The Myth of American Exceptionalism

Discussion in 'Americas' started by ejazr, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I was just being a wise-guy.
     
  2. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^ I know, I was just trying to be wiser. :hmm: :taunt:
     
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I have not read the article but I feel it is better that what you call elitists rule the US than Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin who can see Russia through her window.

    A nation that wins Nobel Prize every year is something that makes one respect the US, but if there are those who see Russia through their window runs the US, the world is in for big trouble!

    And US rules the waves!

    No one is anti US.

    But everywhere the British have colonised and left, they have left problems with a purpose or so it appears.

    And Pakistan ridiculous governance that threatens the US even as today is the legacy of John Foster Dulles theory - you are with us or you are against us - that found echoes with Bush jr.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
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  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Note my sig :)
     
  5. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The article is spot-on in many respects. A person who does not believe in American exceptionalism will not get elected as President, that is certain.

    The concept of "Manifest Destiny" has never completely left the national psyche, though as the world becomes increasingly globalised and countries like India and China become more competitive, it may be diluted to some extent.
     
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  6. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Actually, that happened in 2008. After being elected, Obama went bowing and apologizing aroung the world. We are no better liked as a result.:lol:

    I will have to review the history I learned. I thought Manifest Destiny got us as far as the Pacific Ocean.
     
  7. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Even if Obama does not personally believe in American exceptionalism (which may or may not be true), in his public appearances he affirms it just as much any other candidate. It's one of those things that all candidates must do if they want to get elected, regardless of party affiliation. Haven't you heard his speeches?


    Manifest Destiny was based on the belief that Americans were "divinely ordained" to expand to the Pacific Ocean; it has its roots in early colonial history, when the settlers believed they were "God's chosen people" and that they had a divine mission to spread "civilization" in the "New World".

    This concept of being "divinely ordained" is very much still there, and is one of the cornerstones of the belief in American exceptionalism (as the article points out).
     
  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I try not to. His speeches are very partisan.
     
  9. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I am not sure why you are attacking Walt personally. Please don't take this as some sort of anti-US bashing. It is just a viewpoint. I would admit that they are many Indians (myself included) who would be guilty of believing in a sort of "Indian exceptionalism" as well with something unique to offer to the world.

    What I think the larger idea is that we must recognize that every country/nation has something unique to offer.

    You have to look at the geo-strategic environment at that time. There had been no conflict with China which was a huge neighbour of India. On the other hand, the US/UK had taken a very Pro-Pakistan line in the UN on the Kashmir issue instead of supporting the Indian stand.

    At the same time the US had signed a Mutual defence pact (aimed at Soviet but to India-Pakistan situation it might as well be aimed at India) in 1953. The foundation of CENTO and SEATO pacts were made by 1955. And U2 flights were being flown from Pakistan by 1953-54 itself. China on the other hand was hostile to the US citing US support to Taiwan.

    In this situation, it would be a more prudent to be friendly with China which was a next door neighbor than befriend the US which was 1000 of miles away. The ploy of giving China's UNSC seat looked like a way to divide China and India. India was just coming of the massive poverty that had been inflicted by the British colonization and becoming self-sufficient in food and removing poverty were the main goals rather than preparing of military conflicts.

    Pakistan on the other hand followed the opposite path and we can see where it is today where it is being bombed by the same strategic partner with whom it signed its first mutual defense pact.

    There is no right or wrong decision here, but a decision that has to be taken based on the then Geo-strategic circumstances then. By 1962, Nehru has started taking a harder line and that resulted in the 1962 war as well where he willingly accepted and even asked for US help from the Chinese. Not to mention that the Chinese had been relaying to Nehru that they had no territorial ambitions again and again.

    For the current policy makers, this history should make it clear to us that we can't trust the Chinese political system. Nehru had no experience as such to fall on and made a decision based on the circumstances then. We now have 60+ years of experience of dealing with the Chinese and have see how they have tried to undermine as given any chance. So obviously, today it would be foolish not to work with the US and other Asia-Pacific powers to contain China. Again, a very overt military alliance will be counter productive. But a "soft" alliance nonetheless has to be there with India and the US. And at the same time the concept of G2 where the idea was that China and US would together "rule" the world has to be negated.
     
  10. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    The term appeared in the 1840s, after the colonial period.
     
  11. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Last thought on the article: if American exceptionalism is a myth, should the reality become American isolationism?
     
  12. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Isolationism? Nah. The US is so deeply wired to other countries politically and economically, on the military end there are numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements to content with. Besides, in a globalized World isolationism is passe. How can the US be isolated when 24-hour news channels beam to US population events throughout the World, most desperate?

    If US foolishly self-impose isolationism, whatever that means, it has everything to lose.
     
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    what would be lost if USA stopped spending 700 billion annually on defense, financing 1/3 of the UN and a good part of NATO?? What would be lost if US brought back it's manufacturing base and stopped imports??? USA may lose foreign investors and Foreign investors may try to dump their debt holdings but USA does not have to buy them and the more they sell the dollar the lower the value they will receive for it. USA has bailed out Latin America, Europe and others thru many crisis and given countless aid around the world. Now that USA has a problem nobody is rushing with assistance. Maybe a few good years of isolation would be good for the world and USA??
     
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  14. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    ejazr
    The personal attack on Walt was poor form, but those Harvard eggheads give me a real pain.

    True that every country or culture has something unique to offer, but I have to say as my opinion, that Islam has yet to show its better face.
     
  15. SADAKHUSH

    SADAKHUSH Senior Member Senior Member

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    I always look search and look forward to your views. Say it as it is. Straight talk to the point no mumbo jumbo or politically correct nonsense. You say what you mean and mean what you say. If I were PM, you will be given the post of FM and DM together.
     
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  16. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Point taken. I have the same views on what you quoted above.

    About the mistakes, I will respond to W.G. Ewald post.
     
  17. mattster

    mattster Respected Member Senior Member

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    Really..the Korean war a mistake. There are 50 million poeple in South Korea who dont have to live under a psycho named Kim Jung Il as a result of the Korean War. Go talk to a South Korean before you call the Korean war a mistake.

    Iraq and Vietnam Yes, but Aghanistan. Do you want the US to do what India did after the Mumbai attacks ?? Which is nothing !
    Put on your thinking caps buddy.

     
  18. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^ You do have a point.

    However, I'd say that Afghanistan was also partly a mistake. Very poorly handled. Instead of doing real nation building, the US handed the nation to warlords. And outsourced a large part of work to the double dealing treacherous Pakis!! It took the US a decade to realize that they were being suckered all the while!!
     
  19. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

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    Come on mate, I have better things to do here than gripe ! I agree some times the America bashing here is meaningless, but not always.


    Korea: At the Potsdam Conference (July–August 1945), the Allies unilaterally decided to divide Korea—without consulting the Koreans—in contradiction of the Cairo Conference. It can be said that Koreans never wanted a division of their own, but was forced down upon them by the allies as well as the commies who had their own agendas.

    Vietnam: US hawks favored a war although many in the administration were against it, including Kennedy and Robert Macnamara. 90 % of Vietnamese people favored the communist regime in north.

    Afghanistan: You supported the mujaheddin when it suited you against the Soviets. Then when the mujaheddin faded, and Taliban invaded the scene and raped Afghanistan inside out, became the hotbed of terrorism, you simply looked the other way, till 9/11 happened and terror hit home and your psyche. Since the past 30 years, Afghanistan has remained unstable. And it still is, if this had been checked when it was at a nascent stage, lot would have been different for the Afghans and you.

    Iraq: After the second Gulf war, Iraq is in a serious mess from sectarian and ethnic violence. Your government never thought about that before attacking it, and neither they have any solution for it yet.

    Pakistan: Well, we all know about this piece of shit, don't we ? So need to discuss about it.

    There is a parallel after all among all this countries. Regime changes and wars which happened, and which had tacit US support and involvement, were all against the wishes of local populace.
     
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  20. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^ And lest we forget, the Taliban was a Pakistani creation. The Pakis empowered and propped up the Taliban - let us reiterate this as many times as we can. There should be no misconception about this. Oh, I know that Mullah Omar was indigenous, and that it sprang out of the grassroots - but the ragtag bunch would have never captured Kabul without Paki support, arms, funding and help. Let people know that ISI agents were part of the Taliban 'troops' and 'Islamic law enforcers' in Kabul.

    The Pakis whine that America "left them in the lurch" after the Soviet withdrawal. In reality, it is the poor Afghans who were left in the lurch because in a way, the Americans simply left Afghanistan to Paki machinations and evil designs.
     
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