From Tom Dispatch. http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175911/tomgram%3A_david_bromwich%2C_american_exceptionalism_and_its_discontents/#more
We’re #1 in investment in our military and our national security state! No other country comes within a light year of us! In 2011, the defense budgets of the next 13 countries combined didn’t quite equal ours and we’ve been dumping up to a trillion dollars yearly into the national security budget since 9/11. The best news of all: with a new war on our hands and those budgets sure to rise, we’re guaranteed #1 status into the distant future!
We’re #1 in “renditions” (called “kidnappings” when done by the security forces of less noble governments). Post-9/11, at least 136“terror suspects” (some certifiably innocent) were taken by the CIA and other American outfits off the streets of global cities and from the backlands of the planet! Who in the world can equal that?
We’re #1 in knocking off wedding parties from the air! At least eight of them in three countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen) in a little more than a decade! Bridal parties, brides and grooms, hundreds of wedding goers obliterated by American air power! You tell me: What other country could brag of such a feat?
We’re #1 in military bases on foreign soil! We have hundreds of them across the planet, some the size of small American towns. There’s never been anything like it, not from the Romans, nor the British at their imperial heights, and no other country today has more than a handful. When it comes to bases, we’ve got history by the throat!
We’re number #1 in invading, occupying, and/or bombing Muslim countries, 14 of them since 1980! I challenge you, find me another country with such an accomplishment — and for the record, it’s never been a “crusade,” just what needed to be done to keep order on our planet!
We’re number #1 in investing in militaries that won’t “stand up”! At least $25 billion for the Iraqi military alone (and you know how successful we were there, since it recently collapsed, allowing us to rearm it and stand it up again). And that’s nothing compared to the Afghan military into which our country had poured $51 billionby 2011 and billions more thereafter — and don’t tell me that wasn’t a success, since that force’s desertion rate has long hovered at or near 25% annually! High fives all around!