This belief, you might even call it a "faith," reflects the "calling" American presidents have long had to improve, if not remake, the rest of the world in their own image. Bush is only the latest occupant of the White House to expound this view. He told AEI he has turned the Afghani "failed state" into a democracy. The late Ronald Reagan also held Americans, whom he seriously believed are better than other folks, had an "obligation," and took it upon himself to fund the Contras to overthrow Nicaragua's legitimate leftist regime. Richard Nixon before him also held this conceit, and overthrew the elected Socialist government in Chile. Even the amiable Dwight Eisenhower personally signed an order okaying a CIA overthrow of Iran's elected government in 1953.
Rather than submit disputes to international arbitration or have United Nations peace-keepers get involved, Bush, like his father before him and presidents Nixon and Johnson, the Viet Nam war-makers, prefers to take international law into his own hands. When Bush couldn't get the Security Council to support his invasion of Iraq he defied the UN, with disastous consequences.
Bush has also trashed many key international treaties (the Anti-Ballistic Missile and Germ Warfare covenants, for examples) it is apparent he has set himself above international law. He's too hoity toity to sign any treaty to slow global warming. His belief that Americans are superior is not much more than a warmed-over version of Hitler's Master Race theory. Bush may appear to be very sober, compared to the spellbinding Nazi Americans rightly identified as nuts, but Bush's two illegal invasions in his first term have resulted in the deaths of as many people as Hitler exterminated during his first six years in power. And now Bush is threatening Iran with atomic fire, a repudiation of President Reagan's pledge America would never start a nuclear war.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans, like Bush, hate the idea of an international authority that might limit American power. This may explain why the US has vetoed more Security Council resolutions than all other members combined. It explains, too, why every time the phrase "United Nations" is uttered at a Republican Party convention, the audience erupts with jeers and catcalls. Indeed, America supremacists of the Project For A New American Century(PNAC) in 2000 "called for nothing less than the creation of a worldwide imperial American empire, with forces based all around the globe," according to "The Book on Bush"(Viking) by Eric Alterman and Mark Green. Ten PNAC members urged a unilateral U.S. invasion of Iraq, stating, "American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the Security Council." Back in the Thirties German and Japanese militarists flouted the League of Nations, too. In time, they simply withdrew. Now Bush is executing PNAC's aggressive agenda.
Initiating aggression comes naturally to Americans. Their children have grown up reading "Superman" comics and kindred fairy tales for the better part of a century. In these superficial morality tales, ordinary cops are portrayed as dunces unable to catch crooks, so "action heroes" fly in to nab them and right wrongs in the name of the "American Way." The message conveyed is that existing law enforcement is inadequate to deal with wrong-doing and only super-powerful beings can achieve justice. Television plays endless reruns of the so-called "good war" (WWII) and Hollywood fills the theatres with films of carnage and murder.
Anyway, being superior to everyone else has its priviliges. If Bush doesn't have Superman's X-ray vision, he nevertheless has the right to eavesdrop on other people's private conversations. As William Blum points out in "Rogue State"(Common Courage Press), in 2003 the U.S. "listened in on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, and all the members of the UN Security Council during a period when they were deliberating what action to take in Iraq."
And just so the Pentagon can keep tabs on what you write on your computer, the U.S. National Security Agency(NSA) helped to install a secret program in Microsoft software that, without user knowledge, can read your private jottings and E-mails, according to a 1999 French Defense Ministry report, Blum said. This brought no objections from Microsoft's biggest client: the Pentagon.
The CIA's policy of "extraordinary rendition," first authorized by President Clinton, enables the American Master Race to fly anywhere in the world and arrest any person with no court order and remove the individual to another country for imprisonment, interrogation, torture, and/or summary execution. Right now, the Italian government would like to lay its hands on a score of CIA agents for a kidnapping that mocked its sovereignty. Maybe Italy is also a "failed state"? Some say the spaghetti lacks zest.
That other nationalities are mere ants in America's superior microscopic world view was was the implicit message of the Army's "School of the Americas"(SOA). According to a New York Times editorial, the Pentagon recommended to Latin army officers "interrogation techniques like torture, execution, blackmail and arresting the relatives of those being questioned."
"For decades SOA grads have been involved in the chain of command of virtually every major human rights atrocity in Latin America," Blum writes, including a coup attempt in 2002 against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. This may account for why Chavez told the United Nations Bush was the "devil" --- and got ridiculed by the American media for not being polite to Bush.
U.S. presidents also believe they have a unilateral right to poison inferior peoples with radioactive wastes. Hence, President Bush Sr. could shoot off more than 630,000 pounds of depleted uranium shells during the first Gulf War in Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, according to "Home Front"(Clarity Press) author Rick Anderson. DU shells were also fired in Kosovo and the former Yugoslavia in the '90s and, probably in Afghanistan in 2001 and "extensively" in Iraq in 2003. No matter they littered the landscape with deadly radioactivity. No matter some Iraqi women since give birth to hideously deformed infants.
Paradoxically, as the U.S. has played its Master Race character on the world stage, at home it has made impressive strides at home to divest itself of racism against blacks and other minorities. Hispanics and blacks are slowly bettering their educational, financial and political status. Once common prejudice against Jews in the workplace is unknown. Apparently, the American version of the Master Race philosophy is built on nationalism rather than racism. Besides, America needs it minorities to fight its wars.
Tragically for Americans, Bush's conduct --- from breaking treaties to wars of aggression to advocating torture to irradiating innocent populations --- is turning the world against USA. Just as Americans would not buy products labeled "Made in Japan" in the 1930s, American business is likely to suffer globally from boycotts incited by an anti-Bush backlash, and not just in the Muslim world, either. Europeans were shocked by the Guantanamo torture revelations. Another reason to buy Toyotas over GM cars.
Most distressing of all is the heartlessness of the White House. Bush not only inflicts massive casualties on foreign civilians but denies medical care to tens of thousands of his own veterans seeking medical relief from "Gulf War Syndrome." These luckless sepoys dispatched to cram "the blessings of freedom" down foreign throats are discovering for themselves the PNAC architects of America's Master Race conceit have slight regard for human life, and this includes the lives of the serfs who fight their wars.
(Reach the author at firstname.lastname@example.org)