Political Realism according to George F. Kennan

13 Oct

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/meinung/die-linke-und-der-krieg-gegen-den-globalen-interventionismus-von-usa-und-nato/10822178.html

Berlioz gave me the above link to an article in DER TAGESSPIEGEL:

Die Linke und der Krieg
Gegen den globalen Interventionismus von USA und Nato!

10.10.2014 17:18 Uhr
von Oskar Lafontaine

Oskar Lafontaine, the author of this article, quotes something that George F. Kennan said in 1948. I felt straight away that I would like to find out more about this George F. Kennan. And sure enough there was a tremendous amount about George Kennan to be found in Wikipedia.

I copied here just a few things about Kennan’s life and political views. In my opinion it would really be most interesting to study a bit more about his life and career!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_F._Kennan#Early_life_and_career

Realism and the Life and Career of George F. Kennan
Political realism formed the basis of Kennan’s work as a diplomat and diplomatic historian and remains relevant to the debate over American foreign policy, which since the 19th century has been characterized by a shift from the Founding Fathers’ realist school to the idealistic or Wilsonian school of international relations. In the realist tradition, security is based on the principle of a balance of power, whereas the Wilsonian view (considered impractical by realists) relies on morality as the sole determining factor in statecraft. According to the Wilsonian approach the spread of democracy abroad as a foreign policy is key and morals are universally valid. During the Presidency of Bill Clinton, American diplomacy reflected the Wilsonian school to such a degree that those in favor of the realist approach likened President Clinton’s policies to social work. According to Kennan, whose concept of American diplomacy was based on the realist approach, such moralism without regard to the realities of power and the national interest is self-defeating and will lead to the erosion of American power.[76]
In his historical writings and memoirs, Kennan laments in great detail the failings of democratic foreign policy makers and those of the United States in particular. According to Kennan, when American policymakers suddenly confronted the Cold War, they had inherited little more than rationale and rhetoric “utopian in expectations, legalistic in concept, moralistic in [the] demand it seemed to place on others, and self-righteous in the degree of high-mindedness and rectitude … to ourselves”.[77] The source of the problem is the force of public opinion, a force that is inevitably unstable, unserious, subjective, emotional, and simplistic. Kennan has insisted that the U.S. public can only be united behind a foreign policy goal on the “primitive level of slogans and jingoistic ideological inspiration”.[78]
Containment in 1967, when he published the first volume of his memoirs, involved something other than the use of military “counterforce”. He was never pleased that the policy he influenced was associated with the arms build-up of the Cold War. In his memoirs, Kennan argued that containment did not demand a militarized U.S. foreign policy. “Counterforce” implied the political and economic defense of Western Europe against the disruptive effect of the war on European society.[79] Exhausted by war, the Soviet Union posed no serious military threat to the United States or its allies at the beginning of the Cold War but rather an ideological and political rival.[80]
In the 1960s, Kennan criticized U.S. involvement in Vietnam, arguing that the United States had little vital interest in the region.[81] In Kennan’s view, the Soviet Union, Britain, Germany, Japan, and North America remained the arenas of vital U.S. interests. In the 1970s and 1980s, he emerged as a leading critic of the renewed arms race as détente was scrapped.[82]
In 1989 President George H. W. Bush awarded Kennan the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Yet he remained a realist critic of recent U.S. presidents, urging the U.S. government to “withdraw from its public advocacy of democracy and human rights”, saying that the “tendency to see ourselves as the center of political enlightenment and as teachers to a great part of the rest of the world strikes me as unthought-through, vainglorious and undesirable”.[52][83] These ideas were particularly applicable to U.S. relations with China and Russia. Kennan opposed the Clinton administration’s war in Kosovo and its expansion of NATO (the establishment of which he had also opposed half a century earlier), expressing fears that both policies would worsen relations with Russia.[84] He described NATO enlargement as a “strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions”.[85]
Kennan remained vigorous and alert in the last years of his life, although arthritis had him using a wheelchair. In his later years, Kennan concluded that “the general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union”.[86] At 98 he warned of the unforeseen consequences of waging war against Iraq. He warned that launching an attack on Iraq would amount to waging a second war that “bears no relation to the first war against terrorism” and declared efforts by the Bush administration to link al Qaeda with Saddam Hussein “pathetically unsupportive and unreliable”. Kennan went on to warn:
