The United States of America is the biggest and worst terrorist nation of the world. And most Americans approve enthusiastically. Those two statements need careful corroboration. They need a careful reading of history.

In his State of the Union speech in December 1823, President James Monroe told European nations to stay out of the Americas, and North Americans applauded what was rapidly dubbed the Monroe Doctrine. Of course, most European countries ignored it back then because the U.S. armed forces were not strong enough to enforce it. But soon they were, giving President Theodore Roosevelt the opportunity to declare in his infamous 1904 corollary that the United States had the right to intervene in Latin America to “stabilize” its economic affairs. As every Latino school kid immediately understood, that corollary meant that the United States could decide whatever made the United States richer. And it did — massively.

At first...

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