# American Exceptionalism

by Lapidus
Tags: american, exceptionalism
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 Quote by Jack21222 Lol, none of that happened. Kuwait was angle-drilling underneath of Iraq, and Iraq when to the United Nations to stop it. The UN shrugged its shoulders, to Iraq invaded Kuwait in retaliation. There was no plan to invade Saudi Arabia. No plan to "capture and control a substantial percentage of the world's oil supply." You should clean up your recollection. More info: http://www.thefinertimes.com/War-in-...-timeline.html
Cool make-money-at-home web site (though it says nothing about Kuwait drilling under Iraq).
http://www.thefinertimes.com/write-for-us.html
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 Quote by mheslep Cool make-money-at-home web site (though it says nothing about Kuwait drilling under Iraq).
The story is widely reported....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Kuwait

 The increasingly tense relations between Iraq and Kuwait were further aggravated when Iraq alleged that Kuwait was slant-drilling across the international border into Iraq's Rumaila field. The dispute over Rumaila field started in 1960 when an Arab League declaration marked the Iraq-Kuwait border 2 miles north of the southern-most tip of the Rumaila field.
The incident may of course have been the excuse Iraq was looking for.

But the general point about American exceptionalism here is that it is not some noble, religious, self-sacrificing deal. The US is an empire managing its world in a pragmatic fashion.

Just consider the other land grabs that no one ever talks about much...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indones...US_involvement

 On the day before the invasion, U.S. President Gerald R. Ford and Kissinger met with Indonesian president Suharto. The United States had suffered a devastating setback in Vietnam, leaving Indonesia as the most important ally in the region. The US national interest "had to be on the side of Indonesia," Ford concluded.[63] According to declassified documents released by the National Security Archive (NSA) in December 2001, they gave a green light for the invasion. In response to Suharto saying, "We want your understanding if it was deemed necessary to take rapid or drastic action [in East Timor]," Ford replied, "We will understand and not press you on the issue. We understand the problem and the intentions you have." Kissinger similarly agreed, though he had fears that the use of US-made arms in the invasion would be exposed to public scrutiny, talking of their desire to "influence the reaction in America" so that "there would be less chance of people talking in an unauthorised way."[64] The US also hoped the invasion would be relatively swift and not involve protracted resistance. "It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly," Kissinger said to Suharto.
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 Quote by apeiron But the general point about American exceptionalism here is that it is not some noble, religious, self-sacrificing deal. The US is an empire managing its world in a pragmatic fashion.
There has been no "general point" made, only an assertion of your opinion.

 Just consider the other land grabs that no one ever talks about much...
Yet the US has no 'land' in Indonesia. Empires in any historical sense of the term do not pack up and go home, maintaining the same borders for years. The US is a powerful nation and has faults, but it is not an empire.
 PF Gold P: 10,783 I don't think there's any real doubt about whether or not the U.S. is an empire of some sort.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_empire) Many people see it as an empire in the sense that while we no longer invade and take over land we do impose our will upon large parts of the world. The bigger question in my opinion is if you are ok with this. Unfortunately I don't know nearly enough about the details of history to really say either way. I wish it were as simple as "leave people alone and let them do what they want", but that is naive thinking in my opinion as everyone in the world is interconnected. I try to keep an open mind and see both sides, but that is difficult with so much biased 1 sided opinion out there. It's hard to sift through all the nonsense and find out what's really going on.
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 Quote by Drakkith I don't think there's any real doubt about whether or not the U.S. is an empire of some sort.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_empire) ...
Interesting - there is no wiki 'American Empire' article, it redirects to American Imperialism, which is correct term for what you describe.
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 Quote by mheslep The US is a powerful nation and has faults, but it is not an empire.
How are you defining empire?

The wiki definition is:

 An imperial political structure is established and maintained in two ways: (i) as a territorial empire of direct conquest and control with force (direct, physical action to compel the emperor’s goals), and (ii) as a coercive, hegemonic empire of indirect conquest and control with power (the perception that the emperor can physically enforce his desired goals). The former provides greater tribute and direct political control, yet limits further expansion because it absorbs military forces to fixed garrisons. The latter provides less tribute and indirect control, but avails military forces for further expansion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire
 Quote by mheslep Empires in any historical sense of the term do not pack up and go home, maintaining the same borders for years..
Err...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...military_bases

I guess by your definition there was no Soviet empire either?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Empire

But so you don't misunderstand my own opinion, I judge the US empire a good thing to the extent it is a stepping stone to planetary level governance - some integrated world system. And bad to the extent that the developing machinery gets hijacked for self-interested purposes - and really bad when it gets hijacked by irrational religious belief systems.

