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.
$29.95 2018 409 pp
Ebook $18.00 ISBN: 978-0-9998747-0-7
ANNOTATED TABLE OF CONTENTS
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
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
|AMERICA: EXPANSIONIST FROM THE OUTSET
|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
are Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined
America and the World and UNPRECEDENTED:
Can Humanity Survive the CO2 Crisis?
“David Ray Griffin is a master of the art of courageously,
constructively and meticulously exposing and debunking dangerous
disinfectant for brainwashed minds. Just as his previous book,
Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World, was
essential reading to understand the world in which we now live,
The American Trajectory: Divine or Demonic? is essential reading to
understand the true nature of the 'exceptional' role of the United
States in world affairs—past, present and future.”
—John Whitbeck, International lawyer; author of
The World According to Whitbeck
“This new book by David Ray Griffin is essential reading for anybody
who wants to understand the dark side of US Imperialism in its global
—Dr. Daniele Ganser, Director Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy
Research; author of many books, including NATO’s Secret Armies.
“David Ray Griffin has done it again. His new book should be read as a
prequel to the seminal Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined
America and the World.
Supported by extensive research, Griffin thoroughly debunks the
myth of an American Empire as a benign, exceptionalist, divinely
ordained historical agent. Instead of Manifest Destiny, what reality-
based Griffin charters is the ‘malign’ ways of US foreign policy since
the 19th century; a trajectory founded by slavery and genocide of
indigenous peoples and then imperially expanded, non-stop. ‘Malign’
happens to be a term currently very much in vogue across
the Beltway—but always to designate US competitors Russia and
Griffin consistently challenges Beltway gospel, demonstrating that if
the US had not entered WWI, there may have been no WWII. He
unmasks the lies surrounding the true story of the Pearl Harbor
attacks. He asks: If the US was really guided by God, how
could it ‘choose’ to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, knowing that ‘the
atomic bombs were not necessary to end the war?’
Griffin also shows how the Cold War was actually conceptualized
several years before the 1950 National Security Council paper 68 (NSC-
68). He revisits the origins of irrational hatred of Iran; the
demonization of Cuba; the lies surrounding the Vietnam debacle; the
false flags across Europe via Operation Gladio; the destruction of
Yugoslavia; the decades-long evisceration of Iraq; and the
ramifications of the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine.
This sharp, concise history of the American Empire ultimately
demonstrates, in Griffin’s analysis, the ‘fraud’ of endorsing self-
praising American Exceptionalism. A must read.”
—Pepe Escobar, Asia Times/Hong Kong;
author of 2030 and Empire of Chaos
"Since the turn of the 20th century, through two global wars and
numerous others to follow, including current ones raging in multiple
theaters, America’s longstanding aim is to control planet earth, its
resources and populations. Griffin explains it in lucid detail, America’s
imperial history, rarely taught in US classrooms to the highest levels
of higher education. Readers can get it all in Griffin’s important new
book. It’s vital truth-telling, explaining the American way - responsible
for inflicting enormous harm on countless millions at home and
"David Ray Griffin, in book after book since the attacks of 11
September 2001, has meticulously exposed the underside of the
American empire and its evil masters. His persistence in trying to
reach people and to warn them of the horrors that have resulted is
extraordinary. Excluding his philosophical and theological works, this
is his fifteenth book since 2004 on these grave issues of life and
death and the future of the world.
In this masterful book, he provides a powerful historical argument
that right from the start with the arrival of the first European settlers,
this country, despite all the rhetoric about it having been divinely
founded and guided, has been “more malign that benign, more
demonic than divine.” He chronologically presents this history,
supported by meticulous documentation, to prove his thesis.
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