Spendor and Tragedy of the American Creed

excerpted from the book

America Right or Wrong

An Anatomy of American Nationalism

by Anatol Lieven

Oxford University Press, 2005, paper


The American Thesis has also been called the American Creed and the American Ideology. It is the set of propositions about America which the nation presents to itself and to the outside world: "Americans of all national origins, classes, religions, Creeds, and colors, have something in common: a social ethos, a political Creed."

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of adherence to American governing principles as a form of religious conversion. This Thesis or Creed, with its attendant national myths, forms the foundation for American civic nationalism and makes the public face of the United States an example of civic nationalism par excellence. In theory, anyone who assents to the American Thesis can become an American, irrespective of language, culture, or national origin.

The essential elements of the American Creed and American civic nationalism are faith in liberty, constitutionalism, the law, democracy, individualism and cultural and political egalitarianism. They have remained in essence the same through most of American history.' They are chiefly rooted in the Enlightenment and are also derived from English traditions: the liberal philosophy of John Locke as well as much older beliefs in the law and in the "rights of freeborn Englishmen."

Economic egalitarianism is definitely not a part of the Creed. On the contrary, it has been closely associated with belief in the absolute superiority of free market capitalism, unlimited economic opportunity and consumerism. These elements are contested by larger numbers of Americans than are its political elements, which are believed in by overwhelming majorities.

The myths attendant on the [American] Creed include a very widespread belief that the United States is exceptional in its allegiance to democracy and freedom and is therefore exceptionally good. And because America is exceptionally good, it both deserves to be exceptionally Powerful and by nature cannot use its power for evil ends. The American Creed is therefore a key foundation of belief in America's innate innocence."

Even most American dissidents throughout history have sincerely phrased their protests not as a rejection of the American Creed as such, but rather as a demand that Americans, or American governments, return to a purer form of the Creed or to a more faithful adherence to it. Groups which really step outside the Creed soon find themselves marginalized or even suppressed. The mass of the White population at least simply takes the Creed for granted.

Far from being a "new" or "young" state America therefore has some claim to be almost the oldest state in the world. It is "the oldest republic, the oldest democracy, the oldest federal system; it has the oldest written constitution and boasts the oldest of genuine political parties."

As Dr. Martin Luther King l Jr. declared at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, "I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its Creed.

... the American Thesis, like democracy in India, is also a matter of necessity for the United States. It is essential to preventing the country's immensely disparate and sometimes morally absolutist social, cultural, religious and ethnic groups from flying apart. Creedal civic nationalism and belief in the value of the American Thesis for America and humanity are perhaps the only things on which Pentecostalists in Texas and gays in San Francisco can agree."

The American Creed, and the institutions which it underpins, are indeed the nation's greatest glory and will be its greatest legacy after the United States itself has disappeared. The fruits of American economics may prove ambiguous or even disastrous in the long run; but the principles which have allowed masses of diverse people in an enormous land to live together and prosper without coercion will always have positive lessons to teach.

Our moral perils are not those of conscious malice or the explicit lust for power. They are the perils which can be understood only if we realize the ironic tendency of virtues to turn into vices when too complacently relied on; and of power to become vexatious if the wisdom which directs it is trusted too confidently."

Of these perils, two in particular have been remarked on by American historians and commentators: conformism and messianism. Both are usually somewhat latent and held in check by American traditions of empiricism, pragmatism and open debate." In moments of national shock and trauma, such as 9/11, however, they tend to become active and to do much to shape America's response.

Both these tendencies draw on a set of common myths, so deeply embedded as to operate beneath the level of most American's consciousness. These myths are not, strictly speaking, part of the formal Thesis or Creed, but help give it much of its emotional force. Among other things, these myths affirm the idea of America's innocence. Or as President George W. Bush put it, "I'm amazed that there's such misunderstanding of what our country is about that people would hate us. I'm like most Americans, I just can't believe it because I know how good we are."

As the Bush administration's National Security Strategy of 2002, has it: "Today, the United States enjoys a position of unparalleled military strength and great economic advantage. In keeping with our heritage and principles, we do not use our strength to press for unilateral advantage. We seek instead to create a balance of power that favors human freedom: conditions in which all nations and societies can choose for themselves the rewards and challenges of political and economic liberty?"

This belief in American innocence, of "original sinlessness;' is both very old and very powerful. It plays a tremendously important role in strengthening American nationalism and in diminishing the nation's willingness to listen to other in countries viewed in turn as originally sinful. This belief in national sinlessness like all such beliefs, contributes greatly to America's crowning sin of Pride-the first deadly sin and, in medieval Catholic theology, the one from which all other sins originally stem.

liberal commentator Richard Cohen wrote in 2003,
"The Iraq War was no mere failure of intelligence. This was a failure of character. Why? ... Finally, there was our smugness-the sort of American exceptionalism that so rankles non-Americans. No one better exemplified that than Bush himself?"

An unwillingness or inability among Americans to question the country's sinlessness feeds a culture of public conformism in the nation, which has been commented on across the centuries. "In the abstract we celebrate freedom of opinion as part of our patriotic legacy; it is only when some Americans exercise it that other Americans are shocked .... Intolerance of dissent is a well-noted feature of the American national character", in Senator Fulbright's words.

This is not true of the United States as a whole, and certainly not of American academia; but in my experience it certainly is true for dominant sections of the political, intellectual and media worlds of Washington, DC, and the American ruling elites. Tocqueville (the most famous European admirer of America, it should be noted) declared that "I know of no country where there is so little true independence of mind and freedom of discussion as in America .... The majority raises very formidable barriers to the liberty of opinion: within these barriers an author may write whatever he pleases, but he will repent it if he ever step beyond them."

... America's "civil religion" [is] composed of a mixture of the principles of the American Creed with a set of historical and cultural myths about the nation. This became the essential cultural underpinning of America's current version of civic nationalism.

... The conformism of ideological attitudes reflects in part the self-definition of the great majority of Americans as "middle class." By now this definition has little to do with class in the economic sense, but everything to do with being "respectable," which means, above all, sharing a certain set of common values, including the American Creed and American nationalism.

... [American] conformism is ... dangerous both to liberty and to the frank and honest discussion of public issues; especially in time of war, when it is exacerbated by a heightened nationalism. It is particularly alarming when combined with the loyalty and trust which many Americans in time of war instinctively feel toward their president and administration which was reflected for many months in the deference paid to the Bush administration ...

... W. H. Auden in 1967
"For millions of people today, words like Communism, Capitalism, Imperialism, Peace, Freedom and Democracy have ceased to be words the meaning of which can be inquired into and discussed, and have become right or wrong noises to which the response is as involuntary as a knee reflex."

In Loren Baritz's bitter words of 1985, in a chapter entitled "The American Lullaby"
"Our power, complacency, rigidity and ignorance have kept us from incorporating our Vietnam experience into the way we think about ourselves and the world .... For one brief moment, later in the 1970s, it looked as if we had developed some doubts about our international and cultural moorings. It looked as if we might have the nerve and wisdom to be concerned not only about Vietnam, but about ourselves. But there is no need to think unless there is doubt. 'The era of self-doubt is over,' President Reagan assured the West Point cadets. Freed of doubt, we are freed of thought. Many Americans now seem to feel better about themselves."

The figure of Ronald Reagan is critical to an understanding of how America dealt with the legacy of Vietnam and the consequences for America today and in future." On one hand, Reagan's external policy demonstrated that he and most of his administration were determined not to get involved in any major conflict, and realized full well how bitterly unpopular a serious war would be with a majority of Americans. The common left-wing image of Reagan as a warmonger is therefore quite wrong."

The Reagan administration conforms to a key feature of the American security elites and military-industrial complex ... that they tend to be "militarist, but not bellicose." In Reagan's rhetoric, however, the "Great Communicator" was a superb restorer of the founding myths of American nationalism, so badly tarnished by Vietnam; and this was without question because he believed them to the full himself, particularly regarding his belief in American innocence, American beneficence and America as the heartland of human freedom and progress. He held "an innocent and unshakeable belief in the myth of American exceptionalism." In Garry Wills's superb phrase, Reagan was "the demagogue as rabble -soother."