Anyone who has ever studied the history of American diplomacy, especially military diplomacy, knows that you might start in a war with certain things on your mind as a purpose of what you are doing, but in the end, you found yourself fighting for entirely different things that you had never thought of before … In other words, war has a momentum of its own and it carries you away from all thoughtful intentions when you get into it. Today, if we went into Iraq, like the president would like us to do, you know where you begin. You never know where you are going to end.[87]
In February 2004 scholars, diplomats, and Princeton alumni gathered at the university’s campus to celebrate Kennan’s 100th birthday. Among those in attendance were Secretary of State Colin Powell, international relations theorist John Mearsheimer, journalist Chris Hedges, former ambassador and career Foreign Service officer Jack F. Matlock, Jr., and Kennan’s biographer, John Lewis Gaddis.[88]
Use of institutions[edit]
Kennan was critical of the United States’ attempt to extend its influence abroad through the use of institutions. From his perspective, attempting to extrapolate US domestic politics to other nations through international regimes was a dangerous proposition. Kennan states, “In the first place, the idea of the subordination of a large number of states to an international juridical regime, limiting their possibilities for aggression and injury to other states, implies that these are all states like our own, reasonably content with their international borders and status, at least to the extent that they would be willing to refrain from pressing for change without international agreement.”[89] Rather than tying their hands to other states by investing our power in institutions, he advocated keeping power on the national level and focusing on maintaining the balance of power abroad to protect the United States’ domestic security interests.
Death and legacy[edit]
Kennan died on March 17, 2005, at age 101 at his home in Princeton, New Jersey. He was survived by his wife Annelise, whom he married in 1931, and his four children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.[8] Annelise died in 2008 at the age of 98.[90]
In an obituary in the New York Times, Kennan was described as “the American diplomat who did more than any other envoy of his generation to shape United States policy during the cold war” to whom “the White House and the Pentagon turned when they sought to understand the Soviet Union after World War II”.[8] Of Kennan, historian Wilson D. Miscamble remarked that “[o]ne can only hope that present and future makers of foreign policy might share something of his integrity and intelligence”.[84] Foreign Policy described Kennan as “the most influential diplomat of the 20th century”. Henry Kissinger said that Kennan “came as close to authoring the diplomatic doctrine of his era as any diplomat in our history”, while Colin Powell called Kennan “our best tutor” in dealing with the foreign policy issues of the 21st century.[91]
During his career, Kennan received a number of awards and honors. As a scholar and writer, Kennan was a two-time recipient of both the Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Award, and had also received the Francis Parkman Prize, the Ambassador Book Award and the Bancroft Prize. Among Kennan’s numerous other awards and distinctions were the Testimonial of Loyal and Meritorious Service from the Department of State (1953), Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Nation’s Service (1976), the Order of the Pour le Mérite (1976), the Albert Einstein Peace Prize (1981), the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (1982), the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal (1984), the American Whig-Cliosophic Society’s James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service (1985), the Franklin D. Roosevelt Foundation Freedom from Fear Medal (1987), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1989), the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of State (1994), and the Library of Congress Living Legend (2000). Kennan had also received 29 honorary degrees and was honored in his name with the George F. Kennan Chair in National Security Strategy at the National War College and the George F. Kennan Professorship at the Institute for Advanced Study.[92][93][94]
Historian Wilson D. Miscamble argues that Kennan played a critical role in shaping the foreign policies of the Truman administration. He also states that Kennan did not hold a vision for either global or strongpoint containment; he simply wanted to restore the balance of power between the United States and the Soviet Union.[95] Like historian John Lewis Gaddis, Miscamble concedes that although Kennan personally preferred political containment, his recommendations ultimately resulted in a policy directed more toward strongpoint than to global containment.[96]
Immigration[edit]
Noting the large-scale Mexican immigration in the Southwest, Kennan in 2002 saw “unmistakable evidences of a growing differentiation between the cultures, respectively, of large southern and southwestern regions of this country, on the one hand”, and those of “some northern regions”. In the former, “the very culture of the bulk of the population of these regions will tend to be primarily Latin-American in nature rather than what is inherited from earlier American traditions … Could it really be that there was so little of merit [in America] that it deserves to be recklessly trashed in favor of a polyglot mix-mash?”[97]Realism[edit]
