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13 Apr, 2018 11:45

‘Not only Pompeo thinks US is exceptional, this is the air Americans breathe’ – Peter Kuznick

‘Not only Pompeo thinks US is exceptional, this is the air Americans breathe’ – Peter Kuznick

We’ve already heard about US exceptionalism from Albright, Obama, and Clinton, but we are no longer in the 1990s, we are in a multipolar world, says Peter Kuznick, professor of history at American University.

Donald Trump's new pick for America's top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, has gone through the required Senate grilling while outlining his view of US foreign policy.
He explained the difference between Russia and the US and their roles on the world stage.

Pompeo described Russia as “a danger to our country” and blamed President Vladimir Putin for any “bad blood” between Washington and Moscow. He also vowed to “confront [the Russians] at every vector, cyber, economic, et cetera. We need to make sure Putin doesn’t succeed.” 

RT: According to Trump's nominee, seeking regime change is acceptable for the US, but not Russia because it's "unique but not exceptional." Do you accept this explanation?  

Peter Kuznick: I think Vladimir Putin took President Obama to task for his talk about American exceptionalism. And that is an important message. But that same line that we are hearing from Pompeo, we’ve been hearing from American leaders [for years]. This is nothing new. Madeleine Albright was secretary of state, she said that if we use force, it is because we are the US, we are the indispensable nation. We stand taller and see farther into the future than other countries. You had Obama talking about us being the indispensable nation, Hillary Clinton. This is really the air that Americans breathe, the assumption that we have the right to do whatever we want, wherever we want, because we are different than other countries.  

RT: Do you think it is time to change that message somewhat?

PK: Yes, I think it is a different world. We now are in a multipolar world. The United States and Russia still have a couple thousand nuclear weapons pointing at each other on hair-trigger alert. China’s economy is booming. And this is no longer the world of the early 1990s when the US was a unipolar nation or claimed to be the unipolar nation, the world’s hegemon. In the 1990s Russia effectively rolled over under Yeltsin to American demands. Now Putin is standing up and asserting Russia’s national security interest. And there are some people in the US who just don’t like that.   

RT: Pompeo also said President Putin has not yet “received the message” over alleged meddling, indicating he supports more sanctions. It doesn't look like he wants to mend relations, does it?

PK: …It is not just Pompeo by himself. It is also John Bolton in an already hawkish cabinet. In the US there is a lot of concern about Trump: people said at least he is surrounded by adults who are going to restrain his more dangerous hawkish reckless impulses. Well, now those people are gone. Tillerson is gone. McMaster and those folks. And now you’ve got people around Trump who are going to egg him on, who are going to encourage him to lash out, to do irresponsible things. And the problem is, it is a very dangerous situation. What everybody is talking about is the danger of a conflict between our two countries. The danger of a conflict that could escalate...