USA: Exceptionalistic Claptrap

25 April 2020 — Moon of Alabama

The graphic below was published in a January 27 piece in Forbes. It shows the U.S., followed by the UK, to be the country which is best prepared for an epidemic.

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Life has since debunked that assertion. The U.S. and the UK were evidently less prepared than most other developed countries.

But such delusions are typical for U.S. media. They are part of the constant sublime propaganda that indoctrinates the U.S. population to believe that their country is the best and greatest ever.

Today the New York Times offers up a related piece of extreme self deluded claptrap:

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BERLIN — As images of America’s overwhelmed hospital wards and snaking jobless lines have flickered across the world, people on the European side of the Atlantic are looking at the richest and most powerful nation in the world with disbelief.

“When people see these pictures of New York City they say, ‘How can this happen? How is this possible?’” said Henrik Enderlein, president of the Berlin-based Hertie School, a university focused on public policy. “We are all stunned. Look at the jobless lines. Twenty-two million,” he added.

“I feel a desperate sadness,” said Timothy Garton Ash, a professor of European history at Oxford University and a lifelong and ardent Atlanticist.

The pandemic sweeping the globe has done more than take lives and livelihoods from New Delhi to New York. It is shaking fundamental assumptions about American exceptionalism — the special role the United States played for decades after World War II as the reach of its values and power made it a global leader and example to the world.

No. The world is not missing American leadership. That’s because most people of the world are not “ardent Atlanticists.”

Their fundamental assumptions about the U.S. is that it is exceptional only in its warmongering and cruelty. Poll after poll have shown that “the world” does not have a widely positive picture of the U.S. It instead sees it as the greatest threat:

  • According to a 2017 Pew survey, 39% of respondents across 38 countries consider U.S. influence and power a major threat to their countries, compared to 31% for both Russia and China. That’s up from 25% in 2013, when the survey was conducted previously.
  • Approval of U.S. global leadership fell to 30% worldwide, per a January Gallup poll. That’s narrowly behind China (31%) and ahead of Russia (27%). It’s also the lowest score in the 10 years the survey has been conducted, and down from 48% in Barack Obama’s last year.
  • America’s favorability around the world has fallen sharply, particularly among key allies like Mexico, Canada and Germany. And that was before Trump’s trade war and Iran deal withdrawal.

The NYT piece quotes four white European men from think tanks and universities who are all known for pro-U.S. views plus a French man of of Arab heritage who works for the Atlantic Council, a U.S. think tank financed by the U.S. government and U.S. weapon producers. A quote from one U.S. neoconservative is also included.

The NYT writer, Katrin Bennhold (pictured below), seems to think that their opinions represent “the world”. Here is news. They don’t.

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The delusion and fake historic views in that piece are breathtaking:

The country that helped defeat fascism in Europe 75 years ago next month, and defended democracy on the continent in the decades that followed, is doing a worse job of protecting its own citizens than many autocracies and democracies.

Bennhold can be happy that her editors have cleaned up that still bad paragraph. On Twitter she had formulated it as this:

Katrin Bennhold @kbennhold – 9:37 UTC · Apr 23, 2020

America, which liberated the Europe of my grandparents from fascism 75 years ago, has been a global leader for the past 75 years. Now it is leading in a different way: 842,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and 46,784 have died, more than anywhere else 2/6

The U.S. did not liberate Europe from fascism. The Soviet Union did that. Between 1942 and 1945 it destroyed the German Wehrmacht on the eastern front. One can reasonably argue that D-Day and the U.S. invasion of occupied France in June 1944 was a mere diversion for the much larger Operation Bragation the USSR was launching in the east.

And what please has the U.S. led but the wars on Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and numerous other countries?

Instead of defending democracy on the continent the U.S. launched coup after coup whenever majorities in Greece, Italy or other countries voted for too leftish parties. And who by the way helped to hold up Spain’s fascist dictatorship under Franco?

Then this:

There is a special irony: Germany and South Korea, both products of enlightened postwar American leadership, have become potent examples of best practices in the coronavirus crisis.

The “postwar American leadership” killed 20% of all Koreans and supported fascist dictatorships in South Korea up to 1987. It has since opposed any South Korean leader who has tried to make peace with North Korea. What please was “enlightened” in that.

Someone should tell that ignorant and uneducated claptrap writer that the U.S. hegemonic ‘leadership’ is over and that the world has sound reasons to be happy about that:

Many defenders of U.S. hegemony insist that the “liberal international order” depends on it. That has never made much sense. For one, the continued maintenance of American hegemony frequently conflicts with the rules of international order. The hegemon reserves the right to interfere anywhere it wants, and tramples on the sovereignty and legal rights of other states as it sees fit. In practice, the U.S. has frequently acted as more of a rogue in its efforts to “enforce” order than many of the states it likes to condemn. The most vocal defenders of U.S. hegemony are unsurprisingly some of the biggest opponents of international law—at least when it gets in their way.

The relative decline of the U.S. is not a new development. It has been visible to outside observes for more than 20 years. But it is only now that some of the delusions that Hollywood,  main stream media and the establishment have held up for the last 20 years are finally falling away.

More such delusions will be buried when the extent of the new great depression the pandemic will cause becomes more visible.

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