Making Leftist Heads Explode
The news reports that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaeda terrorist mastermind behind the September 11th attacks, will be prosecuted by a U.S. military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, come at a time like no other in Arab history. The dissent and rebellion in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and most recently in Syria has caused most of the mainstream media to speculate about a future Middle East where moderates have a greater influence.
The Left has been atwitter in the wake of President Obama’s Libya speech, seizing upon his assertion of America’s “responsibility to protect” as evidence of a heartfelt belief in American exceptionalism. Of course, what has made America exceptional has been its political and economic liberty, not some esoteric calling to police the world. That said, the topic prompted Salon’s Glenn Greenwald to question whether America is exceptional at all.
In the wake of the president’s speech earlier this week, during which he attempted to sell his intervention in Libya, leftist commentators have seized upon one of his stated justifications and flaunted it as evidence that he really does think America exceptional. However, the exceptionalism they’re talking about has nothing to do with the historical concept.