FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

American Exceptionalism

As a regular commentator for PressTV (Iran) I am asked to give my perspective of American government, culture, and foreign policy. I am always identified as a former Green Party candidate for Congress. For the record, I have never praised their government, as I oppose all theocracies, whether they be Iran, Israel, or the state of Utah! If the country does something right or good, I acknowledge that. I have even acknowledged when Trump did/does something good, yet always for the wrong reason. Example: his not wanting to go to war with Russia and his opposition to NATO. Iran is also, along with the US, horrible when it comes to human rights and I have mentioned that. The death penalty being a major concern as well as Iran’s persecution of the LGBT community. I even throw a bit of Yiddishisms in, just to be snarky.

One theme I often touch upon is ‘American Exceptionalism’, a philosophy that makes America the strongest and weakest nation at the same time because it believes it is the best and anything it does it does with the help of divine providence. Every leader believes their country is the best. Every city believes it is the best. Just look at Baltimore City’s bus benches. “America’s greatest city” At one time it said, “The city that reads” but too many people were defacing it with ‘The city that bleeds.’ Good PR works only until it doesn’t!

If only the US would learn from Catch 22 when an Italian is talking to Captain Nately (Art Garfunkel) about how being a weak country like Italy is why it has survived and how a great country like America will be destroyed!

President Obama had to show how American he was, considering he was born in Kenya (sarcasm) by effusively praising America’s greatness. Every president ends their speeches, especially at the State of the Union, with God Bless America, even the probable nihilist Trump, cliché as it is, is meant that a god blesses America and not you, you atheistic, commie, Muslim peoples of the world.

What prompted me to write this piece was due to an article I read in Newsweek in which it reported on how Trump’s SS troops were destroying medical packs in Portland and how it is a war crime and a violation of the Geneva Convention. Of course they likely never wrote about this aspect of Obama’s crushing of Occupy, the torture of Chelsea Manning or water hosing in winter of the Dakota pipeline protesters. The lawyers can debate over whether what is happening in Portland, and soon a city near you, constitutes war crimes and whether it is covered under Geneva. That they even argue that these US federal troops are committing such a crime is unusual.

What is happening in Portland is also an example of American exceptionalism. When the US does something wrong, it needs to be pointed out, yet we ignore when our allies do it and when we do it abroad. Israel regularly targets medics during demonstrations. For months when Palestinian protesters were there at the border wall in Gaza demanding to be able to go home the IDF or Occupation army with their snipers took aim and successfully shot medics, identified journalists, people running back, and of course anyone with a rock that couldn’t even reach them. US media looked and looks the other way. But the US is special. We don’t do that; we only arm our allies to do it and give them diplomatic cover and more weapons. The Israelis are very appreciative of our support, so much so that they openly train our police forces in such human rights abusive tactics in suppressing peaceful demonstrations. The other obvious case is our pretense in opposing genocide or mass killings, as we are culpable in such crimes in Yemen perpetrated by Saudi Arabia.

But if the US does something wrong, we are the first to acknowledge it because we are exceptional. Just ask Chelsea Manning.

American exceptional is a disease, a cancer. It metastasizes with every new president, every new Congress. But could it be on the wane? Could Trump actually be the miracle vaccine? According to a Gallup poll, we are at our highest dissatisfaction rate for how this country is going since 2010, at 78%. Americans are waking up the fact that we are not (if we ever were) exceptional. So much has hurt our confidence in ourselves: recognition that all cops are bastards, the poor and people of color are disposable, and that so many are dying of a pandemic because our president and many governors, Democratic and Republican, focus more on a strong Wall Street over the lives of everyday people.

But not to worry. Our cancer is only in remission. Trump #2 just might be the next president. If Sleepy Joe takes over in 2021, he is likely to restore America’s over-confidence in itself. We will be back to our providentially approved selves. Our economy will be the strongest in the world. Our armies will be the most powerful, not the most moral, as Israel lays claim to that. We will welcome immigrants and their children with open arms to enter emptied cages. We will have a Green New Deal that won’t be green at all. We will be back to being exceptional and protesters will be forever treated with respect and our leaders will obey their Constitutional rights, because we are exceptional.

More articles by:
August 13, 2020
David Correia, Justin Bendell, and Ernesto Longa
Nine Mile Ride: Why Police Reform Always Results in More Police Violence, Not Less
Vijay Prashad
Why a Growing Force in Brazil Is Charging That President Jair Bolsonaro Has Committed Crimes Against Humanity
Brett Wilkins
Teaching Torture: The Death and Legacy of Dan Mitrione
Joseph Scalia III
Yellowstone Imperiled by Compromise
Binoy Kampmark
Don’t Stigmatise the Nuke! Opponents of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty
Margot Rathke
The Stimulus Deal Should Include Free College
CounterPunch News Service
Critic of Wildlife Department Removed Day Before Scheduled Meetings on Revisions to Wolf-killing Protocols
Thomas Knapp
America Doesn’t Have Real Presidential Debates, But It Should
George Ochenski
Time to Face – and Plan for – Our Very Different Future
Ted Rall
Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential Pick is … ZZZZZ
Purusottam Thakur
‘If We Don’t Work, Who’ll Produce the Harvest?’
Robert Dreyfuss
October Surprise: Will War with Iran Be Trump’s Election Eve Shocker?
Gary Leupp
The RCP, Fascism, and Chairman Bob’s Endorsement of Biden for President
James Haught
The Pandemic Disproves God
Robert Koehler
Election Theft and the Reluctant Democracy
August 12, 2020
Melvin Goodman
Trump’s War On Arms Control and Disarmament
P. Sainath
“We Didn’t Bleed Him Enough”: When Normal is the Problem
Riva Enteen
Kamala Harris? Really? Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
Kenneth Surin
The Decrepit UK Political System
Robert Hunziker
Freakish Arctic Fires Alarmingly Intensify
Ramzy Baroud
The Likud Conspiracy: Israel in the Throes of a Major Political Crisis
Sam Pizzigati
Within Health Care USA, Risk and Reward Have Never Been More Out of Kilter
John Perry
The US Contracts Out Its Regime Change Operation in Nicaragua
Binoy Kampmark
Selective Maritime Rules: The United States, Diego Garcia and International Law
Manuel García, Jr.
The Improbability of CO2 Removal From the Atmosphere
Khury Petersen-Smith
The Road to Portland: The Two Decades of ‘Homeland Security’
Raouf Halaby
Teaching Palestinian Children to Love Beethoven, Bizet, and Mozart is a Threat to a Depraved Israeli Society
Jeff Mackler
Which Way for Today’s Mass Radicalization? Capitalism’s Impending Catastrophe…or a Socialist Future
Tom Engelhardt
It Could Have Been Different
Stephen Cooper
Santa Davis and the “Stalag 17” Riddim
August 11, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
Why Capitalism is in Constant Conflict With Democracy
Paul Street
Defund Fascism, Blue and Orange
Richard C. Gross
Americans Scorned
Andrew Levine
Trump and Biden, Two Ignoble Minds Here O’erthrown
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Nationalism Has Led to the Increased Repression of Minorities
Sonali Kolhatkar
Trump’s Presidency is a Death Cult
Colin Todhunter
Pushing GMO Crops into India: Experts Debunk High-Level Claims of Bt Cotton Success
Valerie Croft
How Indigenous Peoples are Using Ancestral Organizing Practices to Fight Mining Corporations and Covid-19
David Rovics
Tear Gas Ted Has a Tantrum in Portland
Dean Baker
There is No Evidence That Generous Unemployment Benefits are Making It Difficult to Find Workers
Robert Fantina
War on Truth: How Kashmir Struggles for Freedom of Press
Dave Lindorff
Trump Launches Attack on Social Security and Medicare
Elizabeth Schmidt
COVID-19 Poses a Huge Threat to Stability in Africa
Parth M.N.
Coping With a Deadly Virus, a Social One, Too
Thomas Knapp
The “Election Interference” Fearmongers Think You’re Stupid
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail