The Real American Exceptionalism

EdBEdB Senior MemberPosts: 2,926 Senior Member
This article is an excellent description of the American empire. Here are excerpts:

http://original.antiwar.com/engelhardt/2015/02/24/the-real-american-exceptionalism/

Alfred W. McCoy and Tom Engelhardt, February 25, 2015

Originally posted at TomDispatch.

My drone is yours, compadre! Or so Washington has now decided. The latest promise of good times in the arms trade comes from an administration that has pioneered a robotic assassination regime organized out of the White House (though credit for groundbreaking drone assassination work should go to Israel as well). Run largely by the CIA, the U.S. drone campaigns across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa have weekly taken out suspected enemies or even “targets” that exhibit (in the judgment of people thousands of miles away and from another culture) enemy-like behavior. In the process, the Bush and Obama administrations also pioneered the crossing of sovereign borders without permission for an ongoing killing process not defined as war and which, despite much bragging about “precision,” has regularly taken out ordinary civilians, including significant numbers of children. In the process, it has brought a sense of daily terror to peasant populations in the backlands of the planet. Now, Washington is ready to spread the wealth. The State Department has just announced that armed Predator and Reaper drones will be available for sale to carefully vetted and selected allies around the world.

By Alfred W. McCoy

“The sovereign is he who decides on the exception,” said conservative thinker Carl Schmitt in 1922, meaning that a nation’s leader can defy the law to serve the greater good. Though Schmitt’s service as **** Germany’s chief jurist and his unwavering support for **** from the night of the long knives to Kristallnacht and beyond damaged his reputation for decades, today his ideas have achieved unimagined influence. They have, in fact, shaped the neo-conservative view of presidential power that has become broadly bipartisan since 9/11. Indeed, Schmitt has influenced American politics directly through his intellectual protégé Leo Strauss who, as an émigré professor at the University of Chicago, trained Bush administration architects of the Iraq war Paul Wolfowitz and Abram Shulsky.

Washington, more than any other power, created the modern international community of laws and treaties, yet it now reserves the right to defy those same laws with impunity. A sovereign ruler should, said Schmitt, discard laws in times of national emergency. So the United States, as the planet’s last superpower or, in Schmitt’s terms, its global sovereign, has in these years repeatedly ignored international law, following instead its own unwritten rules of the road for the exercise of world power.

Can there be any question that, in the decades to come, Washington will continue to violate national sovereignty through old-style covert as well as open interventions, even as it insists on rejecting any international conventions that restrain its use of aerospace or cyberspace for unchecked force projection, anywhere, anytime? Extant laws or conventions that in any way check this power will be violated when the sovereign so decides. These are now the unwritten rules of the road for our planet. They represent the real American exceptionalism.

Replies

  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,926 Senior Member
    That's settled then, apparently no one disagrees with this definition of American exceptionalism.
  • HextallHextall Senior Member Posts: 9,520 Senior Member
    Ed. Do you like tapes and CDs?

    Asking for a friend.
  • EdB wrote: »
    That's settled then, apparently no one disagrees with this definition of American exceptionalism.

    I actually follow a Strauss scholar on Twitter. So no, not settled.
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,926 Senior Member
    sherb wrote: »
    I actually follow a Strauss scholar on Twitter. So no, not settled.

    Didn't you explain to me some time ago that there is no international law that applies to the U.S.?
  • No. I said international law didn't exist as "law" because there is no recognized arbiter between nations. Or to put it the way Strauss might put it, Nations are in the state of nature as it relates to other nations. International law exists primarily as an aspiration. You think we could put **** on trial for crimes against humanity if they had not been militarily defeated?
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,926 Senior Member
    https://www2.bc.edu/~bruyn/lawtreaties.htm

    We need new systems global governance. The next world war with weapons of mass destruction could destroy whole nations and the earth itself. We believe that a multilateral global peace force should be organized along with the advancement of a new and effective global governing system. The development of international law is fundamental to the effort to build world peace with justice.

    The American colonies realized that they could not stop fighting one another until they established a higher order of federal government and law. We believe that this same principle – creating a higher order of enforceable law -- applies to the global level. It is essential to reduce the likelihood of devastating global wars and national genocides in the 21st century.

    The following U.S. foreign policy practices undermine this effort for world peace. They are not acceptable. A change in U.S. policy begins by supporting these treaties.

    1. The U.S. rejected the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

    2. The U.S. rejected the international agreement to prohibit Small Arms Trade.

    3. The U.S. rejected a protocol to the Biological Weapons Treaty to make compliance more verifiable.

    4. The U.S. rejected the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

    5. The U.S. rejected the Kyoto treaty on reducing carbon emissions.

    6. The U.S. rejected an international convention to ban child soldiers.

    7. The U.S. rejected the START III treaty with Russia to codify and verify planned deep cuts in nuclear arms.

    8. The U.S. rejected the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC.)

    9. The U. S. did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    10. The U.S. did not ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

    11. The U.S. did not ratify the Mine Ban Treaty, banning antipersonnel landmines, also known as the Ottawa Treaty.

    12. The U.S. did not ratify the Law of the Sea.
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,181 Senior Member
    EdB wrote: »
    That's settled then, apparently no one disagrees with this definition of American exceptionalism.

    Comic...I hope you can see this...next time you don't agree with me simply don't post so I can win, ok.
  • Who's "we," Ed?
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,926 Senior Member
    We are the world.
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,181 Senior Member
    Excellent drift....
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,815 Senior Member
    EdB wrote: »
    We are the world.

    On 8 track or cassette?
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • ricinusricinus Senior Member Posts: 6,214 Senior Member
    Oh great, now I have "It's a Small World" going through my head..

    Mike
    My new goal in life is to become an Alter Kaker...
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,815 Senior Member
    ricinus wrote: »
    Oh great, now I have "It's a Small World" going through my head..

    Mike

    At least Michael Jackson doesn't sing on that one.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • seppalaseppala Senior Member Posts: 1,916 Senior Member
    sherb wrote: »

    [pats head]

    Sure you do, little buddy. Sure you do.

    [/steals dog.]
  • shaddup you

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