Friday, December 4, 2009

Obama's Exceptional View of America in Afghanistan

In his Afghanistan war escalation speech, President Obama drew on American Exceptionalism to claim US intentions are pure in Afghanistan. It's as if the US dirty wars in Central America, in support of United Fruit and other corporate interests, never happened.

AMY GOODMAN: President Obama also praised the United States as a country that has not sought world domination or occupation.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: More than any other nation, the United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades, a time that for all its problems has seen walls come down and markets opened, and billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress in advancing frontiers of human liberty. For unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination. Our union was founded in resistance to oppression. We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation’s resources or target other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is different from ours. What we have fought for, what we continue to fight for, is a better future for our children and grandchildren and we believe that their lives will be better if other people’s children and grandchildren can live in freedom and access opportunity.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Bacevich, your book is called “The Limits of Power, The End of American Exceptionalism”, responding to... President Obama’s last point about why we are in Afghanistan.

ANDREW BACEVICH*: ... This is the preferred narrative of American history, the way we prefer to see ourselves and, therefore, the narrative that we use to justify all that we do in the world. It is really telling and extraordinary that this president, whose background is quite different from all those other presidents... and who came to office promising to bring about change, it is extraordinary that he himself would embrace that narrative so uncritically. I think that is indicative of the extent to which whether there is going to be any change in Washington, it is simply going to be changes on the margins and that the Washington consensus, the status quo, is firmly in place.

*Andrew Bacevich is a retired colonel and a Vietnam war veteran who spent twenty-three years in the US Army. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University and the author of “The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism.”


DemocracyNow! December 2, 2009.




    Spread this around and you'll challenge the establishment.