Funny, when an individual believes himself exceptional – that's diagnosable. Sociopaths afflicted with messiah complexes proclaim their exceptionalism. No one much mentions that twist. Well, only a mentally ill nation – and its symptomatic political-media spokesmen – would dare digest and obtusely deliver the latest headline prognosis: "Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says." (We'll come back to the absurd doozy packed behind that comma)
Ah ha! And here you thought America capable of making a mess – and miring in the morass – of Afghanistan all by itself. Blasphemy. Two decades of military stalemate teetering towards outright defeat; a highly corrupt and perceptibly illegitimate imposed "partner" Kabul-cabal that still lacks sufficient GDP to pay its own soldier-cops; an indelible adversary that won't quit; plus 2,219 dead American troops and who knows how many – well, at least 147,000 – vanquished Afghans? Yep, apparently Putin was behind all – or, forgive me, much – of it. Forget Arendt-ian "banality" – that's the beauty of "evil," especially the utility gift of eternal Russian evil: exceptional America is thereby never culpable, need never self-assess, nor reform its systems. Because, because…Russia. It seems there's no limit to the almighty power of that nuclear petrostate with its Italy-sized economy.