Sunday, November 23, 2008

U.S. Exceptionalism & the American Terrorism Industry

Comment #
162. November 23, 2008 1:12 pm Link

Mr. Kristof:

How about the most important foreign policy strategy for the US? Stop meddling in Pakistan and Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world.

This non-interference is what most sovereign nation-states in the world are practising in their own foreign policy relationships. And even on those occasions when they don't, it is NOT for the U.S. to play SuperCop.

Who elected the U.S., Who appointed the U.S., to perform this extra-legal, extra-state function?

Most sovereign states are attempting multi-polar alliances but the US continues to be uni-polar, dominant and supremacist. How 20th century!

Mr. Kristof, I don't think it is for YOU or anyone in the U.S. to prescribe the following:

"Third, we should push much harder for a peace deal in Kashmir — including far more pressure on India — because Kashmir grievances empower Pakistani militants."

The relations between India and Pakistan are the ongoing concern of these two sovereign nation-states. It is a complex dynamic socio-historical relationship. Both Pakistanis and Indians continue to face the grave challenges of hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy, homelessness, disease.

Both ordinary Pakistanis and ordinary Indians are threatened by daily acts of terrorism in their streets, shopping areas and places of work; We don't need the US, with its laughable "intelligence" capabilities to hunt "insurgents." while actually killing innocent civilians.

In fact I am an admirer of the ordinary people of Pakistan and have deep friendships with a few of them. Like people everywhere in the world, especially if they can escape being meddled with by dominant self-serving superpowers or their own homegrown unscrupulous political elites, ordinary Pakistanis want peace, education, shelter, health, prosperity. They have suffered under uncaring political leadership and the machinations of the US in the South Asia region, all the way back to the Dulles era.

I really don't expect Kristof to understand this core point, because the strategic ideology of U.S. EXCEPTIONALISM ('we are the best, we are the greatest, we are the biggest, we can do whatever we want, wherever we want') pervades his thinking, no less than it pervades the thinking of the DoD or the Congress or the White House or the Department of State. Generations of Americans have been fed the hype of American individualism which since the Cold War era has morphed into US exceptionalism.

The U.S. presently runs a terrorism industry -- invading and occupying sovereign nation-states, hunting "terrorists" and "insurgents" increasing its undercover presence in parts of the world through "secret orders". Even the numerous books that detail US activities in Iraq and Afghanistan; the embedded anthropologists, sociologists and political scientists of the Human Terrain System (HTS) of the U.S. Army; the wounded veterans, the amputees and their resulting rehab with remarkable advances in engineering of prosthetic limbs etc etc, the PTSD sufferers and their innovative clinical interventions -- all these are spinoffs of the U.S. terrorism industry.

I respect Kristof's personal courage and writing. But Kristof just doesn't get it and it doesn't surprise me.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice

Link to Nicholas Kristof's article: