cj#427> Arun & rkm on U.S. Foreign Policy

1996-01-19

Richard Moore

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Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996
Sender: Arun Mehta <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#422> re: The Covert CIA Menace

On Thu, 18 Jan 1996, Richard K. Moore wrote:
> 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
...
> 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

Point taken about the stupid v/s brilliant.

Two comments:

1) Whatever your goals are, if you can be popular doing it, your goals
will be easier to achieve. The US could have easily been better at its
PR. They just did not bother to do their homework, as the Russians or
French did. They helped many countries at different times, you point to
the Marshall Plan, there are several other examples. They leaned on
the UK after WW2 to set its colonies free. When we had a
skirmish with China early '60s, and were badly losing, the Americans
really helped us. A lot of people were very grateful.

Then came all sorts of badly botched situations. Portugal was not giving
up its miniscule colonies in India, the entire Security Council opposed
us, Russia cast a veto. Guess how popular that made the US here? And what
did the US gain?  Did Portugal figure mightily in their plans? Or Goa in
Portugals'? Doubt it. The US could and should have become a mini-champion
of the 3rd World (to whom they shovelled out money: I must try and fish
out US-Aid figures from the 60s), instead they were roundly abused
everywhere, even in Europe, where the Marshall Plan had been such a
demonstrable success.

2) Maybe the US was less stupid in its execution of foreign policy (as you
suggest) than in its selection of goals. If indeed the US followed the
goals you list, why in heavens name? Did they think they could live as an
island of prosperity and harmony in a sea of utter chaos?

While I see that the CIA and its henchmen are responsible for a lot of
garbage (perhaps more, previous posts suggest, than we thought), I am
sure that the countries concerned, and their unbeloved leaders, were
quite capable of landing themselves into terrible morrasses unaided. The
US desperately needed (needs?) a Willy Brandt or Gorbachev (not in the
handling of the economy, rather in foreign policy) -- they simply showed
no imagination, and the junk info from the CIA couldn't have helped.

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,

Continuing in the spirit of dialog, not debate, I would like to offer what
I would call the "highest level picture" re/U.S post-war foreign policy:

        Starting from the postwar situation, which left the U.S. tremendously
        enriched -- and the only power not devastated by war -- the U.S.
        undertook to take over control of the world, to make it safe for
        corporate capitalism.

                - By promoting the U.N. and independence movements
        (in the name of democracy), the U.S. managed to shake loose Europe's
        remaining colonial structures, creating the foundation of its own
        designs for world management (IMF et al).

                - By maintaning East-West polarization, the U.S. kept
        Europe divided, and achieved for itself the central
        leadership position re/ patterns of global development.

                - Similar story in Asia, where polarization prevented
        natural economic relationships from developing fully (notably between
        Japan and China), and enabled a greater role to be played in that
        region by the U.S.

                - By promoting and supporting regressive puppet regimes
        throughout the Third World, the U.S. has kept most of the developing
        world tied into its international financial arrangements, and
        prevented the emergence of governments motivated to develop
        economic resources for domestic benefit.

                - By skillfully playing the Cold War card, the U.S. managed
        to milk U.S. taxpayers dry and has ultimately created a situation
        where the U.S. has total military hegemony over the whole globe
        and is succeeding in achieving global public acquiesence in its
        stealth cowboy (Latin-America tested) interventionist exploits.

This has been a grand endeavor indeed, succeeding where Alexander, Ceaser,
Ghengis Khan, and Adolph Hitler made only limited, localized progress.
Achieving global hegemony has required the carefully coordinated
application of military force, economic leverage, diplomatic
influence/blackmail, covert activity, and management of the media and of
U.S. domestic politics.  It was more challenging than the Manhattan Project
or the Space Program, and required expertise across a broader spectrum.
And it was pulled off with such two-faced finesse, that this biggest story
of the twentieth century remains essentially unperceived and unreported.

With such big fish to fry, lots of guppies got away -- ie., U.S. policy has
not been perfect at the micro-level.  But unfortunately, "smart" and "very
successful" must be the first-order assessment overall.

-rkm


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