Reagan's mixture proved the perfect one to reassure Americans after the combined traumas of defeat in Vietnam, bitter political divisions at home, the Watergate scandal and the Iranian hostage crisis. But by far the most important ingredient in the mixture was that, in Woodward's words, Reagan "reaffirmed" America's national myths. He also did so in a style which not only calmed but united most Americans. In this Reagan's geniality, his acting skill and his genuine identification with his country and countrymen made him a far more uniting figure than George W. Bush, who represents the same nationalist mixture but in a considerably harsher form.

In his brilliant essay of 1982, "The Care and Repair of Public Myth' William H. McNeill examined classic American myths of superiority and benevolence, and remarked that "no one is likely to reaffirm these discredited notions today, even though public rhetoric often assumes the reality of such myths without expressly saying so. Politicians and journalists really have little choice, since suitably revised national and international myths are conspicuous by their absence. "

This passage brings out the full responsibility of Reagan and indeed those who voted for him. After all, they elected him in part precisely because he was so good at restoring their myths about their country, including the belief that Vietnam had been a noble crusade. As a result, while Americans remember in their guts that Vietnam was an unpleasant experience the repetition of which should be avoided, its deeper lessons remained largely unlearned, and in our own time it has proved possible to "reaffirm these discredited notions."

One reason for this was that while the Vietnam War was a dreadful experience for those Americans who fought in it, their numbers were small, and-as mentioned before-unlike European and Asian wars, or for that matter the experience of the Vietnamese, Americans at home were physically unaffected: "for most Americans the tangible consequences of the debacle in Southeast Asia seem inordinately slight." This lack of personal knowledge of war was of course true of Reagan himself, and is true of George W. Bush and all the other men in his administration of 2000 to 2004 who were of military age during the Vietnam War but for some reason failed to serve.

In another way, however, the trauma of Vietnam was if anything too deep to be addressed: nothing less than "the death of the national god" and the national religion of American innocence, goodness and God-given success. Without these beliefs, it was feared by Americans at some deep, semiconscious level, U.S. civic nationalism itself would also wither and die. This fallen national god therefore had to be pieced back together and returned to his pedestal.

British journalist, Andrew Gumbel, 2003 when his son first went to school in California. His article is worth quoting at some length, as the appalled reaction of a politically centrist citizen of a vital English-speaking ally of the United States to behavior which most Americans take for granted:

Even after five years in the United States, I continue to be surprised by the omnipresence of patriotic conformism .... With my son's education at stake, I can't help pondering the link between what is fed to children as young as six and what American adults end up knowing or understanding about the wider world. There is much that is admirable in the unique brand of idealism that drives American society, with its unshakeable belief in the constitutional principles of freedom and limitless opportunity. Too often, though, the idealism becomes a smokescreen concealing the uglier realities of the United States and the way in which it throws its economic, political and military weight around the globe. Children are recruited from the very start of their school careers to believe in a project one might call Team America, whose oft-repeated mantra is: we're the good guys, we always strive to do the right thing, we live in the greatest country in the world. No other point of view, no other cultural mindset, is ever seriously contemplated ...

The manipulation of education is more subtle and, arguably, more insidious than it was 50 years ago at the height of the Cold War and the great Red Scare. Then, the battle for hearts and minds was about the straightforward exclusion of certain books and topics in pursuit of a political agenda . ... These days, the issue is no longer banning books, even if that still goes on in parts of the heartland dominated by the Christian right, but rather systemic conformism. It used to be that an inspiring teacher could overcome the shortcomings of bland textbooks and blinkered administrative madness. But with the curriculum now much more closely defined and homogenized ... [teachers] are effectively forced into complicity with the textbook pretence that every historical struggle has now been settled and can be summarized in a few soothing lines of near-meaningless analytical blancmange."

The ideas of American civic nationalism ... cannot be seriously questioned without endangering the stability of the entire structure. Their absolutist character influences in turn the underlying ideology of American foreign policy, making it more difficult for even highly educated and informed Americans to form a detached and objective view of that policy; for to do so would also risk undermining the bonds uniting diverse Americans at home."

The intense identification of the American Ideology with the American nation also feeds American national messianism, a belief in the nation's duty to save the world. This belief makes it much more difficult for most Americans to imagine the United States as a country among others or an "international community" that includes America as a member rather than a hegemon.

