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Dallas and America’s Gift to the World

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses during a speech at a memorial service for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at Newtown High School in Newtown, Connecticut, U.S., on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. Obama said that the nation was "left with some hard questions" in the aftermath of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, while promising the community to help itself heal. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Barack Obama

In the American west, the good guys in white hats save the day and the weak are protected from evil. There is nothing romantic about the killing spree in Dallas – it is rather a reflection of a society in retreat and collapse. It reflects a society at war with itself and the world.

Myths have always been created to invent imagined communities – as a means to unite and empower societies. It is only natural we want to see the good in ourselves and the people around us – this is what binds us together. In America today what most people have in common are fear, anguish, and powerlessness. Violence in America is not a societal myth; it is a raging reality. Institutional racism only fuels society’s deepening malaise.

Violence now consumes the American mind and dictates behavior. The national security state at home demands that we fear each other. We are told that only guns can protect us. We are told guns kill people. The sad fact is Americans kill Americans. And people of color suffer from this disproportionately.

America’s foreign policy today is essentially based on terror, threats, and overwhelming destruction. Force and the threat of force are the only tools in the American foreign policy toolbox. War has replaced diplomacy; demonization has replaced dialogue. Ideological intolerance is celebrated as the highest value. In the name of so-called liberal values, the most illiberal means are applied.

Escalating violence at home and its intentional export aboard reflects each other – they reinforce each other. This is America’s gift to its people and the world. The deadly spiral continues with no end in sight.

Peter Lavelle is host of RT’s political debate program CrossTalk. His view may or may not reflect those of his employer.

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