Tag: American Exceptionalism

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How America Expunges Bad Memories

Photos of victims of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam galvanized public awareness about the barbarity of the war. (Photo taken by U. S. Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle)

America is a place that expunges unpleasant memories that belie the happier vision of its “exceptionalism,” most notably the brutal ugliness of the Vietnam War and more recent war crimes in the Middle East, observes Michael Brenner.

US Foreign Policy Elite vs. the Evil One

A scene from "Dr. Strangelove," in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.

The crème de la U.S. foreign policy establishment gathered in Texas last week, reaffirming at a friendly conclave the need for their skillful stewardship of the national security state, as Michael Brenner witnessed.

The Scuffle over ‘American Exceptionalism’

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Before the American Legion, Hillary Clinton sought to paint herself as the real patriot running for President by invoking “American exceptionalism,” a phrase that has caused much trouble and that Donald Trump disdains, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Case for Pragmatism

President Barack Obama talks with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation as they join other leaders en route to the APEC Family Photo at the International Convention Center in Beijing, China, Nov. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Since American neocons emerged in the 1980s, they have pushed an aggressive “regime change” strategy that has left bloody chaos in their wake. The cumulative impact, including Mideast refugees flooding Europe and overuse of sanctions, is now contributing to a…

America’s ‘Exceptional’ Negotiations

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes a walk in a park between meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, on Nov. 8, 2013, that focused on limits on Iran's nuclear capabilities. (State Department photo)

America has a strange idea about international negotiations: It makes demands and the other side must capitulate or face crushing penalties if not violent “regime change.” This strange attitude is threatening the Iran-nuclear talks and endangering real U.S. national interests, writes…

Papering Over Extra-Judicial Killings

A Predator drone firing a missile.

The Obama administration, like its predecessor, holds that the “exceptional” U.S. has the right to enter other countries to kill “terrorists,” but it would never tolerate, say, Cuba targeting CIA-trained terrorists harbored in Miami, one of many double standards posing as…

Double Standards and Drones

President Barack Obama speaks in the White House press room on April 23, 2015, regarding a counterterrorism strike that accidentally killed an American and an Italian hostage. (Screen shot from WhiteHouse.gov)

American politicians and pundits genuflect to the theory of exceptionalism, which holds that the U.S. can do pretty much whatever it wants, but this lawlessness best exemplified by drones raining down death on “terrorists” and civilians alike makes more enemies than…

US ‘Exceptionalism’ Boomerangs

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivering a speech on the Ukraine crisis in Moscow on March 18, 2014. (Russian government photo)

Official Washington thinks “American exceptionalism” means the U.S. government can ignore international law when intervening in other countries. But that hypocrisy is now coming back to bite the U.S. with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

How Reagan Enforced US Hypocrisy

President Ronald Reagan.

Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. news media has so fully bought into the U.S. government’s narrative on Ukraine that almost no one sees the layers of hypocrisy, an achievement in “group think” that dates back to Ronald Reagan’s war against “moral equivalence,” writes Robert…