It's curious that Common Dreams invites in voices like that of Mr. Pillar--one who is proudly affiliated with the CIA. Then there are the warriors and war apologists primarily featured by Tom Dispatch (including, but not limited to William Astore & Andrew Bacevich).
Taking this on-line "Progressive" community for a virtual club, inviting in the spooks and soldiers brings to mind the way the terrific film, "Cabaret" showed the gradual acceptance of uniformed Nazi soldiers into the eclectic night spot.
It's not surprising that under the guise of offering a critique of this arrogant assertion of "American Exceptionalism," Mr. Pillar uses such antiseptic frames.
Let's examine two of them:
"The problems come from the tendency — which is implicit in much of the wording of Clinton’s speech — to consider the United States and U.S. leadership as indispensable in addressing all significant problems abroad. But not all problems abroad are U.S. problems, not all such problems are solvable, what solutions there are do not all come from the United States, and in some problems U.S. involvement or leadership is instead counterproductive."
The comment is accurate enough but it's noteworthy for what it does NOT say... which is just how much destruction was wrought on nations which obviously configures substantially into the net sum of the problems they face now.
Like bombs destroying their infrastructure, resulting in a million dead, and millions of uprooted refugees.
However, Mr. Pillar frames his article in terms of America playing the role of problem solver, the Quintessential Innocent (or white hat, as Robert Parry defines it).
U.S. leadership isn't really what's relevant to problem-solving. The problem is that of U.S. imperialism.
I guess it would not trouble an individual identified with that organization most known for extending to itself a license to kill and embracing the sort of propaganda that enabled Hitler to rise to power... that there is no mention of the FACT that the CASE for war against these nations was all built on PHONY "evidence."
Now let's examine this statement:
"Clinton talked about values and about how American exceptionalism includes the idea of “America’s unique and unparalleled ability to be a force for peace and progress, a champion for freedom and opportunity.”
The overlooked question in this kind of rhetoric concerns the conditions in which other nations are, or are not, receptive to the freedom and opportunity being championed."
For anyone to use terms like "peace" and "progress" in congress with policies of extreme violence... is proof positive of the dark art of dis-information at work.
So Clinton says it; and then someone like Pillar speaks to it as if it's a natural given rather than a 180-degree distortion from the facts on the ground. Those facts include planned theaters of war that this female hawk supports with gusto. She's basically an emissary of the MIC and its lifeblood is the profits drawn from wars that never end.
In other words, the MIC and its ambassadors are the ENEMIES to peace and progress.
Why does C.D. feature those who grant COVER to U.S. martial foreign policy?
THIS is disturbing!