“[T]hey had better not publish anything that challenges the idea that America is fundamentally good, the exceptional nation, because this is the one religious belief that cannot be challenged.” — David Ray Griffin

Part 18: American Exceptionalism and Nationalist Faith
By Frances T. Shure
June 30, 2015
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth

Editor’s Note: Frances Shure, M.A., L.P.C., has performed an in-depth analysis addressing a key issue of our time: “Why Do Good People Become Silent — or Worse — About 9/11?” The resulting essay, being presented here as a series, is a synthesis of both academic research and clinical observations.

In addressing the question in the title of this essay, the May 2015 segment, The False Self and Excessive Identification with the U.S.A., drew from developmental psychology, explaining that all of us reside somewhere on a continuum from a fully authentic self to a completely false self. If a person has a prominent false self, and if this self-image includes a strong identification with America as a country of unequivocal goodness, then the evidence presented by 9/11 skeptics demonstrating that the official story of 9/11 cannot be true will seriously challenge that self-image. For this reason, these people may never be able to accept new information about 9/11, no matter how convincing the evidence.

Here, in the June 2015 installment, we continue Ms. Shure’s analysis with Part 18: American Exceptionalism and Nationalist Faith.

“I wouldn’t want to live in a country where such a thing could be true!” exclaimed an acquaintance upon hearing some facts about 9/11 — facts that cause skeptics like me to dispute the official account of that infamous day.

She was not only horrified that I and a growing number of people around the world are convinced that 9/11 may have been an “inside job,” but she also found it inconceivable that any leaders of America could have participated in such an atrocity.

After reading an article1 in a local newspaper addressing my reasons for not being silent about 9/11, a reader sent me a lengthy letter in which he wrote:

I am 65 and grew up in Washington, D.C., and spent 7 years on active duty in the Air Force. Even though I knew about all the lies we were told about Vietnam (I was stationed there for a year), Watergate, COINTELPRO, the CIA’s operations in the U.S., etc., I could not bring myself to believe that anyone in the United States government could be callous — or crazy — enough to do something like this. I felt this way for years, but something was always nagging at the back of my mind, especially as I read more of what these people were saying.

Then I read that David Ray Griffin was coming to speak here [at the University of Colorado, Boulder] in October 2007. I knew that he was one of the leading researchers and determined that I would definitely hear him. His presentation2 convinced me hands down….

I am reminded of the journalist I met at a street action who said, “I am aware that our government does bad things, but not this! Not those towers! They would not be that evil.” (See Part 1: Preface and Introduction.)

One of the core beliefs that American culture inculcates in us is that our history, values, and political system are uniquely good. Because of this perceived exceptional character of our nation, citizens, by and large, believe the United States of America is entitled and destined to play a positive role on the world stage. Therefore, whatever the U.S. does on the world stage is, in the final analysis, good for humankind. For example, this belief gave support to the concept of Manifest Destiny, an American attitude of the 19th century that the United States had a nearly divine mission to expand across the continent and, in later years, into the rest of the world.3

“American Exceptionalism” is the term used to describe this belief — another “sacred myth” of our culture.4

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