Thursday, May 3, 2018


Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.
(#1 April 26, 2011; #2 Sept. 26, 2013; #3, Feb. 19, 2017).

Contents: US Exceptionalism Newsletter #4
David Swanson’s new book, Curing Exceptionalism
Natsu Saito, American Exceptionalism and International Law
Brian Willson, “US Imperial Project”
“Arkansas Truthteller”: Wendell Griffen
Lucas, “U.S. Regime Has Killed 20-30 Million”
Blum, US and Russia
Jouet, America Divided from World and Itself
From Exceptionalism to Climate Chaos:
  Jensen, The Myth of Human Supremacy
  Grinspoon, Earth in Human Hands: Peril and Potential?
  Cleveland, Republican Climate Denial

DAVID SWANSON’S NEW BOOK, Curing Exceptionalism
David Swanson, RootsAction Education 4-23-18  Fund via 
8:32 AM (7 hours ago) RootsAction Campaign Coordinator David Swanson:

I've written a new book and would like to send you a copy. Together we can use this as an opportunity to support RootsAction Education Fund, which cannot continue without your help. The book is called . . .

Curing Exceptionalism:
What’s wrong with how we think about the United States?

What can we do about it?

U.S. exceptionalism, the idea that the United States of America is superior to other nations, is no more fact-based and no less harmful than racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry. The purpose of this book is to persuade you (and anyone you give the book to) of that statement. This book examines how the United States actually compares with other countries, how people think about the comparison, what damage that thinking does, and what changes we might want to consider making.

“I hope Curing Exceptionalism will be part of coursework in
classrooms throughout the U.S.” 
—Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

“A must-read for every U.S. citizen.” —Robert Fantina, author of Desertion and the American Soldier 1776-2006.

I'd like to mail you a personalized, signed-by-the-author paperback or email you a link to download the audio, kindle, e-book, or PDF. It's your choice, and I can do so for anyone who signs up as a recurring donor of $10 per month or more, or makes a one-time donation of $35 or more to RootsAction Education Fund. Do that here.

Share information about this new book on FacebookTwitter.

—David Swanson,

Donations to RAEF are tax-deductible but you should subtract the value of the book.

... waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct, must be ... settler colonial population, warfare was resorted to and justified by the nature of the “enemy.     Natsu Taylor Saito  is Professor of Law at Georgia State University. She is the author of From Chinese Exclusion to Guantánamo Bay: Plenary Power and the Prerogative State.
Since its founding, the United States has defined itself as the supreme protector of freedom throughout the world, pointing to its Constitution as the model of law to ensure democracy at home and to protect human rights internationally. Although the United States has consistently emphasized the importance of the international legal system, it has simultaneously distanced itself from many established principles of international law and the institutions that implement them. In fact, the American government has attempted to unilaterally reshape certain doctrines of international law while disregarding others, such as provisions of the Geneva Conventions and the prohibition on torture.
America’s selective self-exemption, Natsu Taylor Saito argues, undermines not only specific legal institutions and norms, but leads to a decreased effectiveness of the global rule of law. Meeting the Enemy is a pointed look at why the United States’ frequent—if selective—disregard of international law and institutions is met with such high levels of approval, or at least complacency, by the American public.

Natsu Taylor Saito
Settler Colonialism and Race in America.  New York UP, 2017.

Brian Willson.  U.S. Imperial Project:

Rhetoric vs Reality (the patterns).”  Space Alert.

