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William Schryver

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The Ontological Incoherence of American Imperial Exceptionalism


This is ostensibly a critical review of Arta Moeini’s recent essay published at UnHerd: Is the West escalating the Ukraine war? Nevertheless, its purview extends far beyond Moeini’s isolated expression of the pervasive fallacies my critique addresses.

Moeini’s article emerges from the milieu of the past several weeks, during which time we have observed a pronounced rhetorical revolution in the popular western narratives regarding the NATO/Russia war in Ukraine.

“Lost cause” is in the air. Many who have privately known this to be the case for some time have finally been sufficiently emboldened to publicly embrace the obvious – albeit reluctantly, and often with a good measure of rationalization and lingering misinformation in tow.

To be clear, I found Moeini’s essay a worthwhile read; thought-provoking on multiple levels – although not always in the way I suspect he intended. And I more or less agree with the majority of his observations of matters as they currently stand.

But as the poet well-noted, “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
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The Arsenal of Democracy Isn't


As I originally wrote in my July 10, 2022 article Wunderwaffe Du Jour:

“The US military is not built nor equipped for protracted high-intensity conflict. Nor can it supply a depleted proxy army with the means to prosecute a protracted high-intensity conflict.”

The incontrovertible reality is that the US and its NATO allies are presently incapable of supplying the massive material demands of modern industrial warfare, as Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Alex Vershinin articulated so well in this essential June 2022 analysis: The Return of Industrial Warfare.

And yet the public discussion of potential war always includes convinced voices proclaiming that, just like in the Second World War, US industry could very rapidly ramp up to produce armaments of surpassing quality, and in overwhelming quantities.

This titillates the biases of American exceptionalists in general, and is a particularly seductive fantasy of the #EmpireAtAllCosts cult drones propagandizing for filthy lucre at the countless armaments-industry-funded “think tanks” in Washington and London.

But the notion that the rapidly declining empire can resurrect the Arsenal of Democracy band for one final farewell tour is a singularly delusional vanity.
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