Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Last night, Rachel Maddow sounded off on the relationship of the United States to the community of nations. The stimulus was the release of the information that the CIA had taken part in the overthrow of an elected leader in Iran and the installation of the Shah. She carried that into he drone attacks, calling for the “evil” CIA to release everything to the press and let the press decide what should be a secret—she did not call the CIA evil but clearly implied that was the case.

As far as I could tell her version of what happened was historically accurate. She could have applied her argument across the rest of the world and reach back into history from the “shots heard around the world” to today middle east. That being the case, I should not have felt, as I did, that she was doing a great disservice to Obama's America. What I think was missing from her fiery rhetoric, which she delivered with so much passion, was the idea a segment of population in the United States does not agree with past American foreign policy but also disagree with that policy with mixed emotions. We are proud of what we are but ashamed of how we became what we are. Some of see a new direction in the making. 

American foreign policy with all of its past ugliness was beautifully described in an old book, Seven Sisters: The Great Oil Companies and the World They Shaped by Anthony Sampson. Although this book focused on the oil companies, the American business community in general established the pattern of American diplomacy. The author of Sevens Sisters made the statement that the oil companies were negotiating at the level of diplomats for years. The book Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change written by Stephen Kinzer decries American foreign policy with interest in commodities ranging from pineapples, to rubber, to bananas and to oil and describes what we left in the wake of that course. That pattern has switched form being sanctioned by both parties to become a manta of the Republican Party especially the neo-con extensions of that party. Year after year, we turned our foreign relations over to corporate interests and away from our humanitarian interest or human right interests, on American foreign policy. The  corporate bottom line depended on cheap resources. We recognize the result as blight on the legacy of our country.

What +Rachel Maddow and other liberals such as +Chris Hayes and +Steve Kornacki fail to recognize is that President Obama is trying to change that. Out of ignorance, they fight what he is doing or at least is trying to do. He is changing the +Reagan foreign policy to a Progressive foreign policy; a foreign policy with a ring of fairness about it. He cannot say it openly because it would bring down the wrath of the entire Republican establishment on his back along with a number of progressives—like Rachel Maddow—who do not seem to understand what he is doing.

Look at the Middle East (the Arab Spring), as a glaring example. Obama is fighting two wars. One involving drones and NSA surveillance that is, fighting against terrorist who hate America, for reasons just cited. The next is the internal battle with adherents of the Reagan Philosophy, which is that we must establish hegemony over the world. We must be the biggest, the strongest, the richest, the most powerful, etc. We must be respected because we have the biggest guns—NRA logic. Whatever we want, we get or as McCain says, bomb, bomb, and bomb. The Reagan policy towards all countries is, “you are free to do what you want as long as it is what we want”. Free trade agreements written by U.S. businesses, control Venezuelan and Iraqi oil, Honduran textile workers, or Chinese assembly plants, or Guatemalan bananas. The World Bank and International monetary fund approve these agreements in the name of the puppet governments; thus, it is important to recognize that it is not just the United States; it is multinational corporations as well. These are not free countries.

Obama is saying to the Middle Eastern countries, democracy gives voice to the people. We will honor their choices. To do that, they must be free democracies and not a government corrupted by churches, which in this case means a caliphate as the Muslim Brotherhood wants in Egypt. In terms of business, he is saying we, the United States businesses, want to do business with you but we want it to be because we have the best products and give the best service of any nation and not because we have your country’s givernment by the throat in the manner of Ronald Reagan types. We want you to respect us because we deserve your respect and not because Esso, Gulf, Texaco, Chevron, Mobil, Shell and BP have the U.S. army posed to crush you if you object.  Rachel, wise up!

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