Political realism formed the basis of Kennan’s work as a diplomat and diplomatic historian and remains relevant to the debate over American foreign policy, which since the 19th century has been characterized by a shift from the Founding Fathers’ realist school to the idealistic or Wilsonian school of international relations. In the realist tradition, security is based on the principle of a balance of power, whereas the Wilsonian view (considered impractical by realists) relies on morality as the sole determining factor in statecraft. According to the Wilsonian approach the spread of democracy abroad as a foreign policy is key and morals are universally valid. During the Presidency of Bill Clinton, American diplomacy reflected the Wilsonian school to such a degree that those in favor of the realist approach likened President Clinton’s policies to social work. According to Kennan, whose concept of American diplomacy was based on the realist approach, such moralism without regard to the realities of power and the national interest is self-defeating and will lead to the erosion of American power.[76]
In his historical writings and memoirs, Kennan laments in great detail the failings of democratic foreign policy makers and those of the United States in particular. According to Kennan, when American policymakers suddenly confronted the Cold War, they had inherited little more than rationale and rhetoric “utopian in expectations, legalistic in concept, moralistic in [the] demand it seemed to place on others, and self-righteous in the degree of high-mindedness and rectitude … to ourselves”.[77] The source of the problem is the force of public opinion, a force that is inevitably unstable, unserious, subjective, emotional, and simplistic. Kennan has insisted that the U.S. public can only be united behind a foreign policy goal on the “primitive level of slogans and jingoistic ideological inspiration”.[78]
Containment in 1967, when he published the first volume of his memoirs, involved something other than the use of military “counterforce”. He was never pleased that the policy he influenced was associated with the arms build-up of the Cold War. In his memoirs, Kennan argued that containment did not demand a militarized U.S. foreign policy. “Counterforce” implied the political and economic defense of Western Europe against the disruptive effect of the war on European society.[79] Exhausted by war, the Soviet Union posed no serious military threat to the United States or its allies at the beginning of the Cold War but rather an ideological and political rival.[80]
In the 1960s, Kennan criticized U.S. involvement in Vietnam, arguing that the United States had little vital interest in the region.[81] In Kennan’s view, the Soviet Union, Britain, Germany, Japan, and North America remained the arenas of vital U.S. interests. In the 1970s and 1980s, he emerged as a leading critic of the renewed arms race as détente was scrapped.[82]
In 1989 President George H. W. Bush awarded Kennan the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Yet he remained a realist critic of recent U.S. presidents, urging the U.S. government to “withdraw from its public advocacy of democracy and human rights”, saying that the “tendency to see ourselves as the center of political enlightenment and as teachers to a great part of the rest of the world strikes me as unthought-through, vainglorious and undesirable”.[52][83] These ideas were particularly applicable to U.S. relations with China and Russia. Kennan opposed the Clinton administration’s war in Kosovo and its expansion of NATO (the establishment of which he had also opposed half a century earlier), expressing fears that both policies would worsen relations with Russia.[84] He described NATO enlargement as a “strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions”.[85]
Kennan remained vigorous and alert in the last years of his life, although arthritis had him using a wheelchair. In his later years, Kennan concluded that “the general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union”.[86] At 98 he warned of the unforeseen consequences of waging war against Iraq. He warned that launching an attack on Iraq would amount to waging a second war that “bears no relation to the first war against terrorism” and declared efforts by the Bush administration to link al Qaeda with Saddam Hussein “pathetically unsupportive and unreliable”. Kennan went on to warn:
Anyone who has ever studied the history of American diplomacy, especially military diplomacy, knows that you might start in a war with certain things on your mind as a purpose of what you are doing, but in the end, you found yourself fighting for entirely different things that you had never thought of before … In other words, war has a momentum of its own and it carries you away from all thoughtful intentions when you get into it. Today, if we went into Iraq, like the president would like us to do, you know where you begin. You never know where you are going to end.[87]