This messianism contributes to the shortage of true internationalists in the United States ... it can even contribute to a kind of racism. Richard Hughes has written that "there is perhaps no more compelling task for Americans to accomplish in the 21st Century than to learn to see the world through someone else's eyes." The messianism inherent in a combination of the American Creed and American national myths makes the development of such a capacity even more difficult. It feeds "our inveterate tendency to judge others by the extent to which they contrive to be like ourselves.""

George W. Bush, 2000
"I think they [the people of the world] ought to look at us as a country that understands freedom, where it doesn't matter who you are or how you're raised or where you're from, that you can succeed .... So I don't think they ought to look at us in any other way than what we are. We're a freedom-loving nation. And if we're an arrogant nation, they'll view us that way. But we're a humble nation they'll respect us as an honorable nation."

American academia and quasi-academia have played an important but complex role in the maintenance of the illusions and myths underpinning "dynamic messianism' The world of academia in general is a great exception to the patterns of myth and conformism sketched earlier. It has produced not only distinguished centrist critics of these tendencies, but even an intellectual Left which continues to be highly influential within academia itself and in parts of the world of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The progressive and left-wing liberal world also supports a number of respectable intellectual journals.

This is why hatred of the nationalist Right is particularly directed at the universities. And indeed, as everywhere else, some of the attacks of the intellectual Left on the U.S. ideology and ruling system deserve severe criticism, being extremist, foolish and occasionally downright wicked. Powerful, however, they are not leftwing intellectuals are almost completely excluded from the American mainstream media and from those branches of academia with close government dealings. Their only role in these fields is to act as convenient whipping boys for the Right.

With time this picture may change, as products of the pluralist university worlds find their way into politics and government; but as yet there are few signs of this happening. It might indeed seem natural that the radical Left should be excluded from the "mainstream' except for one thing: the radical Right is not so excluded. Even in the comment pages of newspapers widely viewed as liberal, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, hard-line, right-wing nationalists such as George Will, William Kristol, Robert Novak, William Safire and Charles Krauthammer are to be found day after day.

In the areas of foreign relations and security, a capacity for truly open debate on underlying principles has been discouraged by the close links among government, particular university departments, think tanks and journalists working in the field. Paradoxically, the American system of political appointments, whereby a president chooses some four thousand officials from outside the civil service, has worked if anything to limit the advice coming to government. Rather than opening the bureaucracy, the system has tended to bureaucratize those sections of academia with a role in the foreign policy debate. Because they are divided into two political tribes, these parabureaucrats retain a capacity to criticize specific policies of particular administrations. With very few exceptions, however, like most bureaucrats they lack completely an ability to distance themselves from the supporting myths of the state system which supports them.

As a result of this complex of factors, in the view of the American historian and former soldier Andrew Bacevich, the basic American consensus on foreign policy "is so deep-seated that its terms have become all but self-evident, its premises asserted rather than demonstrated," and much of the public and media debate on international issues within the country is no more than "political theatre."

The Roman and Chinese state models, although universalist, were authoritarian and bureaucratic, and there was no contradiction in Rome and China spreading their own rule by force or in other authoritarian monarchies adopting their form of rule. The American model is supposed to be democratic and to be adopted voluntarily by peoples. How far then can these lessons be presented as exclusively American and used to feed American pride and power? How far can they be spread by force of arms, how far they can be associated with American national prejudices, interests and geopolitical ambitions without losing their value and attractive power? How can an approach supposedly rooted in democratization succeed if it displays a brazen contempt both for international public opinion in general and for the democratic votes of particular nations?

Inside America, this strategy works very well in terms of political appeal and consolidation of the political elites behind American strategy. Outside, it gives the impression that the American conscience can be flicked on and off according to tactical advantage like a strobe light in a particularly seedy disco. This international perception of hypocrisy is increased enormously by very strong and all-too-visible American national hatreds of other countries and peoples.

This tendency is exemplified by Freedom House, a politically independent but officially sanctioned body whose annual survey of freedom and democracy in the world is treated as a kind of biblical authority by many American journalists and commentators. Yet this is an institution which over the past thirty years has advanced China precisely one grade in its freedom rating, from seven to six. That is to say, according to Freedom House, after a generation of economic liberalization and the transition from fanatical totalitarianism to authoritarianism, in 2004 Chinese were only very slightly more free than they were in the depths of the Cultural Revolution in 1972. In 2002 India rated a two, despite severe repression

in Kashmir and the massacre in Gujarat of more than two thousand members of the Muslim minority, with the active complicity of the local government and police. And so on."' In this, Freedom House was simply following the pattern of many U.S. institutions during the Cold War, when a range of abysmal dictatorships in Africa, Latin America and elsewhere were classified as part of the "Free World" because their allies were geopolitical allies of the United States.'

