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Peter Lavelle: The Banality of American Exceptionalism – Morell and Trump

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 02: Former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell is sworn in prior to testimony before the House Select Intelligence Committee April 2, 2014 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on the topic of "The Benghazi Talking Points and Michael J. Morell's Role in Shaping the Administration's Narrative." (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“American Exceptionalism” is a bane on the U.S. and the world. Not only is it dangerously absurd and arrogant, but also it is overwhelmingly accepted among Americans without much thought. This way of thinking automatically disregards international law and any semblance of common sense.

The U.S. tells the world that it is not accountable to anyone and all are accountable to Washington. The claim to be the “exceptional” country means all other countries are expendable. This is not a foreign policy, it is threat to use force at any time and any place of Washington’s choosing.

A perfect example of this was an interview with former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell on the Charlie Rose TV program. Morell declared that America must make the Russians and Iranians “pay a price in Syria.”

Rose: “We make them pay the price by killing Russians?”

Morell: “Yeah.”

Rose: “And killing Iranians?”

Morell: “Yes … You don’t tell the world about it. … But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”

During the interview, Morell also says that the U.S. ought to kill Iranians and Russians “covertly.” (Rose and the American public don’t appear to have a problem with this, neither did the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Post, CNN, MSNBC, etc.)

Rose and Morell made no mention Russia and Iran are actually the countries serious about eliminating (western-backed) terrorist groups in Syria – and both do legally under international law.

Rose and Morell also spoke to each other and their audience as if existing in a sealed media vacuum. Their “exceptional” conversation was for consumption by the “exceptional” audience – the American public.

Morell is one of the architects of America’s illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. He has never been held to account for that disaster. Who has? In fact he has had a remarkable career for person of unexceptional intellectual skills and unexceptional opinions. A frequent guest on the Rose program, he is widely seen as currying favor with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Fine, he is politicking and promoting himself. But the world is watching.

The Russians and Iranians are certainly paying attention. What conclusions should they draw from the Rose-Morell gabfest and the American media in general? It is obvious: Washington’s diplomatic and public policy rhetoric is hollow and simply lies. Washington will and does resort to murder – and war – if it suits its purposes.

If Washington acts outside of international law, why should other countries feel bound by it? Calling for the killing of Russians and Iranians is an act of war. Countries have the right to defend themselves.

When Donald Trump made reference to the second amendment of the Constitution (relating to personal gun ownership), the media went frantic. The criticism levelled against Trump was he was calling for violence. Well, that’s odd.

There is room for interpretation regarding what Trump actually said, but there is no doubt a former CIA deputy director openly called for the killing of foreign nationals. No one really took notice, as if it was perfectly natural. This is what “American Exceptionalism” has done to the American mind, media, and the powers-that-be. Meanwhile, the world watches on.

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

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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