TAMPA, November 19, 2012 — An Iraqi diplomat has called upon other Arab oil producers to “use oil as a weapon” against the United States. Fox News reports this as if it should come as a surprise.
“The shocking statement from a democratic government in power only after the U.S. and allies ousted murderous dictator Saddam Hussein in a costly and bloody war laid bare the Middle Eastern nation’s true allegiance,” reports Fox.
The detachment from reality exhibited by news organizations like Fox and Americans in general is stunning. Americans actually believe that Iraqis should be grateful that the United States invaded their country, destroyed their infrastructure, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and made homeless refugees of millions more.
They also believe that after deposing a relatively westernized dictator and putting the Shia majority in power, the resulting government would not seek to retaliate against U.S. support for Israel.
This is by no means an isolated incident. It is a recurring theme. Contrary to official myth, U.S. foreign policy has been a failure for the past 100 years, virtually without exception.
We’re constantly told that the United States has a “special role” in the world, due to its status as sole superpower and the role it has played over the past century “defending freedom.” This is pure delusion.
A small percentage of Americans are vaguely aware that Osama bin Laden did not create Al Qaeda (Arabic for “the base”). It was started in Pakistan by Sheik Abdullah Azzam with CIA support. According to veteran reporter Eric Margolis,
“I know this because I interviewed Azzam numerous times at al-Qaida HQ in Peshawar while covering the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan. Azzam set up al-Qaida, which means “the base” in Arabic, to help CIA and Saudi-financed Arab volunteers going to fight in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. In those days, the west hailed them as “freedom fighters,” writes Margolis.
This is nothing new. The U.S. government has been creating monsters through military or covert interventions and then wasting blood and treasure fighting them since it first abandoned its noninterventionist foreign policy at the turn of the 20th century.
Most Americans do not realize that both Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were largely the result of previous U.S. foreign policy. As Will Grigg relates,
“Japan had a role in TR’s (Teddy Roosevelt’s) vision for the Pacific. As long as Japan kept Russia in check, did its part to pry open China to Washington’s corporate clients, and didn’t make a play for America’s overseas colony in the Philippines, it could claim dominion over Korea and Manchuria under the terms of a ‘Monroe Doctrine for Asia,’ Roosevelt privately told Baron Kentaro Kaneko, Tokyo’s emissary to the United States. “
It is ironic that FDR’s chief excuse for goading Japan into war was Japan’s attempted conquest of China. Japan was merely pursuing the course a member of FDR’s own family had laid out for them a few decades earlier. That Japan was an expanding empire at all was chiefly the result of U.S. government support and encouragement.
U.S. interventionism similarly backfired in Germany. Had Woodrow Wilson kept faith with voters who reelected him because he “kept us out of the war (WWI),” that conflict would have remained a stalemate. Germany would never have signed the Treaty of Versailles and therefore never would have experienced the economic hardship that led to Hitler’s rise to power.
Intervention to halt the spread of communism has produced similar results. The only truly communist nations left are North Korea and Cuba, whose governments remain in power chiefly because U.S. antagonism rallies support for their oppressive governments. Viet Nam began reforms toward a market economy a mere twelve years after expelling the American invaders.
The United States decided to take a diplomatic approach with China. They have also moved toward a market economy on their own.
The next dragon queued up for slaying is Iran. Supposedly, its government is so irrational that allowing them to acquire a nuclear weapon will result in catastrophe. Everyone forgets just how that government came to power.
In 1953, the CIA and British MI5 overthrew democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, chiefly over his nationalization of the Iranian oil industry. That left the U.S./British-installed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in power. The Shah was hated by the Iranian people due to his image as a western puppet and his brutal suppression of dissent.
In 1979, a revolution in Iran ended 2,500 years of continuous monarchy and led to the establishment of an Islamic Republic. Thus, the “radical extremists” that presently govern Iran came to power as a direct consequence of U.S. interventionism.
Proponents of interventionism call these arguments “blaming America first.” I call them cause and effect reasoning and facing reality.
For over 100 years, U.S. presidents continued George Washington’s noninterventionist foreign policy. In their inaugural addresses, they consistently cited this as the reason for America’s freedom and prosperity. (Don’t take my word for it, read them).
Since abandoning noninterventionism during the progressive era, American foreign policy has been one failure after another. It has rendered Americans poorer, more hated around the world and less free at home. It’s time to get back to what worked. We can’t afford the next mistake.
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.