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Thread: Even Henry Kissinger Gets It... US "Exceptionalism" Is Over

  1. #1

    Even Henry Kissinger Gets It... US "Exceptionalism" Is Over

    Henry Kissinger Gets It... US "Exceptionalism" Is Over

    Fri, 11/29/2019 - 22:30

    Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made prudent remarks recently when he said the United States is no longer a uni-power and that it must recognize the reality of China as an equal rival.

    The furor over a new law passed by the US this week regarding Hong Kong and undermining Beijing’s authority underlines Kissinger’s warning.

    If the US cannot find some modus vivendi with China, then the outcome could be a catastrophic conflict worst than any previous world war, he admonished.

    Speaking publicly in New York on November 14, the veteran diplomat urged the US and China to resolve their ongoing economic tensions cooperatively and mutually, adding:

    “It is no longer possible to think that one side can dominate the other.”



    A key remark made by Kissinger was the following:

    “So those countries that used to be exceptional and used to be unique, have to get used to the fact that they have a rival.”

    In other words, he is negating the erroneous consensus held in Washington which asserts that the US is somehow “exceptional”, a “uni-power” and the “indispensable nation”. This consensus has grown since the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the US viewed itself as the sole super-power. That morphed into a more virulent ideology of “full-spectrum dominance”. Thence, the past three decades of unrelenting US criminal wars and regime-change operations across the planet, throwing the whole world into chaos.

    Kissinger’s frank assessment is a breath of fresh air amid the stale and impossibly arrogant self-regard held by too many American politicians who view their nation as an unparalleled power which brooks no other.

    The seasoned statesman, who is 96-years-old and retains an admirable acumen for international politics, ended his remarks on an optimistic note by saying: “I am confident the leaders on both sides [US and China] will realize the future of the world depends on the two sides working out solutions and managing the inevitable difficulties.”

    Aptly, Kissinger’s caution about danger of conflict was reiterated separately by veteran journalist John Pilger, who warned in an exclusive interview for Strategic Culture Foundation this week that, presumed “American exceptionalism is driving the world to war.”

    Henry Kissinger is indeed a controversial figure. Many US scholars regard him as one of the most outstanding Secretaries of State during the post-Second World War period. He served in the Nixon and Ford administrations during the 1970s and went on to write tomes about geopolitics and international relations. Against that, his reputation was badly tarnished by the US war in Vietnam and the horrendous civilian death toll from relentless aerial bombing across Indochina, believed to have been countenanced by Kissinger.

    Kissinger has also been accused of supporting the military coup in Chile in 1973 against elected President Allende, and for backing the dirty war by Argentina’s fascist generals during the 1970s against workers and leftists.

    To his credit, however, Kissinger was and is a practitioner of “realpolitik” which views international relations through a pragmatic lens. Another realpolitik US state planner was the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, who died in 2017 at the age of 89. Both advocated a policy of detente with the Soviet Union and China.

    President Richard Nixon’s groundbreaking visit to China in 1972 is credited to the advice given by Kissinger who was then National Security Advisor to the White House.

    That same year, the US and the Soviet Union signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, also under the guidance of Kissinger on the American side. The US would later withdrew from the treaty in 2002, a move which has presaged a long deterioration in bilateral relations between the US and Russia to the present day.

    For all their faults, at least people like Kissinger and Brzezinski were motivated by practical goal-orientated policy. They were willing to engage with adversaries to find some modus vivendi. Such an attitude is too often missing in recent Washington administrations which seem to be guided by an ideology of unipolar dominance by the US over the rest of the world. The current Washington consensus is one of hyper-ideological unrealism and hubris, which leads to a zero-sum mentality of antagonism towards China and Russia.

    At times, President Donald Trump appears to subscribe to realpolitik pragmatism. At other times, he swings to the hyper-ideological mentality as expressed by his Vice President Mike Pence, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mike Esper. The latter has labeled China as the US’s “greatest long-term threat”.

    This week President Trump signed into law “The Human Rights and Democracy Bill”, which will impose sanctions on China over alleged repression in its Hong Kong territory. Beijing has reacted furiously to the legislation, condemning it as a violation of its sovereignty.

    This is exactly the kind of baleful move that Kissinger warned against in order to avoid a further poisoning in bilateral relations already tense from the past 16 months of US-China trade war.


    One discerns the difference between Kissinger and more recent US politicians: the former has copious historical knowledge and appreciation of other cultures. His shrewd, wily, maybe even Machiavellian streak, informs Kissinger to acknowledge and respect other powers in a complex world. That is contrasted with the puritanical banality and ignorance manifest in Trump’s administration and in the Congress.

    Greeting Kissinger last Friday, November 22, during a visit to Beijing, President Xi Jinping thanked him for his historic contribution in normalizing US-China relations during 1970s.