September 18, 2015 
The US loves basking in its social myth of being a country committed to equal justice for all, but it operates in a social reality of being committed to profit for a few through expansion at any cost. It is called “American exceptionalism”. This idea that the US American people hold a special place in the world was first expressed as early as 1630 when Puritan leader John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, sermonized that “the God of Israel is among us…for we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us”.
The US military has intervened over 560 times into the sovereignty of dozens of countries since 1798, and bombed 30 of them since World War II. It has been virtually at war with the world since World War II, building its economy on military spending and the use of military force. Nearly 400 of these military interventions have occurred since World War II! In addition, the US has covertly intervened thousands of times in over a hundred countries since 1947. The US has military ships in every sea space, planes in every air space, Special Forces teams operating in over 140 countries, and controls outer space as part of its proclaimed policy of “full spectrum dominance”.  Its propaganda is so extraordinarily pervasive that it virtually controls most of our inner psychic space – our thought structures and parameters of acceptable critical thinking.
Every component of the US government, including its espoused humanitarian efforts such as the Peace Corps, National Endowment for Democracy, US Agency for International Development, the now defunct US Information Agency, among others, operate to further the US agenda for global dominance that requires a selfish pursuit of geostrategic interests. Policy is guided by a near religious ideology of capitalism and private enterprise.
So, as one can clearly observe, this pattern is overwhelmingly imperial. Why has this happened and what purpose does it perform? Historian William Appleman Williams describes this extremely well in his 1980 book, “Empire As Way of Life”. By the late 1800s, US industrial and agricultural production exceeded the capacity of its domestic consumption. It had to seek expanded markets overseas to assure continued profits for the captains of industry and agriculture.   MORE   

Wendell Griffen tells some truths to refute the myth of US exceptionalism  11-20-15 (from Maylon Rice via Bonnie)
The Arkansas Community Institute gave its Truth Teller Award last night to pastor/Judge Wendell Griffen at a program at the downtown library. He made some remarks, of course, and has provided a copy.
An excerpt indicates Griffen was as unvarnished as ever:
Subversive truth-telling is a moral and ethical necessity if we want a just society and world.

· When pseudo-leaders respond to events such as the recent terrorist attack in Paris, France with demagogic calls to ban Syrian refugees from the United States, say they are opposed to Muslim immigrants, and say they are opposed to Arkansas receiving refugees from Syria (Governor Asa Hutchinson), we need subversive truth-tellers to denounce their xenophobia and hypocrisy.

· When pseudo-leaders continue to lionize the American president (Ronald Reagan) whose administration deliberately, and unlawfully, trafficked arms to promote wars in Central America, while the CIA enabled smugglers to fly cocaine to major U.S. cities, we need subversive truth tellers to denounce the War on Drugs as a longstanding fraud that corporate media continues to ignore.

· When politicians and self-styled education “reformers” press to privatize and commodify public education, we need subversive truth-tellers with the courage and insight to expose and declare the truth that the much ballyhooed “achievement gap” was always, and remains, a function of social and political inequality, not personal ability, intellect, and responsibility.

· When business people talk about “economic growth” and when people complain about affirmative action remedies for centuries of race-based discrimination, we need subversive truth-tellers who remind us that “economic growth” in New England and the South was built on enslaving Africans, that “economic growth” in the West was built on genocide of Native Americans and workplace injustice against immigrants from Asia, and that “economic growth” in the Southwest was built on land theft and discrimination against Latinos.

· When the biggest retailer in the world enjoys its dominance after decades of wage theft while political leaders in its home state accuse labor unions of being crooked, we need subversive truth-tellers who declare the counter-narrative that the minimum wage, forty-hour work week, sick pay, Social Security, Medicare, and other safety-net mainstays of our economy resulted from the hard, and often dangerous, work of labor activists, not bankers, realtors, and Chamber of Commerce operatives.

· And when “law and order” functionaries accuse communities of color of being lawless and falsely stereotype all people from Islamic societies of being vicious terrorists, we need subversive truth-tellers to declare the counter-narrative that the United States is the only nation in the history of humanity that engaged in the terrorism of deploying nuclear weapons against civilian populations (twice). The United States refused to enact a federal anti-lynching law to curb the terrorism of lynch mobs. The United States refuses to maintain a data base for injuries and deaths associated with the terrorism of gun violence.

These and other moral and ethical travesties render any professed claim to U.S. “exceptionalism” to be delusional, if not manifestly fraudulent.


