American Outrage – The Truest Form of American Exceptionalism

So the Americans have accidentally bombed another target of interest.

This time it was in Syria and after the aforementioned error ISIS happened to mount a strategic attack taking advantage of an otherwise wholly unforeseen situation which came in the middle of a supposed ceasefire. Naturally the Syrians are outraged.

(Incidentally, for some of us this episode is reminiscent of another American mishap in 1999 when five laser-guided United States missiles unintentionally obliterated the Chinese Embassy in then-Yugoslavia.)

Be that as it may the response from officials in The Homeland was less than somber contemplation. President Barack Obama went to the Congressional Black Caucus gala to browbeat the brethren into voting for candidate Hillary Clinton or else (in his words) their apathy would be a "personal insult."

Ambassador Samantha Power took time out from assisting refugee children to arrive at United Nations Headquarters where she gave a rambling and quite nearly incoherent speech about the tyranny of al-Assad while scarcely mentioning the scores of his people her country had just killed.

Speaking of Presidential candidates, neither seemed particularly bothered by the fact dozens of persons had hours earlier been murdered by the U.S. government and instead each focused largely on a pipe bomb detonated in New York City which killed exactly no one and came at an extremely convenient time for literally every single major news channel in the United States to focus coverage on something other than the point its military may have gotten citizens into a war they vociferously rejected in 2013.

If anyone believes this an overstatement of the case, perhaps a survey course in Official American Outrage is in order…

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Government conducted a surprise attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor. The number of dead was 1,177 personnel. Americans were so outraged it was enough to propel the United States into a global conflagration literally the very next day.

On February 15, 1898, the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor at Cuba. The number of dead was 268 men. Americans were outraged and by April 25 of that year they had declared war on Spain which ultimately led to taking control of numerous territories including both Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

On May 7, 1915, the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine in a theater of war despite numerous warnings this is precisely what would happen if that ship entered said operational area. Among the deceased were 128 citizens of the United States. Americans were outraged and thenceforth viewed Germany as the "aggressor" in what became known as World War One. This was a major influence of the decision two years later on April 6, 1917, for the United States to declare hostilities.

On April 25, 1846, approximately 2,000 Mexican troops crossed a disputed boundary with the United States. A brief engagement ensued which saw 11 casualties. Americans were outraged and declared war on the entire country of Mexico May 13, 1846, wherein vast territories were eventually ceded.

On August 2, 1964, the USS Maddox was patrolling within the 11-mile boundary of the North Vietnamese waters (though the public was told the ship was as much as 50 miles distant) when it was allegedly attacked by Communist patrol boats (in retaliation for covert acts against North Vietnamese personnel on two islands the day before). There were no US casualties. Nonetheless, Americans were outraged and on August 10, 1964, President Johnson signed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which he publicly regarded as a de facto declaration of war which lasted until 1975 with over 50,000 US dead.

On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City as well as other targets with a total of 2,996 casualties. Americans were outraged, and by March 20, 2003, began the invasion of Iraq despite the indisputable fact its government did not materially support, assist or aid the terrorists in any way. Nor did its administration have any design or intention to conduct terror or military attacks against the United States or its armed forces. Zero citizens were killed by the Iraqi government yet US officials would wage war against Iraqis for the following 8 years with over 4,000 Americans killed as a result.

These are but the barest outlines of American Outrage and American Outrages. It does not account for military actions in the First Gulf War (zero US citizens killed as a casus belli), the Invasion of Grenada (zero US citizens killed), or the Invasion of Panama (1 Marine killed) or numerous other such actions throughout the globe.

Contrast these so-called justifications for titanic clashes of men and machines with the reported deaths in Syria from the United States bombing – 90 casualties.

Thus, according to the Scale of American Outrage, there is far more excuse for Syria to declare war against America than there was for the United States to declare the Second Iraq War or any of its myriad "police actions" throughout the poorer countries of the world.

There is at least as much rationalization for Syria to declare war on the United States as there was for Americans to declare the Mexican-American War and the War in Vietnam.

Moreover exists one-third as much validation as existed for beginning the Spanish-American War.

Finally, compared with the proverbially sainted "Good War" from 1941 to 1945 there is generally a 10% excuse for Syria to set the entire world to flames.

Of course, all of this is premised on the absurd notion a Syrian life is worth as much as an American one and we all know this simply cannot be the case.

Otherwise Americans wouldn’t be exceptional.

Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America.

14 thoughts on “American Outrage – The Truest Form of American Exceptionalism”

  1. That and the Maine wasn’t attacked. More like negligence of the crew, leading to a tragic accident. And the 1 Marine killed in Panama was really suspicious. And the Grenada diversion was justifiably criticized as being a hhhmmm what would be the exact opposite of a wake up call? A soft lullaby to give us pleasant dreams about the 300 marines who were blown up in Beirut just prior to the invas… ooopsie I mean “liberation” of Grenada. Bad ol’ wicked communists getting elected through a parliamentary procedure called “voting by the people of Grenada” and in case anybody missed the massive coverage of the following several elections in Grenada which the communist party won at least twice, well, the people kind of rejected the US appointed interim Rescue Parliament.

    Grenada routinely hosts the OAS conferences where Cuba and Venezuela and the sometimes far-left Nicaragua government routinely attend. You must have seen the headlines about that shocking development. I mean, if they ever did put it in the headlines or even in the first ten pages of any paper or the first 5 minutes of a news broadcast.

    Grenada must have been the fastest manipulation of the News Cycle ever.

    And so it goes. My opinion, only an opinion as the News is just government bullpoopoo and so very blatant about it, is rather contrarian. I get this feeling that the one marine killed in Panama might have been the victim of a bar fight.

