Mass demonstrations forced the British to renegotiate the terms of their occupation of Egypt in 1936. The military coup of July 23, 1952 brought a Revolutionary Command Council to power with a popular mandate to end the British occupation, which the British agreed to do in a treaty signed in 1954. But it was not until the fiasco of the 1956 Suez war that Britain finally abandoned its imperial ambitions in Egypt.

“Empire” and Destiny

Ferguson wants the United States to learn from nineteenth-century Britain about how to run a liberal empire and, presumably, how best to “stay the course” in Iraq. But what exactly is the lesson for the United States from his historical comparisons? That if Washington persists in ordering American soldiers to occupy foreign countries, they are likely to face protracted resistance and ultimately be expelled without thanks? That even if the macro-economic balance sheet looks better than when US forces arrived, failure to measurably improve the standard of living of the occupied will win Americans their lasting enmity? Perhaps most strangely for Ferguson’s argument, Egypt, his chosen colonial success story, has been, since the 1930s, the incubator of a decidedly anti-liberal Islamist movement. Islamists assassinated Sadat in 1981. The ensuing Egyptian state repression expanded the ranks of the transnational jihadi movement and brought Osama bin Laden’s alleged top lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, into the ranks of al-Qaeda. Was this because Britain did not “stay the course”?

A more comprehensive perspective would consider seriously the significance of the major anti-imperial movements in Egypt and India at the end of World War I followed by rebellions against French imperialism in Syria and Morocco. Since then, the peoples of the world — for better or worse — have tended to take seriously the principle of the right of nations to self-determination first enunciated by both liberals and Marxists. The age of empire is over. Any attempted restoration will be bloody and is very likely to fail. The physical destruction and human carnage resulting from US or US-backed military interventions in places like Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Angola don’t figure in Ferguson’s imperial balance sheet.

Ferguson’s vision for the domestic future of the United States is not particularly attractive, either. He excoriates Europeans for their laziness and dismisses the capacity of the European Union to serve as a global countervailing force to the United States. The US is stronger economically and militarily, not because its economy is more productive or because Americans save more, but because Americans work more. Ferguson considers this a good thing. Europeans have universal health insurance, cheap or free higher education, good urban and inter-urban transport, functional and even beautiful inner cities, and a smaller gap between the rich and the poor. Americans work more, drive Hummers, participate less in their political system and have become insecure because US foreign policy is detested throughout the world. [5] Vive la différence!

Urging the American public not to “go wobbly” like the Europeans have done, Max Boot recently reminded his readers that Americans die in wartime. [6] As a percentage of total forces in combat, US casualties in the 2003-2004 Iraq war have been low compared to, say, the war of 1812 or World War II. Ferguson, likewise, told the Atlantic Monthly that a “premature evacuation” of Iraq is “all too likely.” American aversion to the costs of war is one reason, he argues, why the colossus has “feet of clay.” [7]

While the Bush administration remains committed to occupying Iraq, former acolytes of “empire” are softening their language. Boot follows Ferguson in describing Cromer’s rule over Egypt as a success because, unlike Paul Bremer, he stayed out of public view and allowed the Egyptians to think they were running the country. “The US today doesn’t need the same level of control in Iraq that the British had in Egypt, and it needs to be much more serious about promoting democracy than the British were,” Boot concludes. “Formal empire isn’t our destiny.” [8]

However, ruling Iraq from behind the scenes, from a US super-embassy headed by John Negroponte, might be. Aspiring imperialists, unembarrassed by the Iraq experience, have formed yet another advocacy group, the third incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger, to press ahead with the “war on terrorism,” just as the Project for the New American Century led the intellectual charge for a war on Iraq. The CPD views Iraq as the major front in the “war on terrorism,” oblivious to the widely recognized reality that the US military presence in Iraq has increased terrorism and undermined US national security.

As this present unfolds, two possible futures for Colossus are imaginable: Either it may someday be seen as a document of a moment when a segment of the Anglo-American political elite and their court scribes lost their minds, or it will become a foundational text for unapologetic hawks in a future debate over “who lost Iraq.” Either way, it doesn’t make very good history.


[1] See Avi Shlaim, Collusion Across the Jordan (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990) and Benny Morris, Israel’s Border Wars, 1949-1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997).
[2] Charles D. Smith, in Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (New York: St. Martins, 2004), tends toward the “green light” theory. Smith, p. 277. Michael Oren, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 145-147, 153 falls between a “green” and a “yellow light.” William Quandt, Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1967 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001), pp. 23-48 argues explicitly for a yellow light, but understands that Israel would consider this a “green light.” Richard Parker, a career US diplomat who served at the time of the war, is one of the few serious observers who believe that the United States did not give Israel at least a limited go-ahead for war. See Parker, The Politics of Miscalculation in the Middle East (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1993), pp. 114-116.
[3] Atlantic Monthly (online), May 27, 2004.
[4] Weekly Standard, October 15, 2001.
[5] Ferguson waxes rhapsodic about the dual role of the Hummer in sustaining American consumerism and enabling military conquest, and bestows accolades on California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for being the first owner of a commercial Hummer. Colossus, pp. 267-268.
[6] Los Angeles Times, May 27, 2004.
[7] Atlantic Monthly (online), May 27, 2004.
[8] Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2004.

How to cite this article:

Joel Beinin "The Imperial Lament," Middle East Report Online, June 15, 2004.

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