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  1. America Unmasked
  2. Delusion of Exceptionalism | Common Dreams Views
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According to Kagan, U.

America Unmasked

One wonders through what looking glass the Brookings Institute views the world. The U.

It spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined. The illegal invasion of Iraq was an unmitigated disaster, and Iran has given up its nuclear enrichment program and its stockpile of enhanced uranium.

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But to those at Brookings, the only thing that counts is that the U. Where the politics of Trump fits into all this is by no means clear.

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The battle of Lodge Pine Ridge did not last long, and none of the Regiment survived. It was a stunning blow in the only war against the U. Within less than two years the Army would admit defeat and retreat. In the end, the Indians were no match for the numbers, technology, and firepower of the U. The view that American institutions and its organization of capital is superior is a dangerous delusion and increasingly unacceptable — and unenforceable — in a multi-polar world. The tragedy is how widespread and deep these sentiments are. A retired journalism professor, he previously was an editor of People's World when it was a West Coast publication.

Total U.

Trump bans Raul Castro and his children from coming to U. European Parliament launches anti-communist crusade. Tags: Analysis foreign policy imperialism war. Conn Hallinan.

Delusion of Exceptionalism | Common Dreams Views

Manifest destiny, while never a matter of official policy, helped to sustain the expansion of the United States from the territory of the 13 Colonies. Beginning with the independence of the Eastern Seaboard and creeping westward at first incrementally and later with leaps and bounds to the shore of the Pacific Ocean, manifest destiny involved ignoring both the presence of indigenous peoples and the purchase or conquest of lands from both Old World powers United Kingdom , France , Spain and New World claims Mexico.

Manifest destiny is the background that saw the United States justify claims to the entirety of what was then called Oregon, conquer and annex forty percent of the claims of Mexico, to ignore Native Americans audacity of existence during expansion, and to justify labor pools of orphan train children for farming and Chinese labor for railroad building. In short, manifest destiny helped to empower the achievement of the peculiar fortunes of contemporary American geography.

With a massive surplus of arable land, seaports for trade on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and variations in geography and climate to have internal security for both food and water, there was little to deter the isolationism of the United States after its own devastating civil war. Indeed, with isolation the norm and Europe at a distance, it was only late in the game that the United States became concerned about the first World War in Europe and initially divided over whether to enter on the side of Germany or the United Kingdom.

Unrestrained German submarine warfare finally became the tipping point to American entry fairly late in the war, and with nearly half of casualties the result not of conflict per se but of exposure to the influenza pandemic known as the Spanish Flu. Bolstered by having chosen the winning side and with industry having seen how lucrative military manufacturing could be, the stage was set for then renewed embrace of the idea of American Exceptionalism.

With the disastrous Treaty of Versailles creating conditions ripe for the rise of fascist politics in Germany and the Japan's desire to avoid the fate of China's submission to European dictates encouraging a rise of militarism there, the next World War became the script for American self-belief as a necessary nation to protect freedom everywhere by fighting its enemies anywhere. Defeating Nazism was a moral quest that we recognize as the right thing to do.

The quiet integration of Hitler's scientists after the war and the barbaric incarceration of Japanese-Americans during the war is something we prefer to just ignore without study or reflection. Unfortunately, the idea that America can behave without regard to historical lessons or that our involvement is essential in spreading freedoms and democracy has wrought havoc the world over.

Hidden behind this idea has been the establishment of so-called "banana republics" of Latin America to serve elite wealthy business interests, blind eyes given to despots from Cuba and throughout the Caribbean , undeclared and secret bombings in Southeast Asia , the green light given to massacres, false premises to wars for commodity control, and the ongoing disrespect piled on to the concerns of native peoples, minorities, and human rights principles.

What has the result of these misadventures been? As a country, we have continued to lose standing throughout the world as a legitimate voice for human rights, as a responsible member of a community of nations, as an arbiter of peace, or as a party protective of the planet.

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It is time to rid ourselves of our manifest delusions so that we might deal with the realities we face. Our home-based myths have infected our views abroad as well. There are laws both international and American that are supposed to preclude giving aid or funding to countries that systematically violate or ignore their human rights obligations.

There are other countries that seem able to shout for their exceptionalism when systematically ignoring the rights of other peoples too. Do you think we should continue aid to an Egyptian government that continues to menace its own people? Should we stand firm for the security of Israelis while ignoring the security of Palestinians?

Are we to pretend that Thailand hasn't faced yet another dangerous military coup? Shall Indonesia be a partner if their presidency puts Prabowo, an enemy of human rights , in charge? Will you contact your Representatives and Senators to ask them to enforce the requirements of these laws and without exception for the sake of universal human rights?

Laws, principles, and universal human rights don't need to be bent or omitted selectively.


They should be enforced and guaranteed without dangerous exceptions or attempts to argue that universal rules can be disregarded at will. Human rights need a single universal standard, not one that is dependent on any individual country's size or utility.

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