America Will Pay a Mighty Price If It Keeps Pretending It's the Superpower It Used to Be
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Editor’s Note: In 1984, as the U.S. national elite was embracing “American exceptionalism” as a core philosophy, Ronald Reagan’s UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick branded those who still dared disagree with U.S. foreign policy as disloyal citizens who would “blame America first,” a clever turn of phrase widely applauded by Washington’s courtier press.
Yet, the consequences of that assault on meaningful self-criticism are now painfully apparent, as the United States stumbles around the world increasingly viewed as a destructive behemoth blind to its own shortcomings and deceptions, as Lawrence Davidson notes in this guest essay:
Benjamin Disraeli once labeled Britain’s government "an organized hypocrisy." That was in circa 1845. Things have not changed much and by now hypocrisy might well be seen as a common sin of democratic government.
This is because in democracies straight-forward honesty about behavior that runs counter to the idealized national image is usually bad politics.
Among today’s democracies none proves this point more than the United States. The United States, like Great Britain in the 19th century, simultaneously acts like an imperial power and cultivates a national image as the world’s prime purveyor of good government, stability and progress.
However, history has taught us that a nation cannot be both of these things at once. So the folks in Washington have created for themselves an environment wherein principle and consistency are impossible. Take, for instance, the following: 1. A stolen election in the Ivory Coast has resulted in active disapproval on the part of the U.S. government. After all, this is not good government.
President Obama slapped sanctions on the fellows who stole the vote and urged the United Nations to send more troops (some 9,000 are already in the country) to set things right.
On the other hand, the November parliamentary elections in Egypt (presently a U.S. ally) were an outright farce. The opposition was banned, jailed and otherwise intimidated. Not at all good government. And Washington’s response? Nada (nothing).
If you claim to be the prime purveyor of democracy in the world, are you not supposed to be consistent? 2. Then there is the yet unproven Iranian nuclear weapons program. According to studies done by U.S. intelligence, this program is a myth. Nonetheless, Israeli paranoia has stirred up U.S. congressional passions.
Iran is now proclaimed a destabilizing rogue nation. The United States has proceeded to apply one package of sanctions after another on Teheran.
There are actually men and women among our elected officials (obviously more swayed by the whisperings of Zionist lobbyists than by U.S. intelligence reports) who are quite willing to go to war over this unsubstantiated threat. Considering the cost and horror of such action, I think that they, regardless of age or sex, should be in the front combat lines of any conflict resulting from their misplaced enthusiasm.
Not to be undone in this effort, European Union countries also seek to put pressure on Iran to stop something that, according to U.S. intelligence agencies, is not happening. On the other hand there is Israel (America’s "strategic" ally), the source of much of this mania. That country is in violation of international law in ways that Tehran could never match.
Its expansionist policies are the main destabilizing force in the entire Middle East. It is religiously devoted to the ethnic cleansing of an entire people while claiming that it is civilized and "Western."
And, Israel has 200 or more nuclear warheads, the missile systems to deliver them, and a leadership whose reckless disregard for world peace makes Ahmadinejad look like a model of sanity.