    If one looks at cases in Courts Martial, one would notice a very large number of murder and other assaults on American soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines by Other American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.

    Do I think it was a ruse? Just guess.

    1. “And the 1 Marine killed in Panama was really suspicious. ”

      What was suspicious about it? I went to boot camp with him — our names were close enough to each other (his last name was Isaak, mine is Knapp) that we racked near each other and stood firewatch together a few times.

    2. American naivete and ignorance are big hurdles to cleaning out a corrupt and warmongering American government! The USA doesn’t have an educational system, at least the system that is state operated. It has an indoctrination dumbing down system!

  2. Up until now I had only official government say-so. I’m quite ready to
    disbelieve any official source just as a Pavlovian reaction. It goes
    with my philosophy that “the government is lying to us” isn’t really
    news. So I’ll accept your word. And condolences to you. You lost a
    friend and comrade, and I do know how devastating to anybody that would

    Now I’m thinking of all the friends I’ve lost. For that
    matter, I’ve never gotten in touch with any of my friends from the Air

    If you feel up to it, how did you find out? Was it
    through the official announcement or from friends? Just an itch to patch
    some major holes, because oft times it’s a case of “that made no real
    sense”. when it comes to the official story.

    Even the vilest take a break from sinning, so it’s not impossible for them to tell the truth at least sometimes.
    I just never count on it.

    I had followed the email link and didn’t sign into disqus automatically. I have to fix how I do things.
    Which is why I didn’t post it as Reply. Although that was the first thing I tried.

    1. OK, when you said suspicious, I thought you meant as to the details, not as to whether or not he actually died.

      I’ve heard one version of how he died (vehicle commander, stuck his head out of the hatch and got shot) from someone who was there, and I’ve read another official version (dismounted from the vehicle to clear a building, shot in the firefight).

      Anyway, so far as I know, he was actually killed. I don’t think the fellow Marine I knew who was there when it allegedly happened would have any reason to lie to me.

      1. That kicks it up the ranks then. Where I would normally look. I was out of the service long before, and hadn’t gone anywhere more foreign than Juarez. At the time the two largest discussions stateside, vis a vis Panama were the Iran Contra deals and finding ways to rescind any chance of the Canal being turned over to full Panamanian control.

        There was “talk” that Noriega might tell tales out of school in re the Iran Contra affair. And a connection to Colombians and Cuban exiles. And back again to North and lightly grazing newly appointed president Bush the Elder.

        Imperialists, who wouldn’t hesitate to “throw somebody under the bus”. So they had plenty of motive to engineer a coup or a few and a really bad reputation for doing so. And keep in mind that 2 years later the same scoundrels were telling a tale of Iraqi soldiers killing incubator babies.

        1. You can use the US dollar in Panama. You don’t need to exchange money. Don’t need a visa to visit. It is a US colony now.

          1. It always was. The Republic of Panama was established through a “revolution” against Colombia, most likely because Colombia wasn’t going to just give the Canal Zone to the United States. Which is what the long-term lease agreement was. Gave the yankee government a hundred years to find a way to just TAKE the CZ. Wasn’t even subtle.

            The pattern is familiar, a group of American adventurers or businessmen get a license for land development, or to provide buffer colonies to shield the fledgling government, like with Texas, then have some “tyrannical outrage” against the poor, helpless colonists, call for backup from the United States…

            The entire Anglo takover of such huge chunks of North America was built on that exact theme. On rare occasions like with Hawaii and Puerto Rico the locals were granted citizenship. But not the Filipinos, or Panamanian subjec… err Citizens or Cubans or the vast majority of the conquered territories. Like now South Korea and Japan. It’s not polite to call it imperialism or conquest. Good thing I’m not really polite.

            Fits in with the American Outrage theme we’re commenting. Some American ex-pats in Mexico, after getting land grants from the Spanish Viceroy and later General Antonio Jose y Maria Lopes de Santa Ana, then having a massive hissie fit when Santa Ana signed a law that would phase out slavery in one generation. … which was, of course piracy and theft. People were property and this outrage was stripping the slaveowners of their rightful property. OUTRAGEOUS!

            It gets celebrated in cinema and song, sometimes combined. Like Johnny Horton scoring the Alamo movie starring John Wayne. Crap like “they joined up with Travis just to fight for the right to be free” (this part gets a lot of angry threats from texans) but if the US was the Land of the Free, why the hell did Crockett LEAVE the US in favor of the “tyranny” in Northeast Mexico aka Texas?

            See the pattern?

      2. Why don’t you stop trying to be a marine and be antiwar? You’ll likely get a lot more kind strokes that you crave by doing that at this site.

          1. No you don’t and this site can continue to be a useless waste of cyberspace. It hasn’t made one small bit of difference and has likely caused the opposite effect because of the crazies it attracts and the ignorance decent people see when they come here..

            No, I won’t leave and I’ll continue to try to fix it. Banning me from the site for a reason that is according to you, a non-reason, will be the only way to stop me from revealing why it’s not taken seriously by anybody but libertarian wingnuts. Have a nice day.

  3. Savvy comments ! Incidentally if you require a FL 12.902(c) , my secretary filled out and esigned a blank document here

  4. PUt the antiwar movement on hold and accept one of the bad choices for president. Hillary Clinton. Then when she’s president, get together as a people and make the changes that need to be made. That’s not a new idea, it’s always been the same. It’s not Clinton’s nature that makes her a hawk, it’s the politician in her that causes her to obey the wishes of the majority. And right now it’s still a huge majority.
    She’s as good as any politician and that’s because they’re all the same. She’s not to blame. Guess who is to blame!

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