Bush in an address to the Congress on September 20, 2001
"Americans are asking, why do they hate us? They hate what they see in this chamber-a democratically elected government .... Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and Fear are at war. The advance of human freedom-the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time-now depends on US."

Bush's speech to graduates at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on June 1, 2002
"Wherever we carry it, the American flag will stand not only for our power, but for freedom (applause). Our nation's cause has always been larger than our nation's defense. We fight, as we always fight, for a just peace-a peace that favors human liberty .... The twentieth century ended with a single surviving model of human progress, based on non-negotiable demands of human dignity, the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women and private property and free speech and equal justice and religious tolerance."

In the wake of 9/11, a number of intellectuals still belonging to the Democrat Party and calling themselves liberals set off on the same well-worn path as the neoconservatives had done two generations earlier, when most future neoconservatives were Democrats and followers of the bitterly anticommunist, pro-Vietnam War and pro-Israel Democratic Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson. Thus in 2003 Michael Tomasky declared that the Democrats needed to adopt a new conception of foreign policy as a strong, clear alternative to that of the Republicans:

The hard part is backing up the critique [of the Republicans] with an alternative vision. That too should be simple, and for consistency's sake it should follow from the critique: The world's leading democracy should support... democracy. The Cold War is over; the twentieth century, the century in which all the "isms" became "wasms," is over. It's the 21st century; the United States should declare it to be-American liberals should declare it to be-the century of democracy ....

Picture a Democratic president, or even a presidential candidate, making such a case forcefully on the world stage; for the purpose of showing that he (or she) really means business, he (or she) might choose one test case that highlights some outrage to which the United States has heretofore turned a blind eye-the plight of the Kurds in Turkey, or, better still for the purposes of domestic political consumption, oppression of women in Saudi Arabia. There will be initial resistance, but ultimately, who can afford to buck the United States? The world will start, in its lumbering, petulant way, to change."'

In 2003, very similar passages could be found in the writings of numerous other supporters of the Democratic Party. They were summed up in Progressive Internationalism: A Democratic National Security Strategy drawn up by a group of former officials, think tank members and academics with a view to influencing the Democratic election campaign and the policies of a future Democrat administration. This strategy was drawn up under the aegis of the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) in Washington, a grouping which in U.S. domestic policy advocates a form of Blairite "Third Way" for America. Some of its domestic proposals are quite sound. Like other works by members of this school, this document also differs from works by the right-wing nationalists in that it stresses, no doubt sincerely, the theoretical need for multilateralism. The problem is, however, that its other statements on the use of force to improve the world are so alien to predominant European and other thinking that, if implemented, they would make such multilateralism very difficult.

In a related essay Dana Allin, Michael O'Hanlon and Philip Gordon call for a future Democrat administration to show "respect" for leading allies, unlike the Bush administration. 130 It is difficult to show respect, however, while categorically rejecting someone's advice. In this regard, much of the content and even the language of the Progressive Internationalist declaration is indistinguishable from neoconservative tracts."' Several of the signatories to this document had joined with neoconservative and other right-wing Republican commentators in supporting the Iraq War.

One of the signatories of the "Progressive Internationalism" statement, Professor Michael McFaul of Stanford, has written that "during the twentieth century, the central purpose of American power was to defend against and when possible to destroy tyranny"-a description almost Soviet in its omission of inconvenient but crucial facts. Advocating adoption of a "liberty doctrine" as the guiding principle of U.S. foreign and security policy, McFaul writes in terms identical to those of the neoconservatives: "to promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements or regimes .... To effectively promote liberty abroad over the long haul, the United States must maintain its overwhelming military dominance over the rest of the world."

