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Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:08 AM

US exceptionalism surges again: Will it fly?

In a statement last Wednesday marking the “return” of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Secretary of State Antony Blinken disclosed that President Joe Biden’s administration is placing democracy and human rights at the center of American foreign policy.

But the cat is out of the bag. The US is in relative decline and there is a resource crunch. There is an absence of a positive vision for humanity, as the country struggles with its own demons.

The dramatic events in American society and politics in the recent past badly exposed the country as a sham democracy with an abominable record of racism and appalling inequality where the top 0.1% of the population hold roughly the same share of the country’s wealth as the bottom 90%.

But the resurrection of American exceptionalism will have no takers, and the US, lacking the capacity and the moral authority to advance a unifying agenda in the international arena, is assembling a toolkit for its diplomacy, with geopolitical objectives.

The potential of the UN Human Rights Council ought to be directed at the raging Covid-19 pandemic, which has undermined the social and economic foundations of states. The most fundamental human right – the right to life – has been threatened, with the world economic downturn causing a big rise in unemployment and aggravating social insecurity. The development gaps between nations and regions are widening.

Yet the US is in a category by itself even among the rich countries. Covid-19 deaths per million inhabitants have gone through the roof in the US in comparison with its own allies. The appalling reality is that in the US the death toll from the epidemic has crossed 500,000.

Ironically, per capita Covid-19 deaths in some of the countries that Blinken berates for deficit in democracy and human rights put the US to shame, including Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and Sri Lanka. And of course China.

But for Blinken, such a horrific level of deaths among his countrymen isn’t a human-rights issue. Not a single state functionary in the US has been held responsible for such a tragedy of unspeakable proportions.

Suffice to say, the US is bringing disrepute and shame to the whole Western world by leading them into such a cynical game, strutting around as champions of human rights when according to a recent estimate, more than half of all vaccines against Covid-19 have been reserved for one-seventh of the world’s population. Isn’t that a matter of human rights?

https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/us-exceptionalism-surges-again-will-it-fly/

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:27 AM

1. Weak sauce.

The American Empire is ascendant, not declining, and every nation is fighting its own, internal demons.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:34 AM

3. There's considerable suspicion of US initiatives in the developing world

Both the big emphasis on human rights and democracy as well as the emphasis on decarbonization are seen as ploys to curtail economic competition by the developing countries.

Since we are no longer rich enough to bribe them, we will have to use military force to compel them. So brace for further global conflicts.

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Response to Klaralven (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:41 AM

7. Decarbonization

is something all nations should strive for, including us and including developing countries. The future of the planet is dependent on it.

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Response to Klaralven (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:43 AM

9. "considerable suspicion of US initiatives in the developing world" - when wasn't that true?



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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:29 AM

2. The concept of exceptionalism is a myth that keeps us from reckoning with our past and moving toward

a future that works for everyone.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:39 AM

4. Yes.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:40 AM

6. +1000

I would love to see it retired.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 12:19 PM

10. whiskey grinder nails it

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:39 AM

5. Bullshit propaganda because there's a Democratic administration.

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:42 AM

8. The Uighur people may have a difference of opinion

This link by PBS is a slide show type presentation highlighting other parts of a bigger picture, for example the condemnation of China by the US and more than 30 members of the UN calling their detention camps a horrific campaign of repression.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/features/uighurs/

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Response to taxi (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 12:24 PM

11. While the Chinese campaign may be extreme, there actually are many Uighur terrorists

Beginning in the '80 as part of the Central Asian Muslim strategy, the CIA supported Saudi centers in Afghanistan and Pakistan for training "Wahhabi missionairies" to send into Xinjiang.

Both the Chechens and Uighurs were targeted as Muslim populations that could be religiously radicalized against secular Russia and China.

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Response to Klaralven (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 01:22 PM

12. The area was once part of Russia and the Soviet bloc

They became part of China in the 40's. Mindanao, Duterte's birthplace, was once part of Malaysia, is now part of the Philippines. With the Uighur on land valued for petroleum and mineral resources, overseas exports going via the Indian Ocean, and being radicalized by surrounding forces, the Uighur people are in a bad position.

One of the most important shipping lanes on the planet is the Strait of Malacca, the shortest route between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, which you can see here as a congested line of ships traveling past Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. About 40 percent of world trade passes through this strait each year, including much of the crude oil that goes from the Middle East to China.

But the narrow strait is also vulnerable to disruption — and in recent years, there's been an uptick of pirate attacks in these straits. Technically, the three bordering states — Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia — are responsible for security in this region, defending it against piracy, but because it's so crucial, the US, China, India, and Japan have all provided assistance in securing the region.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way around. Ships that can't fit through the strait (its minimum depth is about 82 feet) have to take a detour of thousands of miles further south.


https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/2016/4/25/11503152/shipping-routes-map

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Response to taxi (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 01:34 PM

14. It was ruled by the USSR briefly from 1937 to 1949.

Prior to that, it was always a part of the Chinese Empire and successors, although somewhat loosely, especially during the disorder of the early 20th century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinjiang#Qing_dynasty

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 01:24 PM

13. Why is this Chinese government propaganda being spouted here?

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #13)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 01:38 PM

15. The author is a former Indian diplomat -- so it's more a South Asian view.

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Response to Klaralven (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 02:30 PM

16. Ties to the current authoritarian Indian regime?

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #16)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 02:38 PM

17. Former ambassador in Indian Foreign Service. Appears to have retired at least 15 years ago.

So none as far as I can tell.

His columns have appeared in Salon.

https://www.salon.com/writer/m-k-bhadrakumar

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