    “At present, Sino-US relations are at a critical juncture facing some difficulties and challenges,” said Xi, calling on the two countries to deepen communication on strategic issues. It was an echo of the realpolitik views Kissinger had enunciated the week before.

    While sharing a public stage with Kissinger, the Chinese leader added:

    “The two sides should proceed from the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the people of the world, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, pursue win-win results in cooperation, and promote bilateral ties to develop in the right direction.”

    Likewise, China and Russia have continually urged for a multipolar world order for cooperation and partnership in development. But the present and recent US governments refuse to contemplate any other order other than a presumed unipolar dominance. Hence the ongoing US trade strife with China and Washington’s relentless demonization of Russia.

    This “exceptional” ideological mantra of the US is leading to more tensions, and ultimately is a path to the abyss.

    Henry Kissinger gets it. It’s a pity America’s present crop of politicians and thinkers are so impoverished in their intellect.
    The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent anybody else.

  2. #2
    I’ve never believed in that “American Exceptionalism” bs in the first place.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Knuckle Ball View Post
    I’ve never believed in that “American Exceptionalism” bs in the first place.
    Neither have I. I laugh every time I also hear about American values.

  4. #4
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    arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes
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  5. #5
    Henry Kissinger has lived in America most of his life, yet he still doesn't understand it. American Exceptionalism is a state of mind, unique to the American psyche because it is turned inward and wholly domestic.
    "I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in," Hillary Clinton

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jcpro View Post
    Henry Kissinger has lived in America most of his life, yet he still doesn't understand it. American Exceptionalism is a state of mind, unique to the American psyche because it is turned inward and wholly domestic.
    So, in other words: completely out of touch with reality.
    Very timely, considering that the orange man is at the NATO summit, with no friends, but will no doubt brag about 'bigly conversations, and the most perfect friendships'.

  7. #7
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    A weak oped, not much more....


    At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy, is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper - no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of the point.

  8. #8
    So, who replaced the U.S. in "exceptionalism"? Curious minds want to know.

  9. #9
    Why do millions risk life and limb to reach its shores?


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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by apoptygma View Post
    So, in other words: completely out of touch with reality.
    Very timely, considering that the orange man is at the NATO summit, with no friends, but will no doubt brag about 'bigly conversations, and the most perfect friendships'.
    American exceptionalism has very little to do with the outside world or international relations. It's a term that confuses the American critics, foreign and domestic. As it confused Kissinger and, apparently, you as well. In the age of the late globalism, sometime during the Clinton's administration, the AE was used as a substitute for the American Imperialism- a much more inflammatory term. The AE is simply an historical self image of America and its emergence as a new nation in special circumstances. A new, free and unique experiment in the ocean of injustice and tyranny. What upsets you is the "exceptionalism" part, of course, but all it means is unique, different, special. Not for the world, but for the American citizens. The domestic focus is apparent to anyone aware of the American history and the reluctance of the American superpower to flex its muscles and the controversy surrounding it every time it did.
    "I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in," Hillary Clinton

  11. #11
    We used to call it America's manifest destiny. Now we call it "exceptionalism" -- to spread democracy and capitalism across the globe -- not just North America. Can you hear the Hong Kong Chinese singing the Star Spangled Banner and waving the Stars and Stripes?

    "Manifest Destiny, a phrase coined in 1845, is the idea that the United States is destined—by God, its advocates believed—to expand its dominion and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent."

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Darts View Post
    We used to call it America's manifest destiny. Now we call it "exceptionalism" -- to spread democracy and capitalism across the globe -- not just North America. Can you hear the Hong Kong Chinese singing the Star Spangled Banner and waving the Stars and Stripes?

    "Manifest Destiny, a phrase coined in 1845, is the idea that the United States is destined—by God, its advocates believed—to expand its dominion and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent."
    "spread democracy across the globe" my arse. How can anybody say that with a straight face? Hypocrites!!
    The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent anybody else.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by danmand View Post
    "spread democracy across the globe" my arse. How can anybody say that with a straight face? Hypocrites!!
    Worked in Japan and Germany, South Korea. It worked to stabilize Europe and bring in an unprecedented period of prosperity and stability. It works everywhere that people are mature enough to recognize the benefits of rule of law and democracy.
    "I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in," Hillary Clinton

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Darts View Post
    "Manifest Destiny, a phrase coined in 1845, is the idea that the United States is destined—by God, its advocates believed—to expand its dominion and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent."
    They succeeded. It was never meant to be a global endeavor.


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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by onthebottom View Post
    A weak oped, not much more....


    You dismiss the wisdom of an almost 100 year old man who has seen, learned and experienced so much with those few emotional bleats?
    “... there is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.”

