Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bernard Weisberger: Taking Exception to Exceptionalism

Editor’s note: This is a timely analysis of American exceptionalism by an eminent historian that  may attract the attention of  many  writers and journalists. I think, Professor Weisberger could have explained a bit more about the present role of American imperialism and its unbridled militarism – evidenced in the killing of millions of people in Vietnam and more recently in Iraq – because American military power serves only the interest of arms producers and their elitist beneficiaries; it has become a great threat to the weak nations and countries, which American rulers perceive as obstacles to American hegemony and domination.

Nasir Khan, Editor

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President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. President Obama blended the threat of military action with the hope of a diplomatic solution as he works to strip Syria of its chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)
President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. President Obama blended the threat of military action with the hope of a diplomatic solution as he works to strip Syria of its chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)
In the speech last week that put on hold his request to Congress to authorize the bombing of Syria’s chemical weapons sites, President Obama — no mean orator himself — faced a familiar orator’s problem. How would he end on a strong and upbeat note while announcing what was in fact a sensible retreat from his “red line” pledge dictated by clear and overwhelming evidence that both Congress and the public at large had no appetite for any more Middle Eastern interventions? How could he still defend America’s assertion of its role as the enforcer of the “civilized world’s” conscience even as he stepped back from the brink?

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