U.S. Exceptionalism:  Killing
Solutions-Oriented Peace Journalism
Founded by Johan Galtung.  Write to Antonio (editor).  2018, Week 13, 26 Mar - 0
James A. Lucas – Global Research
22 Mar 2018 - We must continue our efforts to develop understanding and compassion in the world. Hopefully, this article will assist in doing that by addressing the question “How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” This theme is developed in this report which contains an estimated numbers of such deaths in 37 nations as well as brief explanations of why the U.S. is considered culpable. The causes of wars are complex.
See William Blum’s books Killing Hope and Rogue Nation.  In RN p. 2 Blum estimates “several million” deaths and “many millions more [condemned] to a life of agony and despair” by our interventions and invasions.

The Anti-Empire Report #149.   By William Blum. March 7th, 2017.
“The United States and the Russian devil: 1917-2017”
Conservatives have had a very hard time getting over President Trump’s much-repeated response to Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s calling Russian president Vladimir Putin “a killer”. Replied Trump: “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?”
One could almost feel a bit sorry for O’Reilly as he struggled to regain his composure in the face of such blasphemy. Had any American establishment media star ever heard such a thought coming from the mouth of an American president? From someone on the radical left, yes, but from the president?
Senator John McCain on the floor of Congress, referring to Putin, tore into attempts to draw “moral equivalency between that butcher and thug and KGB colonel and the United States of America.” 
Ah yes, the infamous KGB. Can anything good be said about a person associated with such an organization? We wouldn’t like it if a US president had a background with anything like that. Oh, wait, a president of the United States was not merely a CIA “colonel”, but was the Director of the CIA! I of course speak of George Herbert Walker Bush. And as far as butchery and thuggery … How many Americans remember the December 1989 bombing and invasion of the people of Panama carried out by the same Mr. Bush? Many thousands killed or wounded; thousands more left homeless.
Try and match that, Vladimir!
And in case you’re wondering for what good reason all this was perpetrated? Officially, to arrest dictator Manuel Noriega on drug charges. How is that for a rationalization for widespread devastation and slaughter? It should surprise no one that only shortly before the invasion Noriega had been on the CIA payroll. 
It’s the “moral equivalency” that’s so tough to swallow for proud Americans like O’Reilly and McCain. Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell also chipped in with: “And no, I don’t think there’s any equivalency between the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does.”  Other Senators echoed the same theme, all inspired by good ol’ “American exceptionalism”, drilled into the mind of every decent American from childhood on … Who would dare to compare the morals of (ugh!) Russia with those of God’s chosen land, even in Moscow’s current non-communist form?
The communist form began of course with the October 1917 Russian Revolution. By the summer of 1918 some 13,000 American troops could be found in the newly-born state, the future Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Two years and thousands of casualties later, the American troops left, having failed in their mission to “strangle at its birth” the Bolshevik state, as Winston Churchill so charmingly put it. 
US foreign policy has not been much more noble-minded since then. I think, dear students, it’s time for me to once again present my concise historical summary:
Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:
·         Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
·         Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
·         Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
·         Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
·         Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries. 
·         Though not as easy to quantify, has also led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance by American instructors. 
Where does the United States get the nerve to moralize about Russia? Same place they get the nerve to label Putin a “killer” … a “butcher” … a “thug”. It would be difficult to name a world-renowned killer, butcher, or thug – not to mention dictator, mass murderer, or torturer – of the past 75 years who was not a close ally of Washington.
So why then does the American power elite hate Putin so? It can be dated back to the period of Boris Yeltsin.  MORE

Exceptional America:  What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other by Mugambi Jouet.    2017.   Examines the populist cult of ignorance in the US that disseminates disinformation and produces demagogues and extremists.  Trump is a larger than life example of the mentality.   (I read excerpt in ITT (June 2017), 38.     Jouet is a law professor at Stanford U.

FROM US EXCEPTIONALISM TO ANTHROPOGENIC CLIMATE CATASTROPHE, CLIMATE CHAOS?  You betcha: the myth of US exceptionalism is demolished or, in a demonic sense, exalted by US destruction of the planet.

