Random Thoughts

US Foreign Policy Code Name Operation Frankenstein

At its birth America was a weak nation and would have been stillborn in the absence of British blunders. Washington hardly won any battle except the last one and that victory would not have been possible without the French fleet blockading Cornwallis at Yorktown. The defeated Cornwallis was then inflicted as a successful plague on India. Washington had the wisdom to warn against entangling foreign alliances and Adams steered a prudent middle course between the two hegemons Britain and France, at the cost of losing his reelection to the presidency. Jefferson, initially a rabid supporter of the carnage of the French Revolution stated that the tree of revolution needs the blood of patriots from time to time for its sustenance and renewal, but acquired some wisdom with age and refrained from wars while the nascent United States got its feet. He even more than doubled its size by the Louisiana Purchase by exceeding his constitutional powers. It was the normally calm and reasonable Madison with newly acquired delusions of grandeur and a lust for Canada, who precipitated the war against the British in 1812 with initially disastrous consequences. He was saved by General Andrew Jackson in the battle of New Orleans.

John Quincy Adams, the son of a former president and a president to be, formulated the Monroe Doctrine as a Secretary of State under President Monroe. Its original intention was to bar interference in the Americas by European states which were then monarchies. Like all good intentions they paved the path to hell. By the middle of the nineteenth century, America had deprived Mexico of half its territories, set the Cherokees and other Indians on a "Trail of Tears", fulfilled its manifest destiny to stretch from sea to shining sea (Atlantic to Pacific) and gone through the aborted catharsis of the Civil War. It began formulating an independent foreign policy instead of one of expediency for survival. Over the next 150 years it morphed from the puny nocturnal mammal in the realm of dinosaurs to the current single dominating superpower to cause enough climate change literally and figuratively to endanger the planet.

Madison and Hamilton had used their high proclamations to create a nation in which the majority was sidelined and bamboozled to establish a tyranny of the minority. They understood the greed of human beings and the fickleness and intellectual limitations of the masses and believed in the oligarchy of the elite and had enshrined the rights of property above those of human beings. Thus it was inevitable that the desire for wealth of Americans would stifle the freedoms of the rest of the American continent and the Monroe Doctrine would serve as the linchpin for this exploitation. Repeated military interference and colonization by proxy in the Central and South American countries with support for collaborating kleptocrats and brutal oppression of the masses was the outcome in Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile. Hawaii, Guam, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia and Afghanistan under Soviet occupation are the second phase of this Operation Frankenstein and the third phase of this catastrophic strategy involves Afghanistan once again, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Algeria.

Communism is inconsistent with human nature though utopian in some of its ideals. Capitalism though congruent with human nature suffers from the curse of business cycles with its booms and busts. The inevitable asynchronous time lag of feedback controls leads to a phase of increased production with insufficient markets. This led to conquest and colonization to extract cheap raw materials and forced trade of expensive, sometimes unnecessary and occasionally harmful finished products to large populations. Its less malignant form was Commodore Perry's forceful opening of Japanese trade and more malignant form was the colonization of Africa and Asia by European powers. The most malignant form was the forced sale of British opium from its colony India to the weak and helpless China. Many so called rich Boston Brahmin families acquired their wealth by piracy and forcibly selling opium to the Chinese.

American rich elite lobbied the government to overthrow weak governments in Central and South America to retain their plantations and mines and enrich themselves. The US government which was conceived as a plutocracy of the landed gentry, merchants, bankers and traders naturally went along. The annexation of Hawaii is a classic example. The enshrinement of the corporation in its temples of justice led to the Dred Scott, Lochner and other decisions by the US Supreme Court with the use of the Pinkertons, National Guard and the military to violently intimidate labor. The irony is that the Communist and Socialist parties were the ones who fought to bring basic benefits and eight hour workdays for the oppressed American workers. The vast natural resources of America and its captive backyard for cheap raw materials and export of finished goods with the inventive genius of its inhabitants and immigrants, eventually led to rapidly rising living standards for the American proletariat and thus falsified Marx's prediction of the inevitable demise and self-destruction of capitalism. The Schumpeterian view of creative destruction with capitalism rising from its ashes like a Phoenix became the new mantra.

What was forgotten and has become the first Frankenstein is that the tyrannical, ruthless and cruel treatment of the majority of the peoples of Central and South America would grow slowly but inexorably in the minds of the masses and eventually metastatize from country to country in Central and South America. Despite the killing of Guevara, the inevitable exploitation and its newest avatar of neo-liberal globalization known as the Washington Consensus led to increased poverty and greater disparity of wealth in Central and South America. It was Lenin who first realized the failure of Marxist predictions was due to the exploitation shifting from labor in developed countries to labor in colonies. Belgian Congo was the classic example as documented in the book "Scramble for Africa". Thus the Soviet Union despite its imperial history of Czarist Russia and its continuation of holding those conquered nations, became a friendlier role model for colonies yearning for independence.

