American Exceptionalism Rears Its Ugly Head Again
Written by Paul Barrow
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 09:17
The results of a Pew study on American and global attitudes about drones should come as no surprise to people who have gotten used to the ugly manifestations of American exceptionalism. Two thirds of American citizens polled in this study believe that we have somehow achieved a certain stature of greatness that grants us prerogatives in a global environment such as the right to invade any country we choose, violate airspace, and ignore the sovereignty of both individuals and nations. I don't know what this portends for the rest of us, but it is not a good sign and frightening to contemplate. There are clear indications in this study that the shift to the right in our politics is well founded in the prevailing views of the American populace.
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graphics courtesy Starbucks/Yahoo.com
With the advent of drones, civil rights for people of other nations, and even our own, have taken a huge hit. The idea that we had become the leaders and cheerleaders for democracy and freedom in the world, however, has suffered a huge setback in the eyes of the rest of the world since 9-11 and particularly since our multiple and seemingly unending invasions in the middle east. The degree to which it can be understood could be no more greatly in focus than through this study.
It would be easy to categorize in terms of moral depravity, but exceptionalism tends to give morality certain dimensions that can be easily misunderstood. How some people are willing to treat their dog as distinct from how they would treat their daughter is the kind of problem I'm talking about. It seems that our nation is taking on the stark bitter edge of a truly Fascist nation that prefers black in its police uniforms, black and darkened windows in sleek black cars, black in its concern for the rights of others that represent the cold indifferent brutality of a police state. We have come to view as subhuman anyone who doesn't walk, talk and strut like a white native-born American.
How the World perceives of the U.S. drone strikes:
According to Pew Research, American opinion stands in stark contrast to respondents around the world who generally disagree with the U.S. military's use of drone missile strikes against terrorists and extremists.
Question: Do you approve or disapprove of the United States conducting missle strikes from drones to target extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia?
% approve % disapprove
USA 62 28
Britain 44 47
France 37 63
Spain 21 76
Germany 38 59
Greece 5 90
Egypt 6 89
Russia 17 68
China 25 55
Jordan 6 85
In early 2012, the United States Congress called upon the Federal Aviation Administration to develop a plan to integrate drones--civil unmanned aircraft systems--into the domestic airspace by the target date of September 30, 2015.
How do Americans feel about the issue?
To help with search and rescue missions:
% approve % disapprove % don't know
80 11 9
To Track down fugitives
67 22 11
To monitor borders for illegal immigration
64 24 12
To issue speeding tickets
23 67 10
Paul Barrow is Director of Policy and Communications for United Progressives.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 July 2012 20:06