Your typical empire invades countries to seize their resources, impose political control and levy taxes. That was true of every empire from the ancient Romans to the Brits and the Soviets.
That was never the case with Iraq. For all the blood-for-oil nonsense, if America wanted Iraq's oil it could have saved a lot of blood and simply bought it. Saddam Hussein would have been happy to cut a deal if we only lifted our sanctions. Indeed, the U.S. oil industry never lobbied for an invasion, but it did lobby for an end to sanctions. We never levied taxes in Iraq either. Indeed, we're left holding the tab for the liberation.
by Jonah Goldberg in "American Imperialism... Please" townhall.com