The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign policy of the United States

How did we get stuck with an empire?

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Bill Maher, whose cynicism is usually a little dark for my taste, asks a good question:
clipped from www.truthdig.com

‘How Did This Country Get Stuck With an Empire?’

With military personnel deployed in 150 countries, Bill Maher says bringing the troops home from Iraq is only the tip of the iceberg. “Can you imagine if there were 20,000 armed Guatemalans on a base in San Bernardino right now? Lou Dobbs would become a suicide bomber.”
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Quick – name one military base of any other nation that camps on foreign soil.  One. Just one.

It is scarcely conceivable, as his Guatemalan example illustrates.  Yet our nation supports one hundred fifty such bases, at hundreds of millions of dollars per year, each.

Perhaps the answer to Maher’s question springs from something like this:

“We have about 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only about 6.3 percent of its population … our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity.” – George Kennan, 1948 (architect of much Cold War U.S. foreign policy)

Does that sound like a force for good?

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Clinton speaks out as Israel hardens

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Good news and bad news from the Middle East.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has criticized Israel for planning to demolish 88 Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem, saying,

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and S...
Image by connect2canada via Flickr

“Clearly this kind of activity is unhelpful and not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the ‘road-map’… It is an issue that we intend to raise with the government of Israel and the government at the municipal level in Jerusalem.”

What a relief it is to hear an American diplomat admit, for once, that Israel is out of line.  Perhaps this is a signal of some movement toward fair play in U.S. foreign policy.  That could help the region a great deal.

Prof. Juan Cole points out that she’ll be besieged by Zionist critics in the USA for daring to say it, and urges “Please consider sending her a supportive message for daring [to] speak out on the issue. In fact, urge her to use a stronger word than “unhelpful” the next time.”

Now the bad news:  Israel’s new hard-line government will probably press ahead on a plan to build 73,000 new settler homes in the Occupied West Bank, doubling the number of Zionists living on Palestinian land to 600,000.  One can only imagine the despair and outrage this theft of the homes of Palestinians will cause throughout the region.

If they do so, Cole believes the two-state solution will be utterly dead: Read the rest of this entry »