The stage was now set for the second act for this drama. Wilson at the Paris peace conference had made grand statements about self-government for all nationalities without meaning them and had gone on to betray the Arabs, Indians, Vietnamese and Kurds, to name a few. The seeds of nationalism and the desire for independence had begun to take root in Asia and Africa. The imperial colonizers stifled the growth of right and center right political parties leaving the opposition to gravitate towards the left who got verbal support from the Soviets. They had already been antagonized by the West which had sent its armies to oppose the Bolsheviks. The other nidus of resistance in much of the Middle East and North Africa coalesced around the Islamic religion and thus mosques became a refuge for natives desirous of independence and opposed to their colonial masters or their collaborating puppets.

The depression of the thirties devastated the world economies and even in spite of FDR's myriad measures of the New Deal, it was the increased demand of WW2 that really catapulted the American economy to a full gallop. The foolishness of Churchill and Truman with the career boosting or paranoid delusions of Kennan and Forrestal drove American policy to militarization and Soviet containment. The paranoia and ruthlessness of Stalin did not help either. The Soviet Union was weak and threatened, and reassuring it may have had better consequences. The same follies are currently being repeated with North Korea and Iran. All this is well documented in Carroll's recent book "House of War". Various leftist groups sprang up in Central and South America which were suppressed by arms and torture taught at the School of the Americas run by the Pentagon, then in Panama.

Torture as a policy was begun by America in Vietnam, established in Central and South America by the US through its training school of the Americas in Panama (now relocated to the American state of Georgia) and has recently been used by the US at Bagram in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo in Cuba. The Indonesian government of Sukarno was overthrown with American instigation and help, with the slaughter of a million Indonesians. The Truman doctrine led to the war in Korea. America supported anti-communist generals who had collaborated with the Japanese during their occupation of Korea, thus ignoring the will of the people, as it had done in the Americas, the Middle East and now even does in its own land. The Vietnam conflict was expanded to Laos and Cambodia by America on flimsy grounds. Its cold war foreign policy of reflexive hatred and desire to contain imagined monolithic communism and inability to differentiate it from feelings of nationalism and desire for independence of the European colonies of Asia and Africa has led to the current disasters in Congo and the Middle East.

This imagined communist threat lurking behind every corner due to its own defective vision, led America to overthrow elected governments from Iran to Chile, sowing the seeds of anti-Americanism which have blossomed far and wide, as confirmed by the recent Pew survey. The first Frankenstein was created by commercial exploitation for the benefit of moneyed Americans and its blowback is mainly in Central and South America. The second Frankenstein was due to unthinking visceral anti-communism and paranoia and the blowback has been in the Philippines, Iran, Southeast Asia, Korea, Cuba, Afghanistan prior to 9/11, Central and South America.

The persistent third folly of the newest Frankenstein is supporting every scum faction that is anti-Islamic after it birthed and nurtured the Islamist monster to punish the Soviets in Afghanistan. America has still not learnt the lesson of its Carter and Reagan era of supporting rabid Islamists in Afghanistan to punish the Soviets, despite being hoisted by its own petard on 9/11. It has continued supporting warlords, drug lords and rapist Northern Alliance against the Taliban. This is why Afghanistan is destined to become a failed state and a thriving narcotics and terrorism base.

The US committed the same blunder in supporting Somali warlords who terrorized the populace. As was inevitable with time, they have lost to the Islamists, who hate America. Its foolish misadventure in Iraq is also bringing diehard Islamists to power whether they are Shia in the Southeast and center or Sunni insurgents in the West. Saddam is a despicable scum bucket but overthrowing him has made Iraq worse. The implacable hostility towards Bashar of Syria will bring a worse regime in the aftermath. On the other hand American support to the thieves ruling in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria and Pakistan will be the newest blowback and Frankenstein when popular discontent will lead to their overthrow and replacement by the Islamists or extremists. Supporting corrupt factions is a short run benefit but a greater long run harm. The election of Hamas should be a wake up lesson for the blind ideologues currently in charge of US foreign policy. The ignoring of Israeli kidnaping of Palestinians and Lebanese and refusing to stop the Israeli aerial bombardment of Lebanese civilians and civil infrastructure will further inflame the fire of fanatic Islamist terrorism just as the Iraq war did. It is America that creates its own Frankensteins who will eventually throttle its maker. 


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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