According to a brief News24 article, Williams (57) was being interviewed by the "Muslim lifestyle magazine" Emel when he agreed that the US had lost the high moral ground since 9/11.
This is not an unexpected criticism from Williams. It is quite well known that he opposes the US war in Iraq that began after 9/11.
Williams characterized the US role in global affairs by saying: "We have only one hegemonic power at the moment. It is not accumulating territory, it is trying to accumulate influence and control. That's not working."
On the inevitable comparison between US and British 'imperialisms' Williams entered into a dubious comparison. He more than implies that British imperialism in India was more mindful than the brutish and rash American kind in Iraq.
This is the comparison in his reported words:
"It is one thing to take over a territory and then pour energy and resources into administering and normalising it.
"Rigthly or wrongly, that is what the British Empire did - in India for example.
"It is another thing to go in on the assumption that a quick burst of violent action will somehow clear the decks and that you can move on and other people will put things back together again - Iraq for example."
It is not my intention to raise any doubts about the immoral and inhumane context of US imperialism and its war on the innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I think though that the Archbishop has hardly made a case against the immorality of imperialism by arguing that there is, "righly or wrongly", a better case to be judged.
Britain's imperialism must be judged as harshly, if not more so, simply because of its scope and longevity.
Moreover, what is the point of critiquing the US action in Iraq when Britain has been, and is, very much part of the "willing" coalition that supports that brutal imperial war?
Archbishop Williams could have offered a more holistic critique if he condemned colonial imperialism in any form, and more specifically, at any moment in Anglo-American history.
Instead, what is offered is a rather one-sided critique that seems to harbour some competitive, and even nationalistic, finger pointing at US imperialism.