To be, or not to be, an Empire.
Q: Why will there never be a coup d'état in Washington?
A: Because there's no American embassy there
The origin of this question is unclear, yet its uncanny provocation as a question rearranges how we think about power and domination.
Benevolent imperialism, two words entirely incompatible unless speaking of US Exceptionalism, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, or any of T.S. Eliot's poems. Then, benevolent imperialism becomes synonymous with US Democracy, civilizational discourses, and the enlightenment of genocide and domination. Elections and parliamentary procedures do not make a democracy.
The late William Blum dedicated his research and journalism to exposing the contours, counter-insurgencies, and contradictions of US Imperialism. Author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, and Americ's Deadliest Export: Democracy. Killing Hope is a devastating and wide-ranging exposé of the violence and justifications for invasions, assassinations, and coup d'états against the economies and social infrastructures of countries across the globe in the name of capitalism and democracy.
Click here to read the list of "Overthrowing other people's governments: The Master List" compiled by Blum. Check out this video map of the approximately 469 US military interventions admitted by the US government going back to 1798. This does not include other forms of meddling in elections, spreading propaganda, funding opposition groups or overthrowing democratically elected leaders.
Chalmers Johnson's Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire is also a helpful reference. "The term 'blowback,' invented by the CIA, refers to the unintended results of American actions abroad. In this incisive and controversial book, Chalmers Johnson lays out in vivid detail the dangers faced by our overextended empire, which insists on projecting its military power to every corner of the earth and using American capital and markets to force global economic integration on its own terms."
Check out this video about the CIA orchestration of the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz, the democratically elected leader of Guatemala, in 1954. Click here for Democracy Now's report, "Make the Economy Scream": Secret Documents Show Nixon, Kissinger Role Backing 1973 Chile Coup."
Here is a video of Hilary Clinton discussing the US support for Osama Bin Laden and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan during the 1980s.