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American Foreign Policy - Prologue

“How did things ever get so far?” – Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather

As I sit down to write about the current state of America’s foreign policy the above line from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 cinematic masterpiece comes immediately to mind. As such I think farther and farther back into history to events leading up to today’s situation.

I could try to begin on September 11, 2001, the day when “everything changed” according to some. But we know it goes much farther back than that. And as I examine the historical events which led up to what has become known as 9/11, I find there are events that predate each of these occurrences that are of significance.

The attack on the USS Cole, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the first Gulf War and the attack on the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, Lebanon all have been used as examples of when the current conflict with what are often called Islamist extremists actually began and as such the beginning of what is America’s current foreign policy.

But to start at any of those events does not give a true historical perspective. And in as much as I do not intend to write a doctoral thesis on the subject of foreign policy but rather give a brief historical overview, I shall examine historical events and persons that have had an effect on our current situation but leave it up to the reader to delve deeper into the historical details.

To start with, a definition of what is meant by the term ‘foreign policy’ is in order. Simply put, foreign policy is the actions taken by a nation to achieve its political and economic goals in relation to the other nations and non-state actors.

The current foreign policy of the United States is commonly referred to as the Bush Doctrine after the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. The Bush Doctrine asserts that the United States has the moral right to unilaterally attack any nation that is viewed as an emerging threat to the position of the United States as the sole military superpower in the world. According to the National Security Strategy of the United States, published by the National Security Council on September 20, 2002, the "United States has, and intends to keep, military strength beyond challenge". This is in contrast to the foreign policy of containment and deterrence that was pursued during the Cold War years after World War II and the policy of non-interventionism that was advocated by the founding fathers of our nation such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

In subsequent installments of my examination of American foreign policy I shall try to examine those people and events that have had a profound influence, whether directly or indirectly, on said policy. In the next installment I shall examine a group of historical figures whose lives predate the establishment of the United States of America by over one thousand years yet who undoubtedly are highly influential in the events of today.



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video veteran

Your article is excellent. I don't know how to post a video.
I saw a video that is very moving and that I think everyone
should see it. Please go to Live Leak and the title is
" A veteran speaks of his experiences in Iraq"

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

I hope you cover this stuff...

1953: CIA and British MI-6 help overthrow democratically elected Mossadegh and install Shah

1953-79: U.S. provides Shah’s troops with weapons and training.

1968: Robert F. Kennedy wants to supply Israel with F-4 jet fighters and is assassinated by Jordanian-born Sirhan Sirhan

1973: U.S. backs Israel in Arab-Israeli war which leads to 1st Arab oil embargo against U.S.

1979: Revolution. Shah overthrown. Hostages taken. 2nd oil crisis.

1981: 1st Gulf of Sidra incident. Two Libyan jets shot down.

1983: U.S. sides with Christians in Lebanon. 241 marines killed in Lebanon.

1984: Anti-ship mines planted in Red Sea

1985: CIA-backed group uses car bomb to kill Islamic leader in Lebanon.

1986: Achille Lauro ship hijacked

1986: U.S. bombs Tripoli

1987: Iraqi missile attack on USS Stark as it sits in Persian Gulf. No big deal as we are now friends with Saddam Hussein battling Persian navy.

1988: Vincenes incident. Iranian jet shotdown by U.S.

1988: Pan Am Flight blown up over Scotland

1989: Two more Libyan jets shot down

1990: Iraq invades Kuwait. US defends Kuwait.

1991: Persia buys Chinese technology for enriching uranium

1993: Attack at CIA building. World trade center bombing

1994: U.S. backs Kremlin against Chechen Moslems

1995: U.S. levies trade embargo against Persia

1996: U.S. Congress budgets $18 million to overthrow Persian government. Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia kills 19 Americans

1998: US warplanes still patrolling no-fly zones over Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by bombing and US blockade of medicine and food. U.S. troops still in Balkans. Two U.S. embassies in Africa are bombed and U.S. Bombs Islamic guerrillas in Afghanistan. Planet Hollywood bombed in Cape Town, SA. U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia.

9/11/2001: and the rest is more of the same except it’s only getting worse….

Daily Paul is a wonderful site

There are people here who actually pay attention to history.

Unfortunately there is a whole lot to cover before getting to 1953 and beyond. After all, how many Americans actually know the history of those Chiquita bananas that are sitting in the grocery store? Truth and justice have not been the American way.

As I said, I'm not going to be writing a thesis here, so I look forward to the contributions of others so we can have a more well rounded and in depth discussion on this topic than most people are accustomed to.

One Small Reason

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There is a telling 60 Minutes video of former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill who met with the George Bush (Jr) administration 10 days after the 2001 inauguration. At the meeting were Cheney, Rumsfeld and other top people. The number one issue on the table was, "How do we get rid of Saddam Hussein?"

Nothing was uttered about helping the citizens of the U.S., or easing the huge deficit, or lowering taxes or improving medical care. It was strictly about murdering the leader of a far-off nation.

So, when the top leaders of the United States conspire to commit murder and wage war, that is one of the ways things began to go "too far." There is more to the story, and I am holding my breath until Bush and his criminal empire are out of office.

Thanks, AOXOMOXOA

I look forward to learning.