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US Foreign Policy

December 9, 2010

I like the sound of this William Pfaff, stern critic of US foreign policy. He says that barring such excursions as the invasion of Grenada and Panama the US has not won a war in an unequivocal fashion since 1945. That, of course, includes the neo-con war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. Neo-con, or more accurately perhaps, ultra-nationalist. I think that may be the more accurate term.
He sees Woodrow Wilson as the source, the man I hold the worst president in history (see below under Mencken). Wilson’s interventionism was didactic and ignorant and produced World War 11. Wilson’s work was taken up after World War 11 by another moralist ( and Presbyterian ) John Foster Dulles. Vietnam was the symbolic triumph of this phase of foreign policy making. Two and a half million Iraqi refugees are the outcome of another foolish adventure.
Pfaff, whose collected essays have just been published, is an admirer of George Kennan, the architect of containment and a believer in letting time take its course – “time and patience” in the words of the Russian general who defeated Napoleon, Kutuzov.
Thought for the day.

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