In February 2004 scholars, diplomats, and Princeton alumni gathered at the university’s campus to celebrate Kennan’s 100th birthday. Among those in attendance were Secretary of State Colin Powell, international relations theorist John Mearsheimer, journalist Chris Hedges, former ambassador and career Foreign Service officer Jack F. Matlock, Jr., and Kennan’s biographer, John Lewis Gaddis.[88]
Use of institutions[edit]
Kennan was critical of the United States’ attempt to extend its influence abroad through the use of institutions. From his perspective, attempting to extrapolate US domestic politics to other nations through international regimes was a dangerous proposition. Kennan states, “In the first place, the idea of the subordination of a large number of states to an international juridical regime, limiting their possibilities for aggression and injury to other states, implies that these are all states like our own, reasonably content with their international borders and status, at least to the extent that they would be willing to refrain from pressing for change without international agreement.”[89] Rather than tying their hands to other states by investing our power in institutions, he advocated keeping power on the national level and focusing on maintaining the balance of power abroad to protect the United States’ domestic security interests.
Death and legacy[edit]
Kennan died on March 17, 2005, at age 101 at his home in Princeton, New Jersey. He was survived by his wife Annelise, whom he married in 1931, and his four children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.[8] Annelise died in 2008 at the age of 98.[90]
In an obituary in the New York Times, Kennan was described as “the American diplomat who did more than any other envoy of his generation to shape United States policy during the cold war” to whom “the White House and the Pentagon turned when they sought to understand the Soviet Union after World War II”.[8] Of Kennan, historian Wilson D. Miscamble remarked that “[o]ne can only hope that present and future makers of foreign policy might share something of his integrity and intelligence”.[84] Foreign Policy described Kennan as “the most influential diplomat of the 20th century”. Henry Kissinger said that Kennan “came as close to authoring the diplomatic doctrine of his era as any diplomat in our history”, while Colin Powell called Kennan “our best tutor” in dealing with the foreign policy issues of the 21st century.[91]
During his career, Kennan received a number of awards and honors. As a scholar and writer, Kennan was a two-time recipient of both the Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Award, and had also received the Francis Parkman Prize, the Ambassador Book Award and the Bancroft Prize. Among Kennan’s numerous other awards and distinctions were the Testimonial of Loyal and Meritorious Service from the Department of State (1953), Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Nation’s Service (1976), the Order of the Pour le Mérite (1976), the Albert Einstein Peace Prize (1981), the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (1982), the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal (1984), the American Whig-Cliosophic Society’s James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service (1985), the Franklin D. Roosevelt Foundation Freedom from Fear Medal (1987), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1989), the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of State (1994), and the Library of Congress Living Legend (2000). Kennan had also received 29 honorary degrees and was honored in his name with the George F. Kennan Chair in National Security Strategy at the National War College and the George F. Kennan Professorship at the Institute for Advanced Study.[92][93][94]
Historian Wilson D. Miscamble argues that Kennan played a critical role in shaping the foreign policies of the Truman administration. He also states that Kennan did not hold a vision for either global or strongpoint containment; he simply wanted to restore the balance of power between the United States and the Soviet Union.[95] Like historian John Lewis Gaddis, Miscamble concedes that although Kennan personally preferred political containment, his recommendations ultimately resulted in a policy directed more toward strongpoint than to global containment.[96]
Immigration[edit]
Noting the large-scale Mexican immigration in the Southwest, Kennan in 2002 saw “unmistakable evidences of a growing differentiation between the cultures, respectively, of large southern and southwestern regions of this country, on the one hand”, and those of “some northern regions”. In the former, “the very culture of the bulk of the population of these regions will tend to be primarily Latin-American in nature rather than what is inherited from earlier American traditions … Could it really be that there was so little of merit [in America] that it deserves to be recklessly trashed in favor of a polyglot mix-mash?”[97]Realism
Political realism formed the basis of Kennan’s work as a diplomat and diplomatic historian and remains relevant to the debate over American foreign policy, which since the 19th century has been characterized by a shift from the Founding Fathers’ realist school to the idealistic or Wilsonian school of international relations. In the realist tradition, security is based on the principle of a balance of power, whereas the Wilsonian view (considered impractical by realists) relies on morality as the sole determining factor in statecraft. According to the Wilsonian approach the spread of democracy abroad as a foreign policy is key and morals are universally valid. During the Presidency of Bill Clinton, American diplomacy reflected the Wilsonian school to such a degree that those in favor of the realist approach likened President Clinton’s policies to social work. According to Kennan, whose concept of American diplomacy was based on the realist approach, such moralism without regard to the realities of power and the national interest is self-defeating and will lead to the erosion of American power.[76]