The Myth of Human Supremacy by Derrick Jensen.  Seven Stories Press, 2016.
In this impassioned polemic, radical environmental philosopher Derrick Jensen debunks the near-universal belief in a hierarchy of nature and the superiority of humans. Vast and underappreciated complexities of nonhuman life are explored in detail—from the cultures of pigs and prairie dogs, to the creative use of tools by elephants and fish, to the acumen of caterpillars and fungi. The paralysis of the scientific establishment on moral and ethical issues is confronted and a radical new framework for assessing the intelligence and sentience of nonhuman life is put forth. 
(See #3 for a fuller review.)

Exceptionallly Destroying the Planet.
Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet's Future by David Grinspoon.   2016.
Humans—and especially the people of the United States-- are destroying the planet inadvertently, but they can stop and reshape it to benefit all species.
For the first time in Earth's history, our planet is experiencing a confluence of rapidly accelerating changes prompted by one species: humans. Climate change is only the most visible of the modifications we've made--up until this point, inadvertently--to the planet. And our current behavior threatens not only our own future but that of countless other creatures. By comparing Earth's story to those of other planets, astrobiologist David Grinspoon shows what a strange and novel development it is for a species to evolve to build machines, and ultimately, global societies with world-shaping influence.
Without minimizing the challenges of the next century, Grinspoon suggests that our present moment is not only one of peril, but also great potential, especially when viewed from a 10,000-year perspective. Our species has surmounted the threat of extinction before, thanks to our innate ingenuity and ability to adapt, and there's every reason to believe we can do so again.
Our challenge now is to awaken to our role as a force of planetary change, and to grow into this task. We must become graceful planetary engineers, conscious shapers of our environment and caretakers of Earth's biosphere. This is a perspective that begs us to ask not just what future do we want to avoid, but what do we seek to build? What kind of world do we want? Are humans the worst thing or the best thing to ever happen to our planet? Today we stand at a pivotal juncture, and the answer will depend on the choices we make.
Amazon review.

U.S. Exceptionalism:  Republican Climate Denial
By Malcolm Cleveland  6-21-16
Claims are frequently made that the U.S. is exceptional.  I agree and I want to add another category.  No, not in mass shootings (we lead the world) or in cost of health care (our system costs about twice as much per capita as any of our industrialized peers, with less coverage and poorer outcomes).  A subject where we are truly exceptional is the Republican Party's denial of climate change. There is a very interesting paper from the U. of Bergen, Norway -- Batstrand, S., 2015, More than markets: A comparative study of nine conservative parties on climate change, Politics & Policy Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 538-561,  doi: 10.1111/polp.12122  .  In the paper he studies the stance of conservative parties in nine countries, the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.  Eight of the nine conservative parties agree that humans are causing climate change by increasing CO2 from fossil fuels, the results will be bad (if not already), and that action must be taken to stop or reverse the changes.  The U.S. is exceptional in that the Republicans "... treat climate change as a nonissue ...".  The thing about being in denial is that eventually an ignored problem can become catastrophic, like the chest pains signalling a heart attack.   


#2 US “EXCEPTIONALISM” NEWSLETTER #2, September 26, 2013


Contents of US Exceptionalism  Newsletter #3, 2017


Poetry by Gerald Sloan

Myth of Human Supremacy

Derrick Jensen, The Myth of Human Supremacy (2016).

These two myths in combination--humans superior in the chain of being (in the Renaissance: God:King:Men), US humans superior among nations—have produced exceptionally arrogant and bullying, rapacious and killing. 


Critics of the Myth Teach US History

Chomsky, Who Rules the World?  The most powerful single book against the Myth of US Exceptionalism in Foreign Policy

Lawrence Wittner, We’re #1 in violence abroad and at home.

Rothschild on Obama’s Favorite Whitewash

Dick, LTE on Michael Ignatieff’s Book on US Exceptionalism

Hixson on US and USSR



US Violence

Dick:  Christian Appy, American Reckoning, Who Are We?

Doug Anderson’s Review of Appy

J. William Fulbright, The Price of Empire


Henry Kissinger, Amy Goodman Interviews Greg Grandin about

US Dark Side

Real Exceptionalism Imagined and Begun, Now Almost Lost:  Harvey Kaye, The Four Freedoms

Google Search

Contents of Nos. 1-2


No comments:

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)