We’ve been just talking about Libya and counterterrorist operation out there. One of our guests said the US holds double standards. Should any other country do that and by that I mean perform counterterrorist operations when basically they just go in and hunt the bad guy in other countries. Washington wouldn’t approve. Do you agree or disagree with this?
Certainly because Washington operates under the presumption that a different set of rules applies to the US and US military and foreign policy than does to any other country. American exceptionalism, even the very notion of exceptionalism is deeply rooted with US history.
But who made the US the policeman of the world? Do you think other self-proclaimed exceptional features?
Nobody but US power made the US follow a different set of rules. Of course, this is a function of power and empire. The more power accrued within a particular hegemony, the more likely they are to see themselves as exceptional. Historically, almost any empire that you look at creates the pretext to justify aggression and domination.
Do you think it’s correct for Obama to call Americans exceptional? Isn’t this the main flaw of so-called “me me me generation”?
I think it’s correct for Obama to call Americans exceptional in so far as when he is speaking to the American people he is propping this very notion of America as above and beyond all other countries, as Americans above and beyond all other peoples of the world. And it feeds into American ego and American idea of itself but in terms of the global prospective this is really outrageous. However, the US is merely one of many countries in the world and an actor that should be required to follow all the same rules and national norms as any other country. But when Obama speaks to the American people he must use the notion of exceptionalism because that’s how the US sees itself regardless of reality.
Hasn’t history taught us negative examples of nations claiming their superiority?
You’re absolutely right and history shows that notions of exceptionalism almost always end in tragedy. But I think that is also a function of empire because how you’re going to justify the kinds of actions that the US takes around the world unless it can be couched within the rhetoric of freedom, within the rhetoric of liberty and within the context of so-called deep-promoting democracy. This is how the US does it. I think what we really should focus on is not so much what Obama is saying but how Obama is playing to this idea of exceptionalism as a way countering Putin and the Russians and the attempt to check US power in Syria and drop the region. That is the real geopolitical conflict here.