...But unlike the Romans or even the British, our garrisons can be ejected without firing a shot. We left the Philippines when asked. We may split from South Korea in the next few years under similar circumstances. Poland wants our military bases; Germany is grumpy about losing them. When Turkey, a U.S. ally and member of NATO, refused to let American troops invade Iraq from its territory, the U.S. government said "fine." We didn't invade Iraq for oil (all we needed to do to buy it was lift the embargo), and we've made it clear that we'll leave Iraq if the Iraqis ask.
What? Oh, come on, now! Gandhi was forced into organizing the Indian people because the Indian government under British rule was little more than errand-boys for the Brits, and America leaves when politely asked to by the Philippines?
South Korea is all huffy about our presence, and our biggest concern is not about a bunch of uppity Asians, but whether North Korea is behind the movement in South Korea? We destroyed the government of Japan and set up from scratch a new Japanese government.....and we just left once we were sure the Japanese were handling things OK?
And let's just look at our most recent awful hegemonic actions, now. After an unprovoked attack on our soil, we simply took out a pair of hostile governments in hopes of establishing a pair of less-hostile governments, and are working to knock out some trans-national movement that fueled the attacks in the first place. So where are the toadies? Where is the guy in the pith helmet who wants to be called "bwana?"
America sucks at the empire business.