Monday, February 18, 2013

Exceptionalism vs. anti-Americanism

This article in the Guardian shows a couple of tweets from a transplanted Brit, a Charles C.W. Cooke, who responds (links in the update section). It appears to me that they were both expanding each other's positions ad absurdum, but such is currently the relationship between certain groups in the United States, and the rest of the world.

While there was an excessive amount of anti-Americanism in the world, and an excessive amount of American exceptionalism during and after the Cold War, there are people on both sides of 'the pond' who are thin-skinned and do not need to be. The rest of the world may seem overly sensitive to the U.S. throwing her weight around, and 'Tea Partiers' and their sympathizers are increasingly hypersensitive to anyone or anything from outside trying to 'tell us what to do'.

What I would tell both sides is this. The United States of America is not an all-powerful monolith, their invasion of Iraq proved that. They cannot afford to use force like that again, and will not be able to afford it in the near future (not to say the won't if sufficiently provoked). Americans are going to have to learn to work with the rest of the world, not through it. They will have to acknowledge that international law exists and they are subject to it, perhaps to a lesser extent than most countries, but subject to it nonetheless.

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