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jcpro View Post
    American exceptionalism has very little to do with the outside world or international relations. It's a term that confuses the American critics, foreign and domestic. As it confused Kissinger and, apparently, you as well. In the age of the late globalism, sometime during the Clinton's administration, the AE was used as a substitute for the American Imperialism- a much more inflammatory term. The AE is simply an historical self image of America and its emergence as a new nation in special circumstances. A new, free and unique experiment in the ocean of injustice and tyranny. What upsets you is the "exceptionalism" part, of course, but all it means is unique, different, special. Not for the world, but for the American citizens. The domestic focus is apparent to anyone aware of the American history and the reluctance of the American superpower to flex its muscles and the controversy surrounding it every time it did.
    Yep... confused everyone but you.
    Cool story bro.
    Lots of words, very little content.
    As usual.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmand View Post
    Henry Kissinger Gets It... US "Exceptionalism" Is Over

    Six more countries join Trump-busting Iran barter group

    Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden sign up to Instex mechanism that sidesteps US sanctions

    Reuters
    Sun 1 Dec 2019 04.00 GMT
    Last modified on Sun 1 Dec 2019 04.02 GMT


    Paris, London and Berlin on Saturday welcomed six new European countries to the Instex barter mechanism, which is designed to circumvent US sanctions against trade with Iran by avoiding use of the dollar.

    “As founding shareholders of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (Instex), France, Germany and the United Kingdom warmly welcome the decision taken by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, to join Instex as shareholders,” the three said in a joint statement.

    The Paris-based Instex functions as a clearing house that allows Iran to continue to sell oil and import other products or services in exchange.

    The system has not yet enabled any transactions.

    Washington in 2018 unilaterally withdrew from the international agreement governing Iran’s nuclear programme and reinstated heavy sanctions against Tehran.

    The addition of the six new members “further strengthens Instex and demonstrates European efforts to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran,” the joint statement said.

    It represents “a clear expression of our continuing commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” – the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal – the trio added.

    They insisted Iran must return to full compliance with its commitments under the deal “without delay”.

    “We remain fully committed to pursuing our efforts towards a diplomatic resolution within the framework of the JCPoA.”

    The 2015 deal set out the terms under which Iran would restrict its nuclear programme to civilian use in exchange for the lifting of Western sanctions.

    Since the US pullout, Iran has taken four steps back from the accord.

    The latest was on 4 November, when its engineers began feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into mothballed enrichment centrifuges at the underground Fordow plant south of Tehran.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...n-barter-group

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by apoptygma View Post
    Yep... confused everyone but you.
    Cool story bro.
    Lots of words, very little content.
    As usual.
    You don't really know much, eh? Believe it or not, curiosity, although deadly to felines, is an admirable trait in humans. Try it sometime.
    "I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in," Hillary Clinton

  19. #19
    Kissinger is very knowledgeable and his words deserve special consideration. Like almost everyone involved in foreign policy, he has however made some mistakes in his tenure in directing U.S. policy. I also believe he has an affinity for China. This isn't surprising given his history with China. One thing I believe is that American diplomats would trade American jobs and economic prosperity for short-term diplomatic victories.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchlongConery View Post
    You dismiss the wisdom of an almost 100 year old man who has seen, learned and experienced so much with those few emotional bleats?
    Yes

    Strongest military in the world
    Largest companies in the world
    Largest economy in the world
    Best universities in the world
    The worlds technology leader

    Really, how much of a Napoleon complex do you Canucks have....


    At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy, is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper - no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of the point.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by onthebottom View Post
    Yes

    Strongest military in the world
    Largest companies in the world
    Largest economy in the world
    Best universities in the world
    The worlds technology leader

    Really, how much of a Napoleon complex do you Canucks have....
    We identity ourselves for what we are not. The Americans. Canada is a post identity society. It has been that since we disassociated ourselves from the British Dominion.
    "I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in," Hillary Clinton

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by onthebottom View Post
    Yes

    Strongest military in the world
    Largest companies in the world
    Largest economy in the world
    Best universities in the world
    The worlds technology leader

    Really, how much of a Napoleon complex do you Canucks have....
    Highest incarceration rate of a 'first world' country.
    Worst healthcare system of a 'first world' country.

    Not to mention, with each passing week, becoming more and more of an international laughing-stock.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by apoptygma View Post
    Highest incarceration rate of a 'first world' country.
    Worst healthcare system of a 'first world' country.

    Not to mention, with each passing week, becoming more and more of an international laughing-stock.
    Actually, best healthcare system in the world, as danmand.

    Given the state of the ROW I’d take that as a compliment if it were true, which it isn’t.

    I should have added, #1 destination for immigrants


    At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy, is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper - no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of the point.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by onthebottom View Post
    Actually, best healthcare system in the world if you are the 1% and money doesn't mean anything to you, as danmand.
    Fixed your post for you.

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