I want to be an American. I want to believe that killing foreigners by dropping bombs on them from remote-controlled drones is legal, because my president says it is. As an American I don’t care what their president or prime minister or tribal chief says… we want ’em dead and that’s what will be.

I want to be an American so that I can destroy the world’s financial system and evaporate the savings of millions in my country and other countries because we decided that lending money to poor people to buy houses they couldn’t afford was a good idea. And then we decided that the bankers who screwed everyone should get a free pass and have everyone else pay to clean up their mess.

I want to be an American so that my NSA can listen, look at and capture what everyone else in the world says, writes or thinks. It’s my right to snoop, prod and examine private conversations and communication anywhere in the world. Anything to protect us from… well… anything. If we can do it and our secret court rules it legal then that’s all I need. Bug ’em Dan-o.

I want to be an American so that I can hate the poor Hispanics who sneak into my country to work for slave wages to grow or produce stuff that I want to buy cheap at my grocery store or at Walmart.

I want to be an American so that I can cheer when my country sanctions and bludgeons into submission companies and countries to conform with US-centric laws. If we say it’s right then it must be right – nuance, evidence and local differences be damned. We rule and you drool.

I want to be an American so that I can change the phrase manifest destiny into pride; rework exceptionalism into certainty and turn hubris into worship of the flag

Americans don’t call all this xenophobia, myopia and utter self-centredness; we don’t think of it as parochial or stunningly arrogant. It’s just the way we are and we expect you to accept us, warts and all or we’ll bomb you and call it justified.

I want to be an American so that I can lecture the world on freedom, pursuit of happiness and rule of law. I will believe in these – and our flag – so much that I’ll want to export these bedrock values everywhere in the world… except Gitmo.