There is definitely a side to the US project that was exceptional (or what ever other flattering term you prefer) because it was based on good rational principles. Ones that balanced the natural forces of competition and co-operation that are basic to healthy human society.

Many still believe in these kinds of ideals, they just don't tend to be in positions of actual power.

Then there is the realpolitik of empire - the pragmatic self-interest to do with oil, trade, etc. I don't like it much, but at least it is understandable and predictable. Still rational in its more limited and local fashion.

It is the irrational faith-based approach to empire that I find most disturbing, the moral fundamentalist thinking that just creates a mess wherever it goes.

So to me, the claim of exceptionalism was about a more rational design for society - one based on an understanding the win-win that results from properly balancing the forces of competition and co-operation (or short term and long term thinking).

The UK empire spawned quite a number of such nations, born out of a common political philosophy. The US just happened to be by far the biggest in population and resources. So if you like, you could call it doubly exceptional. It has both rationality and scale.

Though while its scale seems secure (the US is unlikely to fracture into its separate states for a while yet), the rationality is what observers might now question.
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 Quote by apeiron How are you defining empire? The wiki definition is:
As I said, historically. Roman, Austrian, British, Byzantine, Soviet. I don't have much use for wiki on this, which for all anyone else knows you or I wrote. What's wrong with the dictionary?

What is that supposed to indicate? The US has too many bases abroad, which adds credence to charge of imperialism? Ok, I agree. But those are hardly the 'land grabs' of an empire. Almost any of those nations* may ask the US to give up the base, and have at times. In several of those cases other UN or NATO nations, like the the Canadians and New Zealand, have military installations there too, but neither are those nations empires.

 I guess by your definition there was no Soviet empire either?
As you know, the Soviets like all the other historical empires extended their borders around numerous other countries (Balkans, Ukraine, Georgia, all the middle asian 'stans', etc) and vanished them from the map of political independence. They did not establish a 'base' but occupied the entire country by force. They subjected their people to the empire's law and drafted those peoples into the empire's military. Once there, the empire did not hold popular elections, then freely choose to pack up and leave.

*Guantanamo Bay might be the exception.
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 Quote by russ_watters Which years are you referring to? Please explain.
I'm talking about the us history classes people have to take through grade/high school. The entire program is essentially an indoctrination of US ethnocentrism.
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 Quote by SixNein I'm talking about the us history classes people have to take through grade/high school. The entire program is essentially an indoctrination of US ethnocentrism.
Care to offer any kind of support?
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 Quote by SixNein I'm talking about the us history classes people have to take through grade/high school. The entire program is essentially an indoctrination of US ethnocentrism.
I can not argue this, yet it has been a long time ago that I whent through such. I doubt it has changed.
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 Quote by SixNein I'm talking about the us history classes people have to take through grade/high school. The entire program is essentially an indoctrination of US ethnocentrism.
That doesn't appear to have anything to do with your post or my request...
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 Quote by mheslep Cool make-money-at-home web site (though it says nothing about Kuwait drilling under Iraq). http://www.thefinertimes.com/write-for-us.html
As is pointed out in a later post, Kuwait's slant drilling underneath Iraq is a well-documented event. That you've never heard of it, and prefer to believe that Iraq was war-mongering for no reason whatsoever is a fault of yours, not mine.
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 Quote by Jack21222 As is pointed out in a later post, Kuwait's slant drilling underneath Iraq is a well-documented event. That you've never heard of it, and prefer to believe that Iraq was war-mongering for no reason whatsoever is a fault of yours, not mine.
Then drop the strawman and document it with a primary source.
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 Quote by mheslep Then drop the strawman and document it with a primary source.

Here, since you can't be bothered to educate yourself, let me help. Is the New York Times a good enough source for you? Or do I need to build a time machine for you so you can witness the slant drilling first-hand?

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/23/op...pagewanted=all
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 Quote by Jack21222 How about you do your own research into well-known history? I'm not your history teacher. Here, since you can't be bothered to educate yourself, let me help. Is the New York Times a good enough source for you? Or do I need to build a time machine for you so you can witness the slant drilling first-hand? http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/23/op...pagewanted=all
Just follow the rules ("primary sources should be used whenever possible"). I've seen the NYT piece and heard the story before. The NYT is reputable, but "there is evidence" is not a primary source.
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 Quote by Jack21222 How about you do your own research into well-known history? I'm not your history teacher. Here, since you can't be bothered to educate yourself, let me help. Is the New York Times a good enough source for you? Or do I need to build a time machine for you so you can witness the slant drilling first-hand? http://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/23/op...pagewanted=all
There's a reference to evidence - but none given - got anything else?
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 Quote by WhoWee There's a reference to evidence - but none given - got anything else?
Do your own homework, I'm not doing it for you. I've done my part already.
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