In The American Trajectory: Divine or Demonic? David Ray Griffin
    traces the trajectory of the American Empire from its founding
    through to the end of the 20th century. A prequel to Griffin's Bush
    and Cheney, this book demonstrates with many examples the
    falsity of the claim for American exceptionalism, a secular version
    of the old idea that America has been divinely founded and guided.
           The Introduction illustrates the claims for divine providence
    and American exceptionalism from George Washington to the book
    Exceptional by Dick and Liz Cheney. After pointing out that the idea
    that America is an empire is no longer controversial, it then
    contrasts those who consider it benign with those who consider it
    malign. The remainder of the book supports the latter point of
           The American Trajectory contains many episodes that many
    readers will find surprising:

  • That the sinking of the Lusitania was anticipated, both by Churchill
    and Wilson, as a means of inducing America's entry into World War

  • that the attack on Pearl Harbor was neither unprovoked nor a

  • that during the "Good War" the US government plotted and played
    politics with a view to becoming the dominant empire;

  • that there was no need to drop atomic bombs on Japan either to
    win the war or to save American lives;

  • that US decisions were central to the inability of the League of
    Nations and the United Nations to prevent war;

  • that the United States was more responsible than the Soviet Union
    for the Cold War;

  • that the Vietnam War was far from the only US military adventure
    during the Cold War that killed great numbers of civilians;

  • that the US government organized false flag attacks that
    deliberately killed Europeans; and

  • that America's military interventions after the dissolution of the
    Soviet Union taught some conservatives (such as Andrew
    Bacevich and Chalmers Johnson) that the US interventions during
    the Cold War were not primarily defensive.   
    The conclusion deals with the question of how knowledge by
    citizens of how the American Empire has behaved could make
    America better and how America, which had long thought of itself
    as the Redeemer Nation, might redeem itself.  

ISBN:  978-0-9986947-9-5
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    In past centuries, U.S. political leaders described America as divinely
    founded and guided; some still do. But now leaders generally secularize
    their language, speaking of American exceptionalism. Whether this idea
    is endorsed or criticized, the issue is now usually discussed in terms of
    the American Empire, whether it is benign or malign. The chapters of this
    book show that the American empire has been more malign than benign,
    more demonic than divine.

    1 The Beginning to World War I:
    Deals with expansionism (including slavery and the genocide of Native
    Americans) and early imperialism (going overseas to take of Hawaii,
    Cuba, the Philippines et al.)

    2 World War I:
    Gives special attention to role of the sinking of the Lusitania in getting
    America into the war; then discusses reasons for the quick rise of World
    War II.

    3 Between the Wars:
    Deals with the first offensive against Communism, the creation of
    dictatorships in the Western hemisphere, and the drive to prevent war by
    forming the League of Nations.

    4 World War II:
    Treats America's wartime planning for the postwar world, playing politics
    during the war, and the myth that America was devoted itself to the
    defense of freedom.

    5 Pearl Harbor:
    Provides evidence contrary to the US story that the attack was
    unprovoked and a surprise, then deals with the cover-up of the
    Roosevelt administration's role.

    6 Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
    Deals with the creation of the atomic bombs, their use on Japan (rather
    than Germany), and the myth that they were necessary to win the war
    without the loss of a huge number of US lives.

    7 The United Nations:
    The UN was created with the aim of overcoming the weaknesses of the
    aborted League of Nations, but then it was also incapable of preventing
    wars, because the US and the USSR would not give up their imperialistic

    8 Creating the Cold War:
    Treating Germany, Japan, Greece, atomic policy, and NSC-68, chapter
    shows that the United States was primarily responsible for the Cold War.

    9 U.S. Imperialism during the Cold War:
    Using the threat of Communism, the US intervened in (for example) the
    Philippines, Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Brazil, the Dominican Republic,
    Greece, Indonesia and the Iran-Iraq war.

    10 The Vietnam War:
    Shows how Eisenhower deceitfully led America into the war, how
    Kennedy and especially Johnson enlarged it, and then how Nixon led the
    war to an ignominious end.

    11 False Flag Operations:
    Treats ways in which the US used false flag operations to extend its
    empire, especially Operation Gladio.

    12 Some Post-Cold War Interventions:
    Attacks on Panama and Iraq (1991), after demise of the Soviet Union,
    show that US interventions were not defensive.

    13 The Drive for Global Dominance:
    Whereas the US had long been aiming for global dominance, the goal to
    create a global empire became manifest.

    Realizing that America is not exceptional could lead to a better country.

Divine or Demonic?

David Ray Griffin
David Ray Griffin is Professor of
Philosophy of Religion and Theology,
Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology and
Claremont Graduate University (1973-2004);
Co-Director, Center for Process Studies. He
edited the SUNY Series in Constructive
Postmodern Thought (1987-2004), which
published 31 volumes. He has written 30
books, edited 13 books, and authored 250
articles and chapters. His most recent books
Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined
America and the World
Can Humanity Survive the CO2 Crisis?