Countries like Britain and America may deny any modern-day imperialism, and I suppose within a narrow definition that’s true – it’s not like they’re setting up Viceroys and what have you. But, in a way, they kind of are. They – we –are imposing a political structure on a different sovereign state simply because, essentially, it serves our own interests. I don’t know about you, but that smacks of imperialism to me. We may not be importing our own people out there to rule, but even in India we allowed some of the local bigwigs carry on running things, as long as they more or less did as they were told.
The British Government does not give a flying fuck about the plight of the common-or-garden Iraqi (or anywhere else where we might feel obliged to dabble). That’s not what they’re there for. We do not pay them, or vote for them, to bother about other countries’ affairs. However, we *do* expect them to involve themselves in our interests, which is why they do the stuff they do: not because it’s best for Iraq, but because it’s best for Britain. Apparently. Who knows, at the end of the day (to quote every sports commentator EVER), it may be best for Iraq as well (I remain dubious), but that’s a beneficial side-effect, rather than the main goal.
Maybe I am being needlessly cynical. But I don’t think so.