Voices from Russia

Friday, 11 October 2013

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… Senseless and Dangerous Address to the Nation: Why Does Obama Consider America Exceptional?

00 Political Cartoon. 05.12. American Way of War


The US President violated a tacit, but indispensable, rule of diplomacy and politics, namely that “the greatest use of language is to hide our thoughts”. In his recent address to the nation, Barack Obama said that America was an exceptional nation, and, therefore, had exceptional rights. That wasn’t a slip of the tongue in the ardour of eloquence Obama is so fond of shining upon his audience, nor was it a figure of speech. Obama’s statement wasn’t an accidental gaffe. No, the American President said what he meant and what the American political élite think, yet, until now, they’ve avoided saying it aloud. One reason why they avoided doing that may be that, in modern history, at least so far, only one political figure proclaimed the exceptionalism and superiority of one nation. His name was Adolf Hitler. I’m not drawing any direct analogies here. However, the greatest tragedy of the Second World War proved the extreme danger of claims of exceptionalism. Therefore, to pretend not to notice the escapades of the American Head of State would be inexcusable. Even more so as it comes from a country little more than two centuries old, which is a very short time historically… why, it has no grounds whatsoever for such claims.

Those whom the Americans themselves call “robber barons” amassed the accumulated wealth in America. The famous American writer Mark Twain brilliantly expressed their timeless creed… “To get rich… dishonestly if we can, honestly if we must”. Couldn’t help themselves, indeed! Separated by two oceans from the centres of world politics with their endless and bloody wars, the remote young republic stepped out into the forefront after World War I, having grown fabulously rich on that war. Its geographic location saved it from Hitler’s invasion, which left many Old World countries devastated and ravaged. Again, this war showered down gold on America. Such ill-gotten fortunes became the basis of America’s post-war might. The chance to monopolise atomic weapons, secretly produced with allied help, made the heads of the US political establishment go dizzy, bringing on dreams of a Pax Americana. However, subsequent events quickly dashed those hopes to pieces.

Subsequent failures in the post-war military-political strategy devised by Washington sages dealt tangible blows to the self-instilled idea of American exceptionalism. A series of fiascos and defeats… the painful military defeat in Vietnam, the loss of the “backyard” south of the US border, the humiliating failure of the Iraq adventure, the increasingly uncontrollable Middle East, the 2008 downfall of Wall Street giants triggering a global economic crisis, an astronomical national debt of 17 trillion USD (548 trillion Roubles. 17.7 trillion CAD. 18 trillion AUD. 12.6 trillion Euros. 10.7 trillion UK Pounds)… “American Exceptionalism”… where are you? In this awkward situation, there’s nothing else for the Americans to do but to try to not only convince the world, but also themselves, that they are, indeed, exceptional.

That’s senseless and dangerous!

00 Valentin Sergeyevich Zorin. 26.04.1328 September 2013

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service




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