The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.62/No.4           February 2, 1998 
Imperialism before 1898?
I have to question a statement made by Mary-Alice Waters at the socialist conference in Birmingham, Alabama. The statement was that "Washington rose as an imperialist power 100 years ago with the Spanish American War." The question I have is what about the numerous imperialist wars that Washington waged against Native Americans? Didn't these wars begin to establish the United States as an imperialist power?

The word imperialism I believe has its origin in the Roman Empire. We should take into consideration that Rome became an empire partly because of its domination of tribal peoples. Some of these tribes were the Anglos, the Saxons, the Britons.. If the Roman Empire was an imperialist power, it seems that the wars against Native Americans were a classic example of imperialism.

If the wars against Native Americans were imperialist, they were not the only examples of U.S. intervention before 1898. In William Blum's book Killing Hope he gives a list of all the military interventions in the history of the United States. The use of the military prior to 1898 is included in a list covering five pages. This list doesn't include most of the wars against Native Americans. One example was the conquest of Hawaii in 1893.

These are the reasons why I question the statement that this country became an imperialist power 100 years ago. However, I commend the Militant for giving attention to Cuba's revolutionary war of independence during the latter years of the 19th century.

Steve Halpern

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A crucial source of information
The Militant is a crucial source of information for workers - the majority at this moment in history. Thank you for your work and solidarity with Cuba.


Inver Grove, Minnesota

N.Y. unemployment
On page 34 of the December 29, 1997/January 5, 1998 issue of Business Week there is an article entitled "Down and Out in the Big Apple?," which cites some figures on unemployment in New York City. According to the article, unemployment in New York City has just recently fallen below 10 percent.

Ten or nine percent unemployment may be something that everyone in New York has come to assume. But it stands in stark contrast to what is going on in some other parts of the country where today there is a relative labor shortage - Minnesota and Alabama, where unemployment is well below four percent, are two examples with which I am personally familiar.

The disparity points up the unevenness of the rulers' recovery and one real consequence of the unprecedented bull market right in the capital of U.S. capital. It also underscores the relevance of the demands raised in An Action Program to Confront the Coming Economic Crisis.

John Hawkins

St. Paul, Minnesota

I appreciate the `Militant'
I'm just writing to let you know that I'm getting your publication and that I appreciate it very much. I didn't realize how much was not being said in newspapers until I started receiving the Militant.

A prisoner

Cameron, Missouri

The letters column is an open forum for all viewpoints on subjects of general interest to our readers. Please keep your letters brief. Where necessary they will be abridged. Please indicate if you prefer that your initials be used rather than your full name.

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