Letters to the Editor

U.S. arrogance

February 23, 2008


To the editor:

Pointing out a presidential administration's failures in this forum is easy, as is ignoring the inconveniently negative aspects of the ones the writers support. U.S. officials used the enemy-of-our-enemy-is-our-friend diplomacy for decades, with unilaterally disastrous results.

Often and conveniently ignored by the public, our officials and journalists is how the United States gave Iraq military hardware and intelligence for years. How we helped create the Mujahideen in the Soviet-Afghan war, who are now the Taliban. How we supported the Contras in Nicaragua, Noriega in Panama and Somali warlords in Mogadishu. Numerous agencies were listening; they knew the dark sides of these allies, but often did nothing, since these were inconvenient aspects to our positions.

We watched the birth of terrorism, gathered mountains of actionable intelligence on every country and terrorist group in the Middle East since the 1960s, yet discounted a vast majority of those threats wholesale. Continuing those failed policy methods and ignoring the threats opened the door for the 9/11 attacks to take place, and drew a line straight to what's become the debacle in Iraq.

Blame cannot be placed on any single administration for these failures. Arrogant and ignorant U.S. foreign policy helped put the writing on the wall for nearly five decades, and has turned a blind eye to the threats that we helped write. But then, ignoring the inconvenient and shifting the blame is something both parties and the public have become very adept at, which isn't convenient after all.

Steve Craven


Richard Heckler 10 years, 3 months ago

The USA war machine has been the foreign policy since at least 1980..... it seemed that way.

NO Butter MORE Guns = irresponsible diplomacy and the military industrial complex continues to steal our tax dollars: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080303/editors http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060306/editors

U.S. and Iran had clashed before the war with the Iran Hostage Crisis and verbal attacks on the "Great Satan," as Iran's leader the Ayatollah Khomeini called the U.S. U.S. support for Iraq was not secret and was frequently discussed in open session of the Senate and House of Representatives, although the public and news media paid little attention. On 9 June 1992, Ted Koppel reported on ABC's Nightline, "It is becoming increasingly clear that George Bush Sr., operating largely behind the scenes throughout the 1980s, initiated and supported much of the financing, intelligence, and military help that built Saddam's Iraq into" the power it became, and "Reagan/Bush administrations permitted - and frequently encouraged - the flow of money, agricultural credits, dual-use technology, chemicals, and weapons to Iraq."

Paul R Getto 10 years, 3 months ago

The best line I've ever seen about the Iraq fiasco: (Britain and the US: "We know Saddam's got weapons of mass destruction; we kept the receipts.")

OnlyTheOne 10 years, 3 months ago

Steve, unlike the respondents here some people out actually understand and concur with your assessment.

pisafromthewest 10 years, 3 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says:

"The USA war machine has been the foreign policy since at least 1980:.. it seemed that way."

How amusing that merrill, while including the caveat "at least," implies the U.S. has been following such policy through predominently Republican administrations.

Maybe merrill never heard of Vietnam?

pisafromthewest 10 years, 3 months ago

cool (Anonymous) says:

"the october surprise 1979"

Did you have a point?

Chris Dean 10 years, 3 months ago

RT... Nice lookin' Bible Thumpin' Cop Wife Beater.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 3 months ago

Don't worry, Steve. Barack Obama has promised to change all that......stuff.

Left_handed 10 years, 3 months ago

Groanmaggot, maybe you should pick up Steve and the two of you could move to Cuba, a progressive society with excellent health care. Surely you could be happier there than in this hell-hole of a nation. You'd make a bunch of us happy too, so it would be win-win.

uncleandyt 10 years, 3 months ago

The "fringe" = most of the world. Think, soon.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.