There are some (Korean) academics, teachers, intellectuals, government think-tanks, policy makers, and so forth, who unabashedly promote the unquestioned and unchallenged historical virtues of “American Exceptionalism (Manifest Destiny)” that were ironed out in the mid-nineteenth century, and filtered into modern-day world international affairs. However, it is obvious that this narrow Anglo-American ideology is historically and politically misconstrued.
In constructing their version of “American Exceptionalism” rhetoric, this ideological bent highlights John Winthrop’s ‘Light on the Hill’ rhetoric. However, Winthrop held strident anti-democratic sentiments: “A democracy is, amongst civil nations, accounted the meanest and worst of all forms of government.” Also, Winthrop’s vision was meant for the “white” population, not for Indians, Blacks, or any mixed bloods. In fact, this ultruistic light became a time of abject darkness for the African-American and Indigenous populations as millions were historically erased through slavery and mass murder via the conduits of racism and pandemic disease. Instead, most Puritan missionaries were reluctant to share this light with the “other.” In fact, missionary work amoung North American Indians (and Blacks) was sporadic, begrudging and self-serving, despite the genuine missionary success of John Mayhew Jr. and John Eliot and other Moravian Missionary work in Pennsylvania.
Along with Winthrop’s vision for “White” America, these scholars salute “American Exceptionalism” by portraying former American Presidents as grand examplers of Puritan and Freemason ideas of its Messianic mission to bring peace to this dark world. All these great ideas, according to these intellectuals, were meant to dispel the ideological darkness of Savagery, Communism, Dictatorship and Terrorism. Despite its many historical contradictions, these scholars uncritically support “American Exceptionalism.” Why have these scholars omitted the racial prejudice and mass genocide of these earlier American Presidents? For example, in 1783, George Washington compared Indians with animals: “Both being beasts of prey, tho’ they differ in shape.” Indeed, Washington had no compunction in obliterating 28 Indian settlements in a two-year period. What happened to Washington’s Freemason ideas of brotherly love? In a heartbeat, America’s dream of freedom and democracy became the American Indian’s long nightmare of dispossession and poverty.
Not only did Washington have negative views of American Indians, Thomas Jefferson had very little qualms in exterminating Indians like wild dogs. In 1807, Jefferson unabashedly proclaimed that “if ever we are constrained to lift the hatchet against any tribe, we will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or is driven beyond the Mississippi.” (David Stannard,. American Holocaust, pp. 118-121). What happened to all the Puritan and Freemason ideas of love and liberty?
Furthermore, let us not forget President Andrew Jackson’s racist policies of American Indian ethnic-cleansing. Jacksonian America proposed and enforced the removal and relocation of tens of thousands of American Indians from the American Southeast to thousands of miles west to Oklahoma between 1830-1838.
Modest figures estimate that between 60-150,000 American Indians died on the “Trail of Tears” from the Southeast to Oklahoma. Many American Indian children, pregnant women, the infirm and elderly either died of disease, hunger, murdered for sport, or simply froze to death on their way to Indian Territory. Jackson’s policies of forced removal were the paradigm for future Western inspired forms of ethnic-cleansing, namely Nazism: “My friends,” explains Andrew Jackson. “circumstances render it impossible that you [American Indians] can flourish in the midst of a civilized community. You have but one remedy within your reach, and that is to remove to the west. And the sooner you do this, the sooner you will commence your career of improvement and prosperity.”
If the US government fights for freedom and democracy, why didn’t the US liberate Korea from Japanese colonization before WWII? The reason the US fought in the Korean War wasn’t to liberate Korea, but it was rather to shield Japan from the threat of communism. Also, since it was well known before and after the illegal invasion of Iraq that there were no WMDs, the real motive for attacking Iraq wasn’t for freedom and democracy for Iraqis, but control of this region’s strategic location as it is in close proximity to Iran and to vast untapped oil reserves. And doesn’t the US government have a long history of supporting dictators and rogue states around the world: Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Saudi Arabian dictatorial Princes and Israelis Juntas in the Occupied Territories? The US government isn’t primarily concerned with freedom; it is more concerned with its own self-interests, which includes supporting dictators and conducting business with communist regimes. No doubt, these scholars flattering words would have pleased Imperial Japan’s colonial motives in liberating Asia from Western colonization.
If the Puritans, Freemasons, and their ancestors really believed in their value systems, they wouldn’t have committed such horrendous crimes of genocide and blatant theft of millions of hectares of American Indian lands. While Americans still benefit from these vast resource rich lands, Indians are placed on segregated lands. As such it is beyond doubt that America’s foreign policy is not guided by the Puritans, Freemasons or Liberal ideas of liberty, democracy and freedom. To be sure “the West won the world,” according to Samuel P. Huttington, “not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”