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    American Exceptionalism Is A Morally Bankrupt Ideology
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    166 years ago Frederick Douglas gave his famous 4th of July speech condemning slavery which contained this excerpt:
    Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the old world, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.
    Since then the U.S. has abolished slavery and Jim Crow, so the phrase "revolting barbarity" no longer applies, but the rest of the excerpt is just as true today as it was in 1852 because when you lay all you facts side by side there is no nation that compares to the U.S. when it comes to shameless hypocrisy. This is a nation that has waged war and routinely threatens to wage war on sovereign nations for trying obtain the same weapons that we have thousands of. What gives us the right to tell nations that haven't been defeated in war which weapons they can have to defend themselves, especially considering the fact that we're the only nation that has ever used the most destructive of these weapons? Furthermore, the rest of the world is fully aware that we've blocked UN resolutions to make the Mideast a nuclear free zone in order to maintain Israel's nuclear monopoly. And let's not forget that it was the U.S. that used its veto at the U.N. to protect Saddam from sanctions after he gassed the Kurds with chemical weapons given to him by the U.S. The Russians and Chinese aren't saints but they aren't going around the world acting like the world's BATF despite the fact that most of the nations trying to obtain nuclear weapons are in their back yards. They also don't wrap themselves in pious platitudes such as "shining city on a hill", beacon of democracy", etc. Here's how former IAEA director Mohamed Elbaradei put it:

    In areas of longstanding conflict like the Middle East, South Asia and the Korean Peninsula, the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction can be expected as long as we fail to introduce alternatives that redress the security deficit. We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use.
    Why all the hand-wringing about the Russian election meddling when the U.S. has meddled in elections and done a lot worse (eg. coups, assassinations, etc.) in scores of countries all over the world since WWII. Did we really expect Putin to just take it on the chin when he found out what we were up to in Ukraine in 2014? Why should Iranians take our President seriously when he talks about wanting to give them the fruits of freedom and blessings of democracy when we overthrew the only democratic government they've ever had because their prime minister refused to be an American puppet?

    Do we ever expect anyone to take us seriously in our fight against 'Islamic terrorism" while we continuously turn a blind eye to the mischief making of Sunni states like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan who are responsible for the lion's share of terrorist attacks against the West while sanctioning, bombing and hectoring Shiite states like Syria and Iran who have no history of ever carrying out any terrorist attacks against the West and are waged in a mortal battle against the very Sunni terrorists who threaten us?

    Will the U.S. ever be able to live in peace with the rest of the world as long as our government holds onto the mindset that it has a God-given right to do whatever it wants to outside of its borders because we are Americans? How is this ideology any better than that of the Islamic radicals we've been fighting for most of the 21st century?
     

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    #2
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    Oh dear....just as well the U.S. isn't in the World Cup....
     

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    #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conor Dary View Post
    Oh dear....just as well the U.S. isn't in the World Cup....
    Considering where it's being held this year, so much the better. The less publicity for Chairman Cheeto, the better.
     

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    #4
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    Jazz, that's a lot to unpack. I'd try to stay current and not step back and raise the sins of the past as there is nothing we can do about it.

    As to Putin and our 2016 election. It was an act of war from the Russians and an act of treason from the Republican nominee. If there is a shred of American Exceptionalism both should be handled immediately. Sadly, those who promote that myth are mainly in league with the enemy.
    Last edited by booond; 07-05-2018 at 02:14 PM.
     

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    #5
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    American Exceptionalism Is A Morally Bankrupt Ideology
    I take extreme exception (ha!) to the very term 'American Exceptionalism'. It is, to be frank, un-American (irony!). We are a collection of diverse individuals who sometimes get it right and sometimes get it wrong (we seem to be in a definite down-cycle now). Even with Obama in office we EFFed up Afghanistan pretty badly. 'Americanism' is a thing, and fortunately it's the same thing it's always been: pursuit of the dream, kind to strangers, community spirit, fierce defense of independence for nation and self, etc..

    The extreme irony of MAGA is that if you point to ANY time when you think America WAS great, we had bigger problems than we do today in the most important areas: racism, sexism (and harrassment), homophobia, xenophobia . . . intolerance. Despite having a jerk for a CinC, this nation's consciousness is higher than ever before. I have great hope for us, if we can just survive the current rot at the top.
     

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by booond View Post
    As to Putin and our 2016 election. It was an act of war from the Russians and an act of treason from the Republican nominee. If there is a shred of American Exceptionalism both should be handled immediately. Sadly, those who promote that myth are mainly in league with the enemy.
    I agree with you 100% about Trump's treason but whether you call Putin's election meddling an act of war or not doesn't change the fact that he didn't do anything that the U.S. hasn't done in the past, and that we and other nations will continue to do in the future. I'm sure we can give as good as we take when it comes to cyberwar and I'm sure Iran's nuclear scientists can give you a first-hand account of what I'm talking about.

    Also note that Putin may have leaked DNC emails but he didn't doctor them, as evidenced by the fact that the subjects (Donna Brazille, Neera Tanden, John Podesta) never refuted any of them. One thing that stuck out to me in the emails is Tanden and Podesta lamenting how poor Hillary's judgement and political instincts are, and that Hillary would have continued to give big-money speeches behind closed doors for Wall Street types right up until election day if they hadn't intervened to get her to stop.
     

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