Georgia on My Mind. American Exceptionalism encompasses the notion that the U.S.A. is in a category unto itself. In a world whose common denominators are increasingly interdependence and mutual interest, American Exceptionalism seeks to enshrine the United States as ultimate arbiter of international law, a law that it can capriciously enforce, a law by which it is never bound to abide. In the twenty-first century American Exceptionalism might be seen as the new racism. Like the old racism that flourished in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries and which provided the ideological foundation for African enslavement, systematic colonial domination, and genocide, American Exceptionalism masks its ugly corruption in a cloak of pragmatic gradualism. As was the case with the white manís burden, we are to understand that this ugly state of affairs must be allowed to stand while the rest of the world catches up.
And then last Thursday Russian tanks poured into the former Soviet republic of Georgia, routing the Georgian military like Mike Tyson in his prime dismantling one of his opponents and then hanging out while simultaneously talking about peace keeping and the unacceptability of the current regime. I have long come to the conclusion that any violence anywhere is connected to all violence everywhere and that the only chance that humanity might have of transcending the cultural legacy of mutual bloodshed is by attacking the problem as one pervasive indivisible syndrome. So, I cannot find a moral foothold to endorse the actions of either the Russian or Georgian militaries or South Ossetian or Abkhazian irregular forces for that matter.
But I do see something like the sweet buttermilk of irony spilling out into the streets in thick frothy torrents as George Bush and his Secretaries of State and Defense implore the Russians to respect the sovereignty of its neighbor and cease its unlawful occupation. The mainstream media pundits have pushed an analysis of the sudden change in the status quo that emphasizes Russia's need to flex its muscle in the face of warming relations between her former satellites and the west.
The real irony bubbles just under the surface irony of a state currently involved in an illegal occupation whining for another state to quit it. You see, flexing was obviously the real motivation behind the 2003 invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq. Itís not just that WMD never existed, or that the intelligence that pointed towards their existence was hastily and amateurishly concocted. [Please read The Way of the World by Ron Suskind.] Itís that the whole idea that such weapons in Mr. Husseinís hands posed a threat to the United States of America that could only be neutralized by invading Iraq and assisting in the lynching of Mr. Hussein is a bit of pulp fiction that would strain the credulity of the plotline in a comic book.
It wasnít even really about the oil. Just looking tough. Gangsta hard. Setting an example. Sending a message. Well, George, Connie, and Bob, looks like somebody got the message. Whatís your next move? Sanctions? Itís a little late to boycott the Olympics.
The plastic grooves of the records to me were like tunnels.
-- Grandmaster Flash