In 2009, while attending the European summit of the Group of 20 major economic countries, President Obama was asked if he believed in American exceptionalism. He blithely responded, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”
Fast forward to this address on Libya yesterday:
“For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom. Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act.” (1 min. 29 secs)
Now it sounds as though Obama is embracing that exceptionalism he was never previously able to detect in attempting to make his case for U.S. involvement in Libya.