STEVE ROGERSGlenn Greenwald finds a bunch of apparently liberal commenters falling all over themselves to proclaim that Obama's commitment to bombing other countries proves that he believes in American exceptionalism. Oh, good.
Do you know what "special people" means?
Special people equals retarded. Your club is for retards.
Daniel Larison makes a, um, not-unrelated observation:
Supporters of a military action are always supremely confident that the administration responsible for taking that action did not rush to war and had no other choice. It’s important to point out that these are not impartial observations or balanced descriptions of the situation. They are rhetorical devices designed to make outrageous, reckless, controversial decisions seem well-reasoned, careful, and unavoidable. When opponents of the war in Iraq described Bush’s relentless push to attack Iraq as the “rush to war,” advocates of the invasion emphasized how long, careful, and well-aired the period before the invasion was. Compared to Libya, those defenders of the Iraq invasion have a point.Oh, good.
One of the more common errors I see my fellow-travellers make is the desire to find conspiratorial and malevolent motives behind the aggression of the empire, and while it is true that some wars and some campaigns and some interventions are indeed moved by design, it is equally and likewise true that many of its actions really are dumb and reflexive. I mean, the old Albrightian axiom is the most accurate insight into the relevant mindset: what is the point of having this magnificent military if you're not going to use it? And these things do not have to exist in mutual exclusion. The US invasion of Iraq can be a viciously deliberate expansion of the global garrison while the Afghan invasion can be a war of retribution that metastasized into a cryptocolonial exercise of semipermanent occupation while the Libya kintomagnetoelectrodynamicalimited military prestochangeo whathaveyou can be a hastily conceived exercise in happytime goodluck bombing. At the same time! There is no reason at all to presume that some cabal of Illuminati are actually directing all of these things along a single axis of intention toward a singular evil end. There is a certain "exceptionalism" in the imputation of omnicompetence or even consistent design--and this is not to say that America can never be malevolent, but that it is just as likely merely malicious, and that its rulers really do believe in bombs for peace even as they believe in bombs for democracy and bombs for American material interest and bombs for first-dibs-on-oil and bombs for The Women. They believe in bombs for everything as surely as Joanne down in the copyroom believes in the universal curative powers of fish oil or vitamin C.