In his historical writings and memoirs, Kennan laments in great detail the failings of democratic foreign policy makers and those of the United States in particular. According to Kennan, when American policymakers suddenly confronted the Cold War, they had inherited little more than rationale and rhetoric “utopian in expectations, legalistic in concept, moralistic in [the] demand it seemed to place on others, and self-righteous in the degree of high-mindedness and rectitude … to ourselves”.[77] The source of the problem is the force of public opinion, a force that is inevitably unstable, unserious, subjective, emotional, and simplistic. Kennan has insisted that the U.S. public can only be united behind a foreign policy goal on the “primitive level of slogans and jingoistic ideological inspiration”.[78]
Containment in 1967, when he published the first volume of his memoirs, involved something other than the use of military “counterforce”. He was never pleased that the policy he influenced was associated with the arms build-up of the Cold War. In his memoirs, Kennan argued that containment did not demand a militarized U.S. foreign policy. “Counterforce” implied the political and economic defense of Western Europe against the disruptive effect of the war on European society.[79] Exhausted by war, the Soviet Union posed no serious military threat to the United States or its allies at the beginning of the Cold War but rather an ideological and political rival.[80]
In the 1960s, Kennan criticized U.S. involvement in Vietnam, arguing that the United States had little vital interest in the region.[81] In Kennan’s view, the Soviet Union, Britain, Germany, Japan, and North America remained the arenas of vital U.S. interests. In the 1970s and 1980s, he emerged as a leading critic of the renewed arms race as détente was scrapped.[82]
In 1989 President George H. W. Bush awarded Kennan the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Yet he remained a realist critic of recent U.S. presidents, urging the U.S. government to “withdraw from its public advocacy of democracy and human rights”, saying that the “tendency to see ourselves as the center of political enlightenment and as teachers to a great part of the rest of the world strikes me as unthought-through, vainglorious and undesirable”.[52][83] These ideas were particularly applicable to U.S. relations with China and Russia. Kennan opposed the Clinton administration’s war in Kosovo and its expansion of NATO (the establishment of which he had also opposed half a century earlier), expressing fears that both policies would worsen relations with Russia.[84] He described NATO enlargement as a “strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions”.[85]
Kennan remained vigorous and alert in the last years of his life, although arthritis had him using a wheelchair. In his later years, Kennan concluded that “the general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union”.[86] At 98 he warned of the unforeseen consequences of waging war against Iraq. He warned that launching an attack on Iraq would amount to waging a second war that “bears no relation to the first war against terrorism” and declared efforts by the Bush administration to link al Qaeda with Saddam Hussein “pathetically unsupportive and unreliable”. Kennan went on to warn:
Anyone who has ever studied the history of American diplomacy, especially military diplomacy, knows that you might start in a war with certain things on your mind as a purpose of what you are doing, but in the end, you found yourself fighting for entirely different things that you had never thought of before … In other words, war has a momentum of its own and it carries you away from all thoughtful intentions when you get into it. Today, if we went into Iraq, like the president would like us to do, you know where you begin. You never know where you are going to end.[87]
In February 2004 scholars, diplomats, and Princeton alumni gathered at the university’s campus to celebrate Kennan’s 100th birthday. Among those in attendance were Secretary of State Colin Powell, international relations theorist John Mearsheimer, journalist Chris Hedges, former ambassador and career Foreign Service officer Jack F. Matlock, Jr., and Kennan’s biographer, John Lewis Gaddis.[88]
Use of institutions[edit]
Kennan was critical of the United States’ attempt to extend its influence abroad through the use of institutions. From his perspective, attempting to extrapolate US domestic politics to other nations through international regimes was a dangerous proposition. Kennan states, “In the first place, the idea of the subordination of a large number of states to an international juridical regime, limiting their possibilities for aggression and injury to other states, implies that these are all states like our own, reasonably content with their international borders and status, at least to the extent that they would be willing to refrain from pressing for change without international agreement.”[89] Rather than tying their hands to other states by investing our power in institutions, he advocated keeping power on the national level and focusing on maintaining the balance of power abroad to protect the United States’ domestic security interests.
