cj#422> re: The Covert CIA Menace

1996-01-18

Richard Moore

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Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996
Sender: Arun Mehta <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#419> J Clancey: The Covert CIA Menace (fwd)

> from: •••@••.••• subject: The covert CIA menace
>
> Deutch confessed to the Senate Intelligence Committee, the CIA
> people who passed on the disinformation to Congress and three
> Presidents KNEW the sources were tainted and the intelligence was
> garbage.

Good note, JC.

You know, sometimes you wonder how the US could be so stupid in foreign
policy: they've doled out all the money, but have they gotten credit? Why
not? Because they succeed in screwing it up with their friends even. Take
the Islamic fundamentalists: long as Afghanistan occupation was an issue,
they were heroes. Having fed them the latest arms, made them rich, what
does the US do? You know, people in the orient appreciate a friend in
need just as everyone else, but the US brands them terrorists, tries to
buy weapons back from them, and generally ends up a laughing stock.
Anyone remember the book "Ugly American"?

But maybe, the CIA like the FBI under Hoover were a law unto themselves:
just guys out to make a dishonest buck, and when their friends become
competitors in business (drugs and guns are traditional ways for a mafia
to make money, alcohol too is a drug), they destroy them financially or
politically.

>       These scandals included murders, assassinations, wars, coups
> and manipulations of the political and economic lives of dozens of
> countries and millions of people. Outrageous, but who except the
> real Left cares, when everyone else can "consume" relentlessly?

You know, you should travel a bit. *All* the political parties in India
dislike the Americans. And these are guys who fight over everything else,
find 5 ways to disagree over a question with only two sides.

>      What they were not, was an aberration. For decades, the CIA
> and Pentagon consistently inflated the military and security
> threat posed by the USSR, crying national security to line its
> budgetry pockets and those of its military-industrial buddies'
> pockets.

Richard, you are good at history -- my German friends tell me that the
Iron Curtain was a Western device, not a Soviet one. As in the case of
Austria, compromise was possible, it was the US which torpedoed it.

Arun Mehta, B-69 Lajpat Nagar-I, New Delhi-24, India. Phone 6841172,6849103
http://mahavir.doe.ernet.in/~pinaward/arun.htm
•••@••.••• •••@••.••• •••@••.•••
"There is enough in the world for man's need, but not for his greed"--Gandhi

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Arun,
        I certainly sympathize with your sentiments here.  At the same
time, I suggest that the judgement "stupid in foreign policy" requires more
careful examination.  "Smart" or "stupid" policy can only be judged if you
know what the goals are.  What goals are you assuming that make U.S. policy
stupid?  Were they along these lines... ?
        - make friends around the world
        - improve the welfare of humanity
        - spread democracy
        - help the poor
        - conform to rhetoric

        If so, then stupid is the right word for the policies, because they
haven't achieved any such goals.  But such goals have never guided U.S.
policy in any significant way (though they show up frequently in rhetoric.)
Actual U.S. policy goals have been more like:
        - bankrupt the Soviet Union
        - protect the interests of oil companies
        - maintain repressive regimes in "under developed" countries
        - make money from arms sales
        - stir up trouble in regions where undesirable alignments might
          otherwise arise
        - create the conditions where world public opinion will accept
          U.S. military interventions

        If these goals are closer to the truth, then I suggest "brilliant",
"high-handed", and "successful" are more appropriate than "stupid" as
adjectives for U.S. foreign policy.

        As for the U.S. having "doled out all the money", are you referring
all the way back to the Marshall Plan?  If so that was very successful, and
did earn plenty of kudos at the time.  For the most part, U.S. "foreign
aid" has been self-serving in the extreme.  Firstly, more money goes to
military/police assistance, to maintain autocratic governments, than goes
to "aid".  Secondly, the aid portion is usually tied to buying specific
goods, which means it's really a subsidy to the U.S. company that gets the
contract -- one more corporate welfare scheme.  The goal isn't to make
friends, it's to make profits -- and as such it has been successful (at the
expense of the U.S. taxpayer.)

        Re/ who gets credit for the Iron Curtain: in fairness, Stalin
adopted a rather isolationist line himself, not wanting outside
interference in Soviet affairs.  I believe Churchill coined the phrase
"Iron Curtain" in purported response to Stalin's policies.

        But Stalin was a long time ago.  For decades the Soviets have
wanted nothing more desparately than to curtail the arms race, stop nuclear
proliferation, normalize relations, and be a regular player on the
international scene.  They made many initiatives in these directions.  For
P.R. reasons, the U.S. pretended to share those goals, but in fact always
found some negotiating posture which they knew the Soviets could not
accept.  The cold war was intentionally sustained by the U.S., I believe,
as a way to:
        - keep its domestic politics right-leaning
        - justify developing its super-power hegemony
        - drain scarce Soviet resources
        - create polarization, which gives the U.S. an excuse to organize
          its "allies" along the lines of NATO, SEATO, etc.

        The cold war served its purpose very well.  When it became clear
the U.S. couldn't postpone winning the cold war much longer, it became
necessary to discover/create new enemies to justify Uncle Sam's immense
military budget.  Terrorism, Islamic Fundamentalism, Drug Lords, Regional
Dictators -- all appeared on the scene just in time to make us all grateful
we had cruise missles and stealth bombers. (:<)


Regards,
Richard


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