Thursday 24 September 2009

America Exceptionalism (ii)

What is it with Barack Obama? He can give a great speech, but either he or his speechwriter have a streak of willful arrogance that is totally discordant with reality. Consider these lines from his UN speech:

"This is what we have already done, but this is just a beginning. Some of our actions have yielded progress. Some have laid the groundwork for progress in the future. But make no mistake: This cannot solely be America's endeavor.

Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world's problems alone. We have sought in word and deed a new era of engagement with the world, and now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

As I asked before in my blog post about Susan Rice’s comments, WHAT is he talking about? What problems has America solved alone?

Global warming? The US refused to ratify Kyoto under Clinton and Bush. Today, it is the largest emitter of CO2 in the world, and has no real plan for long-term environmental efficiency or CO2 abatement.

Terrorism? The US invasion of Iraq has led to hundreds of thousands of dead and trillions of dollars in damage, with no perceivable benefit in stopping terrorism or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In Afghanistan, politicians dither while the troops make endless sacrifices and thousands of people are killed.

The global economy? US banks and investment firms are at the heart of the current economic collapse. After trillions of Federal dollars pumped into the system, the US financial industry now continues to lobby against any kind of meaningful regulation of the sector.

Mr. President, an objective observer of current events would conclude that rather than solving the world's problems, America has played a leading role in creating many of them. Let's keep this in mind when we lecture the world at the United Nations.

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