In McFaul's view:

The United States cannot be content with preserving the current order in the international system. Rather, the United States must become once again a revisionist power-a country that seeks to change the international system as a means of enhancing its own national security. Moreover, this mission must be offensive in nature. The United States cannot afford to wait and react to the next attack. Rather, we must seek to isolate and destroy our enemies by eliminating their regimes and safe havens. The ultimate purpose of American power is the creation of an international community of democratic states that encompasses every region of the planet."'

Newt Gingrich
"The United States should actively stand for and promote its values around the globe. Every person deserves safety, health, prosperity and freedom. The United States supports the core values of constitutional liberty, the right to free speech (including a free press), independent judiciaries, free markets, free elections, transparency in government, the equality of women, racial equality and the free exercise of religious beliefs. Without these values, it is very hard to imagine a world in which U.S. safety can be secured. We should not confuse respect for others with acceptance of their values if they violate these principles."

... leading intellectual Scoop Jackson Democrats completed their drift away from the Democratic Party and into the ideological camp of the neoconservatives and the political camp of the Republicans. In other words, Tomasky and his colleagues in 2003 were simply following a path already marked out by Richard Perle, Irving Kristol and others a generation before."'

The vision of the Democrat "progressive internationalists" does genuinely differ from that of the nationalist Right on a range of other vital international issues including the environment, foreign aid, various international treaties and in general the need to display a "generous vision of global society and America's role in it.""' And if actually implemented-highly dubious, given the past record of the Democratic Party in Congress regarding these issues-such policies would not only be very good in themselves, but would improve the entire atmosphere between the United States and Western Europe in particular.

However, when it comes to the specific issues of the conduct of the war against terrorism and the use of force to improve the world, the progressive internationalists present no real "alternative" to Bush administration policies. Rather, like the neoconservatives, they represent a form of liberal imperialism of a kind which characterized much of the liberal scene in the United States and Europe a century ago. Although this picture obviously has specifically, even uniquely, American features, it also has melancholy antecedents in the history of relations between nationalist and liberal movements in previous ages and other parts of the world.

The psychological ascendancy of nationalism over liberalism in this relationship is vividly demonstrated by the nationalist language used in the passages from Tomasky and McFaul, the spirit of which differs very little from that of the neoconservatives. America "eliminates" the enemies of liberty. It declares unilaterally what it wants, and the rest of the world has to follow, for "who can afford to buck the United States?" The "world" is seen as inevitably responding "petulantly" thereby delegitimizing any criticism and demonstrating yet again the need firm American command over the rest of humanity.

Jesse Helms said to a senior member of French National Assembly, Paul Quiles that he had told members of the UN Security Council that
"states, above all the United States, that are democratic, and act in the cause of liberty, possess unlimited authority, subject to no external control, to carry out military interventions?"

"No one likes armed missionaries?'"

C. Vann Woodward warned during the Vietnam War:
"The true American mission, according to those who support this view, is a moral crusade on a worldwide scale. Such people are likely to concede no validity whatever and grant no hearing to the opposing point of view, and to appeal to a higher law to justify bloody and revolting means in the name of a noble end. For what end could be nobler, they ask, than the liberation of man .... The irony of the moralistic approach, when exploited by nationalism, is that the high motive to end injustice and immorality actually results in making war more amoral and horrible than ever and in shattering the foundations of the political and moral order upon which peace has to be built."'

... American messianic ideology ... encourages contempt for and hostility to states; not only particular states, but to some extent, states as such-at least, that great majority which do not conform to American standards of democracy and economic success; and even those that do, such as those of Western Europe, can be damned for being too cowardly, cynical and decadent to support America's courageous and idealistic mission to the world.

The Western colonial empires overwhelmingly failed to develop most of their colonies, as witnessed by the catastrophic decline in Indian industries and share of world trade under British colonial rule. Indeed, that was part of the point, as the colonies were intended to be captive markets, not competitors-an approach replicated in the Bush administration's policy of distributing contracts to rebuild Iraq to American corporations rather than to Iraqi ministries.

The only empires which successfully developed their imperial possessions we those of Russia and Japan, which treated them economically as part of the imperial metropolis itself. Japanese rule over Taiwan and (South) Korea, for all its cruelty, laid the foundations for these countries' later economic and social progress. 111 America's former colony in East Asia, the Philippines, by contrast, is the economic basket case of the region.

America Right or Wrong

Home Page