Death and legacy[edit]
Kennan died on March 17, 2005, at age 101 at his home in Princeton, New Jersey. He was survived by his wife Annelise, whom he married in 1931, and his four children, eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.[8] Annelise died in 2008 at the age of 98.[90]
In an obituary in the New York Times, Kennan was described as “the American diplomat who did more than any other envoy of his generation to shape United States policy during the cold war” to whom “the White House and the Pentagon turned when they sought to understand the Soviet Union after World War II”.[8] Of Kennan, historian Wilson D. Miscamble remarked that “[o]ne can only hope that present and future makers of foreign policy might share something of his integrity and intelligence”.[84] Foreign Policy described Kennan as “the most influential diplomat of the 20th century”. Henry Kissinger said that Kennan “came as close to authoring the diplomatic doctrine of his era as any diplomat in our history”, while Colin Powell called Kennan “our best tutor” in dealing with the foreign policy issues of the 21st century.[91]
During his career, Kennan received a number of awards and honors. As a scholar and writer, Kennan was a two-time recipient of both the Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Award, and had also received the Francis Parkman Prize, the Ambassador Book Award and the Bancroft Prize. Among Kennan’s numerous other awards and distinctions were the Testimonial of Loyal and Meritorious Service from the Department of State (1953), Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Nation’s Service (1976), the Order of the Pour le Mérite (1976), the Albert Einstein Peace Prize (1981), the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (1982), the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal (1984), the American Whig-Cliosophic Society’s James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service (1985), the Franklin D. Roosevelt Foundation Freedom from Fear Medal (1987), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1989), the Distinguished Service Award from the Department of State (1994), and the Library of Congress Living Legend (2000). Kennan had also received 29 honorary degrees and was honored in his name with the George F. Kennan Chair in National Security Strategy at the National War College and the George F. Kennan Professorship at the Institute for Advanced Study.[92][93][94]
Historian Wilson D. Miscamble argues that Kennan played a critical role in shaping the foreign policies of the Truman administration. He also states that Kennan did not hold a vision for either global or strongpoint containment; he simply wanted to restore the balance of power between the United States and the Soviet Union.[95] Like historian John Lewis Gaddis, Miscamble concedes that although Kennan personally preferred political containment, his recommendations ultimately resulted in a policy directed more toward strongpoint than to global containment.[96]
Immigration[edit]
Noting the large-scale Mexican immigration in the Southwest, Kennan in 2002 saw “unmistakable evidences of a growing differentiation between the cultures, respectively, of large southern and southwestern regions of this country, on the one hand”, and those of “some northern regions”. In the former, “the very culture of the bulk of the population of these regions will tend to be primarily Latin-American in nature rather than what is inherited from earlier American traditions … Could it really be that there was so little of merit [in America] that it deserves to be recklessly trashed in favor of a polyglot mix-mash?”[97]

2 Responses to “Political Realism according to George F. Kennan”

  1. stuartbramhall October 14, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    The US frequently uses “human rights” and “democracy” as a pretext for military intervention. However this is merely a pretext. We never invade brutal dictatorships like Saudi Arabia because they cater to US corporate interests. They only invade countries that are unfriendly to US corporate interests. In 1953 the US overthrew democratically Prime Minister of Iran Mossadeq because he refused to cater to Iranian oil companies. In 1954 they overthrew a democratically elected government in Guatemala because they nationalized land belonging to United Fruit Company (and replaced it with a US-friendly dictatorship). In 1973 they overthrew Chile’s democratically elected president Allende and replaced him with the brutal dictator Pinochet.

  2. gerard oosterman October 14, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    And if they don’t invade by armour and soldiers they invade by stealth. I remember trucks entering our school yard in The Hague back in 1955 rolling out crates of free Coca Cola. A bottle for every child.
    The Marshall plan wasn’t just about bread and butter. It was the entrée of US commercial exploitation.

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