American Exceptionalism Trumps the Golden Rule
We Americans like to view ourselves as God-fearing, Bible-loving people. But evidently for some, the cornerstone of Biblical morality, the Golden Rule, doesn’t apply to American foreign policy.
Listen to the reaction to Ron Paul’s invocation of the Golden Rule during a 2012 Republican debate:
What is it that prevents some Americans from empathizing with the victims of our government’s bombings and invasions? And from seeing that such aggression makes us less safe, not more? Is it our deep-rooted “American Exceptionalism”? Perhaps it’s the default nationalist position of Empire? Or maybe it’s just that....
We Like War!
George Carlin on American Militarism
We intuitively understand the immorality of other countries’ designs to rule the world, especially such designs (real or manufactured) of our Enemies du Jour. The immorality of our own designs.... not so much.
How To End Terrorism
Of course not all Americans like war. No doubt, many agree with Ron Paul’s sentiment—in fact, you can hear cheering mixed in with the boos. Those cheering would likely see the wisdom in Noam Chomsky’s prescription for curbing terrorism:
Simple, right? But the Spectacle, always pining for more war, not less, discourages such elemental morality. Demonizing “the other,” stoking constant fear of terrorism, and hardwiring us to see atrocities on only one side of the equation are very effective strategies for keeping war fever high, and war profits even higher.
So here’s a thought: Maybe—just maybe—not bombing the shit out of other countries would save trillions of dollars that could be used to help hundreds of millions of Americans in countless ways, and make us more safe by not constantly creating new waves of “terrorists” seeking revenge for the deaths of their loved ones and destruction of their societies at the hand of the American military.
Of course that’s just a practical, self-serving justification for this radical departure from our current foreign policy. Maybe—just maybe—not bombing the shit out of other countries is also the right thing to do. One would venture to guess that Jesus (He of “Sermon on the Mount” authorship, containing that pesky bit about peacemakers that American war planners, politicians and pundits seem so much to despise) and Moses (of Ten Commandments fame, containing that doozy “Thou Shalt Not Kill”) would probably agree.
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