Tom Friedman’s column today basically says what he’s been saying for weeks, which is that rebuilding Iraq and showing that Americans don’t have it in for Arabs is more important than conquering the country, and that we need to do something to help resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. He unfortunately cites Colin Powell’s statement about Americans never asking for anything more than a place to bury its dead when invading other countries. It’s a beautiful sentiment, but is it true? Where did all of those military bases that we have around the world come from, anyway? It seems to me that the bases in Germany, Japan, the Philippines, Cuba, and other places as well were all direct offshoots of American invasions. How large would America be if we hadn’t taken nearly every acre of it away from Native Americans? I do not think of America as a country that’s interested in conquest, but to say that we’ve never asked for anything in terms of land from countries we’ve invaded is just inaccurate, and I hate seeing it repeated over and over, just because it reinforces the way we think of ourselves.